Chareidi Parties Call on Netanyahu to Stop Chillul Shabbos on Israel Railways

YERUSHALAYIM -
A scene from construction of the Yerushalayim Binyanei HaUma Railway Station, in 2012. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
A scene from construction of the Yerushalayim Binyanei HaUma Railway Station, in 2012. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

United Torah Judaism and Shas turned to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday requesting his urgent intervention to cancel planned work on the railway system during Shabbos Parashas Eikev.

In a letter to the prime minister, the chareidi representatives warned that it would constitute “a blatant violation of the status quo” and set a “very serious precedent…”

“We cannot take responsibility for a government that tramples publicly on the holiness of Shabbos,” they wrote, and appealed to him to put off the construction and repairs until after a conference of all the relevant parties to discuss the matter.

The letter was signed by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas), Health Minister MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman (UTJ), Knesset Finance Chairman Rabbi Moshe Gafni (UTJ).

It was sent after a meeting with Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) failed to bring results. Katz told the chareidi leaders that he could do nothing, that the only way to stop the planned work on Shabbos would be through a direct order from the Labor Minister or from Prime Minister Netanyahu.

As of Thursday evening, there was no word yet of any change of plan.