In the event that the government falls and/or new elections are held – a prospect that seems more realistic this week, as police are said to be considering recommending that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu be indicted on corruption charges – Zionist Camp leader Avi Gabay ought not count on United Torah Judaism to join his coalition, said former health minister MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. As reported in the Hebrew edition of Hamodia, Rabbi Litzman said that Gabay’s “hostile attitude to kodshei Yisrael negates all possibilities that chareidi parties will join a government he leads.
“The strange attitude of siding with those who seek to harm Shabbos does not lead to unifying the nation, but the opposite,” said Rabbi Litzman. “This is not a vision of ‘good,’ but siding with ideas that are not good. There will be no glory or benefit for Israel in following this corrupt path.”
The statement by Rabbi Litzman came after Gabay expressed support for attempts by the cities of Ramat Gan and Givatayim to pass bylaws that would allow businesses to operate on Shabbos, challilah. Gabay said in a social media post that he had “spoken with Givatayim Mayor Ron Konik, and I told him that I support his efforts to change the local law to enable businesses to open on Shabbos. Part of our vision to make Israel the best country in the world is to enable all local authorities to conduct their personal lives in accordance with their towns’ personalities. This is how it must be in modern society. We respect religion, but not religious coercion.”
Hadashot News reported Monday that Holon would be joining Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Givatayim in trying to pass laws that would upend legislation by the Knesset on closing business on Shabbos. Holon Mayor Moti Sasson said that there were about 40 businesses in the city that had contacted him, seeking a local law that would allow them to remain open on Shabbos. “I plan to do everything possible to protect the status quo on religious issues in the city, but at the same time the number of businesses open on Shabbos for the benefit of residents will increase,” he said.