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May 27, 2014

Proposed Law: new vacation day

According to Srugim, MK Yoni Chetboun (Habayit Hayehudi) has proposed a new law by which Yom Yerushalayim would be declared a national holiday.

Chetboun explains that we cannot allow the situation that Yom Yerushalayim has become a holiday only for specific sectors of society, rather than a national holiday. The day is a significant one in the history of the entire nation, and it should not be treated as being sectoral.

Turning Yom Yerushalayim into a national holiday will give it the place it deserves in the Israeli experience, a national day just like Yom Haatzmaut, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Hashoah. According to Chetboun's proposal, it would be more similar to Yom Haatzmaut than the other days, as it would also be a national vacation day.

If the law will be passed, it would only come into effect next year... it is obviously too late to turn tomorrow into a national holiday.

I like the idea because:
1. anything that gives employees an additional vacation day is good by me
2. Yom Yerushalayim really is a day of great significance, and I think it has lost much of it over the years, and, as Chetboun said, has mostly become a private celebration among the dati leumi community. Turning it national would connect the rest of the nation to it, though it would obviously require resources and education..
3. I know even some haredim consider Yom Yerushalayim to be a special day (even if they do not do anything specific to celebrate it), and those who do generally consider it more significant than Yom Haatzmaut. I dont know if nationalizing the day would make less or more haredim pay attention to the day, but it would be interesting to find out.

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