On Muslim Holiday, Israel's Knesset Plans Hearings on Arab Issues

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President Rivlin attending an Id al-Adha event in 2015.
President Rivlin attending an Id al-Adha event in 2015.Credit: Mark Neiman, GPO

Knesset committees are expected to hold hearings on Israeli-Arab issues on a Muslim holiday next month, preventing Muslim and Druze MKs from taking part.

An Arab-Jewish coexistence group, the Abraham Fund, has appealed to have the dates of the meetings changed.

Id al-Adha the Feast of the Sacrifice will fall between September 11 and 14 this year; the Knesset will still be in summer recess but some committees will hold meetings on urgent matters.

The Abraham Fund says that during these days there will be discussions on work accidents in the construction industry and changes to the party funding law.

Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu and Thabet Abu Rass, the fund’s co-CEOs, have asked Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and the committee heads to postpone the meetings.

“It would be proper that when the Knesset sets an agenda, the needs of a community so central to Israeli society be taken into account. Holding the meetings on the said dates will prevent Arab-society representatives from taking part,” they wrote.

“This fact is problematic both symbolically and substantively. It is impossible to imagine a situation in which the Knesset would hold a debate on an important Jewish holiday, and we believe that it should respect the Muslim calendar similarly.”

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