Thursday, November 25, 2021

A State Memorial Day for Menachem Begin

As published:

Knesset approves 1st reading of bill for Menachem Begin memorial day

NOVEMBER 24, 2021

The Knesset approved a preliminary reading of a bill to create a national memorial day in memory of former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin.

The bill, proposed by Likud faction chairman MK Yariv Levin, passed with support from the coalition.

"This is the least that should be done for Menachem Begin, a great leader who himself designed important elements in Israel's identity," Levin said.

And from the Knesset site:

November 24, 2021

Knesset Plenum passes in preliminary reading bill for state memorial day for Menachem Begin

​In its sitting on Wednesday, the Knesset Plenum voted to approve in its preliminary reading the Bill for Commemorating Menachem Begin (Amendment—State Memorial Day), 2021, sponsored by MK Yariv Levin (Likud). In the vote, 41 MKs supported the bill versus one opposing vote. The bill will be turned over to the Education, Culture, and Sports Committee.

The bill proposes to dedicate a state memorial day to the memory and works of Menachem Begin. On this day, events will be held for commemorating Menachem Begin, a state memorial ceremony will be conducted, and IDF camps and schools will devote time to commemoration events and teaching about his accomplishments. As the 4th of the Hebrew month of Adar is Menachem Begin's date of death, it is proposed that this day serve as the state memorial day for Begin.

The explanatory notes state: “Menachem Begin's name is inscribed in the nation's history as one of the great leaders of the Jewish people in the twentieth century. Begin took part in the struggle for the state's independence, contributed to the democratic foundations of the State of Israel and strengthened them. He established the principle that there would be no civil war, eliminated social barriers, strengthened the unity of the people, made the first peace accord and more.

“In the past, the Knesset has affixed state memorial days for prime ministers, and there is no doubt that the influence, work and contribution of Menachem Begin are worthy of being memorialized in a similar fashion. The purpose of the bill is to inculcate the legacy and the values espoused by Begin and bring them closer to the next generations."

MK Levin: “This is the least we can do for Menachem Begin, an illustrious leader who shaped with his own hands important elements in the identity and the very existence of the State of Israel. I am convinced that teaching his legacy in schools, as proposed by the bill, will contribute greatly to the education of our future generation."

Minister Zeev Elkin responded on behalf of the Government, saying: “One cannot help but point at the famous sentence said by Begin in the context of an extended term of office, that 'a prolonged stay in power is a danger to the nation's freedom and the morality of its members, and it begets corruption.'"

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