Lapid proposes new Jewish-Arab solidarity holiday
The ministerial committee examining the implementation of the Or Commission's report has agreed that there should be a new national holiday - "Solidarity Day," or "Tolerance Day" - to be jointly celebrated by Jews and Arabs, Justice Minister Yosef Lapid has said.
The Or Commission's report was presented to the government last September and contains a large number of recommendations concerning government policy toward the Arab citizens, with regard to land division, equalizing budgets and personal intervention by the prime minister to ensure equality. It also recommends giving public expression to the common denominator of the entire population by adding state events and symbols with which all citizens can identify.
Dr. Reuven Gal, deputy adviser on national security who participated in the meetings, said similar events exist in countries such as Australia, Canada and Singapore that have large minorities. He said an improvement in material relations with Arabs must be accompanied by symbolic expressions, which are equally important but "this does not come instead of the need to solve the plight of the Arab sector," he said.