Yisrael Eichler
Yisrael EichlerFlash 90

MK Yisrael Eichler (UTJ) contended that American Jews are disappearing due to a "quiet Holocaust of assimilation," which he said was caused by rampant Shabbat desecration.

Speaking at the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee's debate over the Supermarket Law, which would prevent stores from operating on Shabbat despite local bylaws permitting them from remaining open, Eichler said that he was advancing the bill in order to protect Israel from suffering the skyrocketing intermarriage rates of American Jews.

"There's a quiet Holocaust happening in the United States – assimilation, said Eichler. "American Jewry assimilated because the parents were forced to work on Shabbat. Thus, millions of Jews were cut off."

"There will not be a trace of American Jewry," continued Eichler. "Only those that observe Shabbat and their descendants will remain Jewish. Do not force shopkeepers and workers in the Land of Israel to work on Shabbat because they will end of losing their Judaism."

MK Yaakov Asher (UTJ) echoed Eichler's sentiments, telling the committee that the haredi parties intended to pass the bill to safeguard the Jewish religion. "We are not fighting for our children in Bnei Brak and not for our family living in haredi cities. We are fighting for traditional Jews who want Shabbat to look the way Shabbat should be."

"We are here so that the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Knesset members who are here know what Shabbat is. We are here to preserve Israel's Jewish nature."

The Supermarket Law would grant the Interior Minister the powers to strike down municipal bylaws promoted by the local authorities, effectively shutting down supermarkets that had been operating on the Sabbath with permission from the local authority. The law is a response to a Supreme Court ruling that permitted Tel Aviv to legislate bylaws enabling businesses to open on Shabbat that circumvents existing legislation forbidding it.