Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
Tel Aviv area traffic.

( The weekly cabinet meeting to be held on Sunday is expected to review a proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to transfer the powers of the Interior Minister to approved or reject municipal bylaws regarding Shabbat observance to the entire government. The proposal specifically targets the municipal bylaw of Tel Aviv, which means that from now on it would not be only Interior Minister Silvan Shalom who decides those cases, but the entire government plenum.

Incidentally, Interior Minister Silvan Shalom was absent Sunday morning from the Likud ministers’ meeting, and there’s a chance that he will be absent from the cabinet meeting as well, as Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is about to examine allegations by several women that Shalom sexually harassed them. Police investigators intend to reach out to the women who said they were harassed, and Shalom himself might be questioned, seeing as close to ten women have said he had harassed them. Shalom denies all the allegations, and it should be pointed out that none of the women has complained to police so far.


Regardless of the political future of the interior minister, the government is expected to establish a commission of directors of the office of the Prime Minister, as well as of the ministries of Justice, Interior, Economy and Religions, to submit its recommendations to the government within six months for the new municipal bylaw.

In addition, the directors’ committee will examine a proposal to make Sunday an official day off, with Friday being a half workday and Monday through Thursday being added to another half hour work each, with Sunday joining Shabbat for a European/American style weekend.

According to Kikar Hashabbat, during last week’s cabinet meeting, a minor riot broke out when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to renege on his agreement to the proposal by Shas Chairman, Minister Aryeh Deri, the the entire government take responsibility for municipal a bylaw prohibiting the opening of supermarkets on Shabbat. In response, Deri knocked furiously on the government table and threatened, “We will not remain a moment longer in a government that will not observe Shabbat.”



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