Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash 90
Bird's-eye view of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, located atop Jerusalem's mountains, visible from most locations. On the left are seen the government buildings, past them is the Bank of Israel, and in the background The Jerusalem Chords Bridge and Binyanei Ha'Uma - The International Convention Center - to the right.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is planning to force at least eight supermarkets that currently operate on the Sabbath in the holy city to close on Saturdays, according to a report Wednesday on Galei Tzahal Army Radio.

All eight are centrally located.


The move reportedly comes as a peace-making gesture to the hareidi factions in Barkat’s coalition who represent a large population in the city.

Last week hareidi religious men protested violently against the opening of the new “YES Planet” cinema complex in the capital, even though the complex is located far from the hareidi-religious section of the city.

“I’m happy the mayor kept his word to take steps to bolster the status of Shabbat in the holy city,” Jerusalem city council member Aryeh King told Galei Tzahal in a separate interview.

“I really hope that this will be the start of a new era of keeping Jerusalem united in the truest sense of the term. That includes preserving the holiness of the city – and the holiness of the Sabbath.”

King added that Barkat had promised the move in exchange for his return to the coalition.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


  1. These kinds of actions move Israel further away from being a democratic country of liberty and freedom, and closer to becoming a theocracy, using ummmm, let's say Iran, as a model!?!?! Lovely!!

    Here's hoping that these stores will take the mayor to court in order to reaffirm the principles of the rule of law and due process. There is no way a mayor should have the ability to single-handedly regulate a business simply because someone is complaining about it.

  2. Mark Meinicoff's statements are very true. American support of Israel has been largely based on the idea of supporting the only functioning democratic state in the Middle East. Actions such as these will slowly but surely begin turning Israel into a theocracy. A loss of American support will follow, which Israel cannot afford to lose.

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