In 2020, Volodymyr Zelensky who became Ukrainian president in May 2019 made the Jewish Rosh Hashanah a Ukrainian public holiday (wrong, see the Update at the bottom!) - at least when believing the following German Wikipedia entry:
2020 machte Selenskyj das jüdische Neujahrsfest Rosch ha-Schana zum nationalen Feiertag.
Automatically translated to English:
The Jewish President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, even had Rosh Hashanah declared a national holiday. Much to the delight of the Israeli government, which stressed: "This has such great significance that goes far beyond domestic matters."
Taken from German Wikipedia on Wolodymyr Selenskyj
Was it clear in advance that Voldymyr Zelensky would try to make Rosh Hashanah a national holiday as a president? Is it at all true that he did this, and was there a parliamentary and/or public debate to decide this, not just a decision of the president?
It turns out that the newspaper text is wrong. I could not know this, believing the sources on Wikipedia which is against all odds an overall reliable site. I was skeptical, though, I also did not understand why that article then changed to mainly the Ukrainian Uman, a town for Jewish pilgrims, and Corona fears, instead of dealing with the national holiday. Yet, I believed that this new national holiday had been made. It seemed enough to ask a question about it. I have questioned the truth already in the first published question (
Is it at all true that he did this). Since an answer now shows that he at least proposed this, which does not have so much less weight overall, the question is now:
*Was it clear in advance that Voldymyr Zelensky would propose Rosh Hashanah as a national holiday as a president? With "in advance" meaning "before becoming the president".
Is it at all true that he tried this, and was there a parliamentary and/or public debate?*
I thought this Rosh Hashanah would be on 1.1., though it is in September. This mistake does not change the core of the question.
This question was closed since:
The primary purpose of this question appears to be to promote or discredit a specific political cause, group or politician. It does not appear to be a good-faith effort to learn more about governments, policies and political processes as defined in the help center.
The question's core is not whether this holiday was made or whether there was a political debate. These are bonus questions, they were answered in full by the answer below, which I only unaccepted since it does not answer the core of the question, else it is helpful. The core of the question is the clearly astonishing message that a president who is not of the same ethnicity and/or culture can make such a step in his first year in power to at least propose holidays of non-Ukrainian culture - and still get elected (if the public knew about it), or tries this even without letting know the public in advance but still gets support by the public afterwards.
I agree that this question is not in good faith, but this is because it is objectively not in good faith.
- It is not in good faith since it is inherently against this political step.
- Moreover, and also not in good faith, it is indeed skeptical about the Jewish influence in the Ukraine and the ties to Israel and the USA that are objectively linked with that. That is how it goes. When it is all about the Ukrainian culture, it is at least remarkable when famous persons of Ukraine have a Jewish background and seem to be favored by Israel and the US, and when the president then proposes the holidays of minorities.
The governor of Kiev is one quarter Ashkenazi Jewish and has a father who was not born outside the Ukraine (no wonder, as a Soviet general). Mind: Vitali Klitschko has also lost relatives during Holodomor and thus must have very strong roots in Ukraine:
Part of Vitali's family died during Holodomor, while his great-grandfather and family on the female line of his mother died during Holocaust. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitali_Klitschko
The lost relatives from Holodomor make it understandable why Vitali Klitschko is at the forefront against Russia. It is not about being a quarter Jewish when you have this Ukrainian fate in the family history.
- The war of Ukraine is also about defending the Ukrainian culture, and then, this leaves a question mark, having a Russian-speaking Jewish president proposing non-Ukrainian holidays.
- Russia has a long history of the struggle with Jewish immigrants, I recommend reading the full https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Russia and https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geschichte_der_Juden_in_Russland. Russia's troups tried to kill the president perhaps also since he was Jewish.
By 3 March, according to The Times, Zelenskyy had survived three assassination attempts, two of which were allegedly orchestrated by the Wagner Group. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagner_Group The Wagner Group is the right wing of Russian warfare. There is some likelihood that this operation and the earlier political actions against the president from the start of his service were done also for the president to be Jewish.
You might say this is anti-semitism, that is how it goes. Russia sees the Ukraine as Jewish-fascist, which is even more two-sided, since the Nazi wing is against Jews, while Zelensky won 70 percent of the votes (see https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/25/vladimir-putin-ukraine-attack-antisemitism-denazify). Or three-sided, since Ukraine was and is indeed against Jews throughout its history, but the same was true for Russia, see the links above about Jewish life in Russia.
The question is not in good faith since it is skeptical about a democratic development, the Jewish influence, and the world-wide net behind that. But lastly, the question is about long-term changes from immigration, be it Jews or Russians, and therefore not anti-semitic in its core. For example, 90 years ago, there were no Russian speakers in the east of Ukraine, they were settled by the Soviets, partly as a plan after Holodomor to get the land-line to the Black Sea, or immigrated, and many must have noted that this area got settled more and more by Russians. Therefore, any step of a homogenous minority that immigrates can have political influence after a while. The same question would be valid if any other minority's person became president in a democracy and then proposed holidays of some of the larger minorities, and the question would then be about whether the public knew about it in advance or not. This is the political core of it, which I see as on-topic, the rest goes likely a bit too far now, trying to shed some light on the "why" of the question.