Ministers fix Independence Day to Thursdays

Ministers unanimously voted in favor of the bill proposed by MK Lia Shemtov (Yisrael Beytenu).

May 21, 2012 02:15
1 minute read.
Soldiers march at Mt. Herzl on Independence Day

Soldiers march at Mt. Herzl on Independence Day 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Independence Day will be celebrated on a Thursday each year, according to a bill the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved for government support on Sunday.

The ministers unanimously voted in favor of the bill proposed by MK Lia Shemtov (Yisrael Beytenu), under which Independence Day would fall on the Thursday of the week in which the fifth day of the Hebrew month of Iyar falls.

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According to Shemtov, the state’s founders did not realize that Independence Day falls on Fridays and Saturdays in many years. When that happens, it is celebrated on the preceding Thursday, under a rule that has been followed since 1951.

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

Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov (Yisrael Beytenu), 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 would make it easier for bereaved families to prepare for Remembrance Day, which would now always fall on a Wednesday, and prevent people from desecrating Shabbat, as the holidays would not take place during the weekend.

Shemtov’s bill is likely to be brought to the Knesset for a preliminary reading on Wednesday. It would then have to pass three more votes in the plenum, as well as committee discussions, before becoming law.

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