Liberman furious at Smotrich: 'Religious coercion'

Yisrael Beytenu chairman livid after Transportation Ministry cancels bus routes that operated on Shabbat.

Ben Ariel,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Kobi Richter/TPS

Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Liberman on Thursday attacked Transportation Bezalel Smotrich after the Transportation Ministry decided to cancel dozens of bus routes that operated in Israel before the conclusion of Shabbat.

"This is aggressiveness, bullying and religious coercion. The man who wants to bring us back to the time of King David, King Saul and Torah law, again proves that these are not empty afflictions but, unfortunately, acts as well,” said Liberman, in a reference to past remarks by Smotrich of his desire for the State of Israel to operate according to the laws of the Torah.

"Smotrich is a member of a party that purports to represent the enlightened liberal right, but revealed its true face. Yisrael Beytenu, as a condition for entering the next coalition, will demand that the issue of public transportation on Shabbat and the opening of businesses on Shabbat become the sole responsibility of the local government,” Liberman added.

Yediot Aharonot revealed on Thursday that Israel's Transportation Ministry recently canceled dozens of bus routes that began operating before Shabbat ended and brought forward the starting times of bus routes that had been embarking on their routes shortly before Shabbat.

Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz responded to the report by saying, "The State of Israel is a Jewish state and not a state of Jewish law. We'll win and take care of this - everyone will be able to live the way they want.”

Blue and White number two MK Yair Lapid said, "There will be a different government and a different status quo. We won't give in to them."




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