By a majority of 17 supporters against six opponents, the Tel Aviv-Yafo City Council on Monday approved an increase in the quota of businesses allowed to be open on Shabbos, lo aleinu, from 164 to 273 – an increase of 109 permits, according to a report by the News 1 website. This was passed as per the so-called municipal “Supermarkets Law.”
Today, out of the 164 businesses that are unfortunately open on Shabbos, only 133 businesses (81%) hold proper permits from the municipality.
At a municipal meeting held in 2011, one of the board members living in the Hatikva neighborhood noted that there is no enforcement of stores that are open on Shabbos without a permit, and that out of 15-20 businesses open on Shabbos [at the time], only two or three had a permit to be open. Another board member’s question as to why new permits were issued, while the enforcement of previously granted permits was not tended to, was not answered.
In related news, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has plans to run the light rail in his city on Shabbos.
UTJ faction leader MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni said in response to the mass chillul Shabbos planned by the Tel Aviv municipality that “shemiras Shabbos is our right to exist in this Land.”
MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman said: “This is the destruction of the status quo, a delusional move.”