Litzman: End 'loophole of debauchery' if you want haredi vote

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman says will only support candidate for Jerusalem mayor who ends Mahane Yehudah nightlife.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Mahane Yehudah
Mahane Yehudah
Meir Sela

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) said Friday that closing the nightlife in the Mahaneh Yehuda market in Jerusalem is a condition for supporting any candidate for mayor of Jerusalem.

In the haredi newspaper Hamodia, Litzman called for "preventing the loophole of debauchery," as he put it, in the Mahaneh Yehuda market as a condition for the Gur hassidim's support for one of the candidates.

In recent years, the Mahane Yehuda market has become a popular entertainment center for religious, secular and haredi youth. Residents of the area complain of an unbearable noise in the face of the many visitors who hang around the market at night.

About six months ago, members of the Jerusalem city council toured the Mahane Yehuda market following complaints from residents living near the market. The city council members were exposed to gas-burning chimneys, the unbearable noise, parking problems and sidewalks occupied by restaurant and pub owners.

Yonatan and Leah Halbertal, who live near the market, said: "We have been living here for eight years. We are relatively young compared to our neighbors, and we love the neighborhood very much today, but the entertainment center that started four years ago is disrupting our lives."

"We have a 'neighbor' - the compressor of a refrigerator from the pub and a restaurant that opened below us, a 'monster' that is adjacent to our house and produces an intolerable noise. Those who are sharp of hearing may hear some music, but in an hour the noise will be unbearable. The police sometimes arrive, only when there is a terrible noise. They want to enter the house and I do not have to explain what it involves when police arrive at your home in the middle of the night."

They said more, ''We put up a double window and shutters, but nothing stops the noise. Beyond that, chimney smoke comes into our house and makes our house stink, so that for days our house stands sealed up."