ISL – Seoul
In a breath taking and suspenseful finish, Israel's finest overcame an early deficit to win four gold medals in the 26th international Memorial Ceremony Competition held in South Korea. Israel won medals for "Best Memorial Day Song" with the bitter-sweet "Why Didn't I Drive My Kid To School That Day" performed by Natalie, Best Memorial Poem with David Zinger's playful " Overflowing Graves", and Best Memorial Day Ceremony, for Israel's national memorial day ceremony at Herzl Mount won consecutively since the inception of the competition in 1973.
Israel's Minister of Education and Culture, Julia Tamir speaking in the Knesset on behalf of the government said that she was proud of Israel's magnificent showing, proving that if we, as a people, set our mind to something, especially mourning our dead, we will usually excel. Tamir commended the current administration for creating the conditions necessary for Israel to contend successfully in the tough, competitive field of memorial services:
"This government has proven that even a small country with limited resources can compete as equals with richer nations, especially when it comes to grief and unhappiness". Head of opposition Bibi Netanyahu praised Israel's achievements in the competition, but added that Tamir is taking credit for the work of governments past: "This government is reaping the benefits of policies that were put into place by my government back in 1996 " said Bibi " Not to mention the contributions of Rabin and Peres before that".
MK Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism said the real praise should be given to observing Jews throughout history who first developed and then preserved the fine tradition of untimely death: " If it wasn't for us Israel would have had no chance to win the competition." said Porush and added, resentfully: " Once again, ignorant secular Jews are taking credit for the achievements of their observing predecessors."
ISL correspondent notes that the Palestinian delegation walked away empty-handed from the competition after finishing last in all categories, and blaming the Jews for their humiliation: "Even when we kill them, they beat us" said the head of the Palestinian delegation, Ahmed Farsh who is rumored to be contemplating a return to his former career as terrorist: "At least it's something I know how to do well" said Ahmed.