Daily Israel Report

Business Faces Boycott for Not Desecrating Sabbath

Pro-secular movement threatens boycott of movie theater that plans to close on the Sabbath day.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/18/2014, 1:15 AM

Cinema City in Jerusalem
Cinema City in Jerusalem
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A movie theater in Jerusalem is being threatened with a boycott over its decision to close for the Sabbath and Jewish holidays.

The pro-secular group Yisrael Hofsheet (Free Israel) has called on its supporters to boycott the Cinema City movie theater for not opening on Saturday – a decision which the group termed a sign of “hareidi religious coercion in Barkat’s Jerusalem.”

“The new movie theater in Jerusalem, the Cinema City, is closed on exactly the days that you’re able to go see a movie,” activists wrote on the group’s Facebook page.

“And who decided this for you? The people who never go to a movie theater any day – the hareidi Jews,” they accused.

A court ruled that the city of Jerusalem may decide whether Cinema City opens on Saturdays, and given the makeup of the city council coalition – which includes hareidi political factions – it is believed that the facility will remain closed on Saturdays and holidays, in line with Jewish law (halakhah).

“The court allowed the city of Jerusalem to decide on whether to open the facility on the Sabbath or not. Help us put pressure on the business owner, on the city council, and on Mayor Nir Barkat,” the group urged.

A boycott will help create pressure, it continued. “The idea is simple: those who do not play movies for a free public on weekends won’t sell tickets during the week either,” the group wrote.

“Residents of Jerusalem, this depends on you!” they urged. “We’re voting with our eyes, and boycotting Cinema City.”