The decision came down from the highest echelons of the Israeli government shortly before the Passover Seder, the traditional holiday meal that enjoys rare consensus among Jews in Israel, bringing together relatives, friends and guests from all over the country and all colors of the political rainbow. Before wishing the people of Israel a happy and kosher holiday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that a series of events would be held in the coming weeks and months to mark the half-century anniversary of the “liberation of Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights” — that is, the 1967 takeover of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan in the Six-Day War.
That same evening, several thousand Israelis read a special Haggadah at their Seder dinner. Instead of the traditional rendition of the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, they used a Haggadah issued by the organization SISO — Save Israel, Stop the Occupation. In stark contrast to Netanyahu’s policies, SISO, together with other civil society organizations, is trying to turn the 50th-anniversary celebration of the spoils of war into a protest against the 50-year Israeli occupation and a call to end it.