The government postponed a decision on whether or not to support the “muezzin law” proposed by Yisrael Beiteinu MK Anastasia Michaeli by at least a week. The delay was made at the request of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The law would require mosques to temper the prayer announcements made by muezzins at Islamic prayer times. At issue, for the most part, is the early morning call to prayer, the Fajr, which is called at least a quarter hour before sunrise, when most people are still sleeping. Many Israelis have complained about the call to prayer, which is often broadcast very loudly with the help of speakers and amplifiers, especially in cities with large Arab populations like Jerusalem. While most members of Michaeli's Yisrael Beiteinu party support the law, it is not clear that most of the other factions in the coalition do. Many government officials, including Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, have expressed opposition, fearing the reaction of Arabs to the law.