Cabinet to authorize Deri on Shabbat supermarket law

The cabinet is expected to authorize Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to decide the issue of opening supermarkets on Shabbat and holidays.

Haim Lev, | updated: 12:55

Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri
Emil Salman/Flash 90

The cabinet is expected to return the authority over Shabbat observance to Interior Minister Deri and to allow him to decide regarding the issue of Tel Aviv by-laws permitting the opening of supermarkets on Shabbat and holidays.

The decision regarding the matter was taken at a meeting yesterday between Interior Minister Deri, Yariv Levin, who serves as Liaising Minister between the Government and the Knesset and Cabinet Secretary Tzahi Braverman. At the same time the state will ask for an extension in order to allow Deri to take a decision which will be unanimously accepted.

Earlier, High Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor stated her opinion that the Interior Minister should be given authority over the Shabbat issue and that he was the person responsible for taking decisions on the matter.

At the beginning of the week, Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Galon wrote on her Facebook page that "the government risks a civil uprising if it enforces the status quo on Shabbat observance in Tel Aviv."

"Secularism in Israel is under attack," Galon wrote. "The attempt to close Tel Aviv on the Sabbath is just one front in the war declared by the government against the secular population, but it is an important front."

Galon accused the haredi parties in the coalition of symbolizing "a radical and racist Judaism."

According to Galon, the status quo is dead. "It is an empty shell. It is meaningless. Netanyahu and the haredi MKs wave [the status quo] in order to justify the continued erosion of the rights of secular Israelis. The status quo has become a weapon against the secularists, a platform with which to drive us deeper [into the haredi lifestyle], in the bedroom, [the food on our] plates, down the wedding aisle, and now on the Sabbath."