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Ministers OK bill keeping Yom Haatzmaut on Thursday

May 20, 2012 15:53

Tourism Minister: bill "will prevent special vacation days in the middle of the week, which are disruptive to the Israeli market."

Independence Day barbecues.

Independence Day barbecue 370. (photo credit:Tanya Sermer)

Yom Haatzmaut will be celebrated on a Thursday each year, according to a bill authorized by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday.

Ministers unanimously voted in favor of the bill proposed by MK Lia Shemtov (Yisrael Beytenu), which makes Independence Day on the Thursday of the week in which the fifth day of the Hebrew month of Iyyar falls.

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According to Shemtov, Israel's founders did not realize that Yom Haatzmaut falls on Fridays and Saturdays in many years. When that happens, independence is celebrated on a Thursday.

The Yisrael Beytenu MK explained that her bill will not cost the state anything, and will make it easier for employers and municipalities to prepare for the holiday.

Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov, who is the chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Ceremonies and Symbols, said that the bill "will prevent special vacation days in the middle of the week, which are disruptive to the Israeli market."

Meseznikov added that the legislation will make it easier for bereaved families to prepare for Remembrance Day, which will fall on a Wednesday each year, and prevent people from desecrating the Sabbath, as the holidays will not take place during the weekend.

Shemtov's bill is likely to be brought to the Knesset for a preliminary reading this Wednesday. It will then have to pass three more votes, as well as committee discussions, before becoming law.
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