Victorian MP Michael Danby said Labor should make special voting arrangements for the nation’s 107,000-strong Jewish community, as Yom Kippur is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, which falls on September 14 this year.
Julia Gillard’s timing clashes with the “Sabbath of Sabbaths” or the “Super Sabbath”, as it’s sometimes called, reports News.com.au.
Yom Kippur is a day on which Jews undergo a 25-hour period of fasting and when even the not particularly religious attend synagogue. The religious boycott by Mr Danby means the Federal Government could face a backlash from the Jewish constituency over the election date.
Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg also took issue with the election date, tweeting that it “disenfranchises many Jewish Australians and is incredibly sloppy work”
However director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Peter Wertheim, says the majority of Australia’s 107,000 Jews would not be fussed about the date.”To be absolutely truthful it is not a major issue for us, because every election takes place on the Jewish Sabbath,” Mr Wertheim said.
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