The Knesset plenum gave final approval on Tuesday to the Aliyah Day Bill, which designates the seventh of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan ”Aliyah Day.”
Twenty-one MKs supported the bill in its third and final reading, while five lawmakers opposed it.
The legislation, sponsored by MKs Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Miki Zohar (Likud), Avraham Neguise (Likud), Hilik Bar (Zionist Camp) 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 will 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 will hold a special event honoring immigrants to Israel, and the Knesset plenum, as well as the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, will mark the day with special debates.
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 Neguise, who heads the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, said the law is important for encouraging Aliyah and improving the treatment of new immigrants to Israel, ”as well as for recognizing that each new oleh who arrives in the Land of Israel brings with him or her a significant contribution to the country.”
MK Bar said Aliyah has become ”an inseparable component of our Zionist and democratic identity.” Marking Aliyah Day, he added, ”will contribute to the sense of pride and appreciation towards the olim and will strengthen our cultural and social richness as a state built from the Gathering of Israel (Kibbutz Galuyot).”
MK Ilatov said Aliyah to Israel is the ”beating pulse of the country and the most significant cause of Israel`s development, strengthening and growth as a country and nation.”