Israel on Friday called for the United Nations to officially mark the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, a day of atonement in September or October when Jews seek forgiveness by fasting and praying.
Of the 10 holidays already recognized by the United Nations
, four are religious: the Christian holidays of Christmas and Good Friday, and the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
"There are three monotheistic religions, yet only two are recognized by the UN calendar. Such discrimination at the UN must end," Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor
stated in a press release about a letter to all envoys at the 193-member world body.
A vote by the UN General Assembly
is likely needed to approve the holiday, during which buildings would be closed and no meetings held. Yom Kippur sometimes conflicts with the annual General Assembly
of world leaders in September.
"On the one hand, the United Nations advances
values of cooperation and engagement among nations, on the other hand, it is prioritizing one religion over the other," Prosor stated. "It is about time Jewish employees at the UN won't be obligated to work on Yom Kippur."