VE-Day likely to be declared national holiday

The legislation would reinforce a government decision from 1996 to mark the day.

By
May 14, 2017 16:22
1 minute read.
wwii veterans

A World War Two veteran holds a flower and Israel's national flag during a march in Jerusalem commemorating the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day May 10, 2015. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The day on which Europe was victorious over the Nazis in World War II will be a national holiday in Israel, according to a bill approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday.

If the proposal by three lawmakers from Yisrael Beytenu, Robert Ilatov, Oded Forrer and Yulia Malinovsky, becomes law, the education minister will have to direct schools to learn about the allies’ victory, the Knesset will hold a special meeting each year in honor of the victory, and local and national government will commemorate it.

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The Nazis officially surrendered to the Russians, signing a document to that effect on the evening of May 8 in Berlin, but it was after midnight in Moscow. The bill would have the holiday be marked on May 9, as is customary in the Former Soviet Union, as opposed to May 8 in Western Europe, because it is most commonly celebrated in Israel by immigrants from the FSU.

The legislation would reinforce a government decision from 1996 to mark the day.

The bill’s explanatory portion states that “as a Jewish State that rose from the ashes, there is great importance to marking this symbolic date, through activities in the education system, the Knesset and the government, which expresses the victory of our spirit.

The lawmakers also pointed out that many immigrants from the FSU are World War II veterans.

“This chapter in their lives is an important source of pride and honor for them and there is great importance in marking and remembering the events,” the bill states.

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