Religious Knesset members outraged over Sabbath bus service: ‘A gross act of defiance’

“This trend of Sabbath desecration in different cities is a gross act of defiance used by unashamed politicians who do not hesitate to harm the State’s Jewish character,” said Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman.

By World Israel News Staff

Religious members of the Knesset are speaking out against Tel Aviv’s recent move to start a public bus service on the Jewish Sabbath.

“This trend of Sabbath desecration in different cities is a gross act of defiance used by unashamed politicians who do not hesitate to harm the State’s Jewish character,” said Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party.

“It’s clear that we will not allow this serious trend to expand, because this is a systematic change to everything that has been preserved in the Jewish character throughout the years,” he added.

On Friday, for the first time in the history of the Jewish State, public transportation was allowed to run in the city and suburbs of Tel Aviv.

There are currently six routes, with a total of five hundred stops, that are now operating on the Sabbath and plans are underway to open more routes in the near future.

The cities of Hod Hasharon, Herzliya, Rishon Lezion, Bat Yam and Kfar Saba are reportedly expected to follow Tel Aviv’s lead.

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Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush of UTJ expressed that the Sabbath is being taken advantage of by the current political climate.

“The Sabbath is an inalienable asset of the Jewish people throughout the ages and is not anybody’s political tool,” he said.

“It hurts that local politicians are taking advantage of the national political situation and trampling the Sabbath in the public domain only to achieve public relations on the backs of Sabbath-observant public,” he said.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai defended his decision by saying that the need to mix religion and state is no longer relevant to modern society.

“The concept of the status quo is already not a concept anymore. It doesn’t exist,” Huldai told Israel’s Kan radio on Sunday. “The world has changed… Everyone uses this concept how they want to, but the status quo doesn’t exist anymore in public life.”