The Knesset plenum approved on Tuesday the first reading of a bill designating the seventh of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan ”Aliyah Day.”
The legislation, sponsored by MKs Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Miki Zohar (Likud), Avraham Neguise (Likud) and a group of MKs, is intended to institute a day dedicated to immigrants to Israel (olim) and their contributions to the country. The day would be marked around the country in schools, the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police, the President’s Residence, and the Knesset.
On this day, the government would hold a special event honoring immigrants to Israel, and the Knesset plenum, as well as the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, would mark the day with special debates.
(President Reuven Rivlin greets new immigrants)
The seventh of Cheshvan was chosen due to its proximity to the Shabbat on which the ”Lech Lecha” Torah portion is read, in which God commands Abraham to leave his home and go to the Land of Israel.
The bill`s explanatory notes state that ”the Aliyah to the Land of Israel has been and remains an inalienable asset for the preservation of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”
MK Ilatov said new immigrants ”must be put on the map in actuality, not only in statements. The integration of olim (immigrants) is crucial for the country`s prosperity and for increasing Aliyah. Those who arrive in Israel encounter a glass ceiling, and it is important to shatter glass ceilings. If we fail to do this, we will be hurting the State of Israel. It is in our strategic interest to bring millions more to Israel.”
Thirty-one MKs supported the bill, and none opposed.