Businesses to be open on Shabbat in Tel Aviv?

The "Committee of Director-Generals" plans to present several bills to the Knesset to legally establish Shabbat desecration in Tel Aviv.

Ben Shaul,

Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Flash 90

Against the backdrop of the legal and political brouhaha surrounding the issue of businesses being open on Shabbat in Tel Aviv, the specially convened "Director-Generals Committee" is expected to present several proposals meant to legally anchor partial Shabbat desecration in the city.

According to a report by Army Radio, the committee - made up of the Director-Generals of the Ministries of Finance, Interior, Justice, Religious Services, and the Prime Minister's office - is expected to present various proposals which will include the legalization of commerce in Tel Aviv on Shabbat and holidays.

The first proposal aims to make use of existing Tel Aviv municipal legislation to implement a plan which will allow 160 stores and businesses to be open around the city, in accordance with the municipality's regulations.

Another proposal would lower the threshold set by the Tel Aviv municipality by 20%, and would allow for certain kinds of "essential" stores and leisure establishments to open, in accordance with the outlines originally set out by former Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar (Likud).

"The government must respect the democratic decision by the city council and allow for moderate operation of businesses on Shabbat. On the one hand the city will not become the same as it is on a weekday, but on the other hand a person will be able to buy a bottle of water on the way to the beach.

"From this point, the municipality could implement and enforce the policy it's been advocating for several long months already," said Tel Aviv city council member and CEO of the "Yisrael Hofshit" ("Free Israel") movement, Mickey Gitzin.