Israeli Cabinet’s Ministerial Committee For Legislation Blocks Public Buses On Shabbat
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Israeli cabinet’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation rejected a bill that would have allowed cities to operate transport on Shabbat, Ha’aretz reported.
The bill, sponsored by MK Nitzan Horowitz of the secular left-wing Meretz Party, was rejected late Sunday.
Likud’s Limor Livnat, and Uri Orbach and Uri Ariel – both from the Zionist Orthodox HaBayit HaYehudi Party – voted against the proposed bill, while Yair Lapid, Yael German and Jacob Perry – all of the centrist Yesh Atid Party – all voted for it.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of the Hatnua Party, who heads the ministerial committee, abstained from the vote, arguing that the proposed law was disproportionate and overly broad.
“There needs to be public transportation on the Sabbath, but not in such a sweeping fashion so this special day is not harmed, also for the nonreligious,” Livni reportedly said.
Horowitz insisted his proposed law meets Livni’s requirements.
“If she wants public transportation on Saturday, why is she [not] doing anything?” Horowitz asked after the vote.
Local Meretz activists have already successfully urged several cities – reportedly including Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Ra’anana and Kfar Sava – to have public transportation on Saturdays, but the Transportation Ministry won’t let it happen.
Meretz ran its own free public bus service last Shabbat between shopping malls in Hod HaSharon and Kfar Sava and intends to add two additional routes – one from Kfar Sava and Ra’anana into central Tel Aviv, and the another one to the Herzliya beach – soon.
However, existing regulations reportedly only allow public transport on Shabbat if it carries passengers to hospitals, border areas or non-Jewish communities, and the licensing and regulation of that public transportation is in the complete control of the Transportation Ministry.
Also yesterday, Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar struck down a Tel Aviv city bylaw allowing makolets (convenience stores) to be open on Shabbat.
Secular Political Party Starts Free Public Bus Service – On Shabbat Only.