Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu party are stepping up their war against the Shabbos Bill. The bill, if passed into law, would grant authority to the Interior Ministry to close down stores on Shabbos, even if they are operating with a city permit.
The party is not just working on a national level, but locally too as councilmen in cities with Yisrael Beitenu representation are working to persuade mayors and city councils to turn up their opposition to the bill. The party is organizing a petition to be signed by 58 deputy mayors in addition to city councilmen across the country in opposition to the bill. The party reports is has already collected signatures from officials in Beersheva, Ashdod, Bat Yam, Hadera, Carmiel, Lod, Afula, Acre, and smaller cities like Kiryat Motzkin, Kiryat Chaim, Kiryat Ata and Kiryat Bialik, Ynet reports.
The petition/letter highlights the bill would sorely undermine the authority of local government, hoping this will attract more signatories. They call on councilmen across Israel to oppose what is perceived to be religious coercion, insisting local government and not the Interior Minister should decide if and which stores may operate on Shabbos.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)