Shabbos Coalition Crisis Ends With Reconciliation of Status Quo


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Following many hours of intense coalition drama, the Likud party together with the Charedi factions declared that the crisis was over. During a lengthy meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and leaders of the Charedi parties, Aryeh Deri, Moshe Gafni and Yaakov Litzman, it was agreed that a new law will be brought to the Knesset and passed through the government, which protects that status quo of the sanctity of Shabbos in Israel, but will not force the supermarkets and other convenience stores in Tel Aviv to close.

The fact that the Charedi parties have given up the fight to keep the supermarkets in tel Aviv closed, something which MK Gafni had been pushing for in a new bill he was going to introduce, signals that the bill seems to be off the table for now.

Another part of the compromise reached was that the train schedule for weekdays would not be interfered with. The proposed bill put forth by Minister of Transportation will allow the Labor and Social Affairs Minister to take into consideration numerous factors before issuing a work order. Among them are safety and security, Jewish and Israeli tradition, the social implications of the worker, the disturbance caused to a public space as well as others. Another item built into the compromise between the parties was that soccer matches would continue to be played on Shabbos as well. Overall, these factors lead to a continuation of the status quo more or less, with its desecration of Shabbos to continue, for the most part, unabated.

Additionally, another law will be introduced that will undo a decision by the High Court of Justice from 2014, that disallowed a Deputy Minister to have the same authority as a full-fledged Minister. This law is being written in order to allow Litzman to work as the Deputy Health Minister with all of the same authority as he had while he was the Minister.

Litzman said that he was not prepared to discuss any bill relating to the responsibilities and authority of a Deputy Minister until the bills regarding the Shabbos were dealt with properly.

Netanyahu said: ” A government led by the Likud is the best government for Israel. Our coalition is strong and stable. We will continue to work together for the betterment of all the people of Israel.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. I wish someone would explain why the trains between Binyamina and Tel Aviv can be shut in middle of the week and cause massive traffic all around the Sharon region but not this train line which must have work done on Shabbos.

  2. So the chillul shabbos will continue, but at least litzman will be able to serve as a deputy minister once again rather than as a full minister, since everyone knows that that’s a major issue, unlike shabbos.

  3. And the circus continues with this political hack continuing in his role of “deputy” health minister rather than someone who is really an expert in public health and service delivery issues. His foolishness will be demonstrated within a week or two when the necessary rail repair work will continue on Shabbos and everyone will realize he has been played for a fool. EY deserves better but is unlikely to get anyone competent as long as the games related to “coalition” balancing continue.

  4. What a farce. Tel Aviv can be closed down for a toeva parade but not for Shabbos. Yerushalayim can be closed down for a marathon but not for Shabbos. Shops can be open on Shabbos but only in Tel Aviv. Buses can run on Shabbos but only in Eilat. Yankel Litzman, you have a great deal to be proud of. You have really achieved here. You have preserved your job, oh but what about Shabbos. We’re working on that don’t worry!

  5. I remember the days when only the Mafda”l strove (very effectively) to preserve public shmirat shabbat and when the position of the charedi parties was, generally (there were a few exception), that as long as the chilul shabbat was not happening in or near charedi neighborhoods they didn’t care what the chilonim did: the government was treif and they were only in politics to see to the internal needs of the charedi tzibbur. What a sea change has occurred! Today, it is the charedi parties who concern themselves with what happens in the reshut harabim in Israel. BY, meanwhile, is nowhere to be seen on this subject anymore, which is simply a disgrace.