The Afula City Council is expected to approve this Tuesday a proposal to ban driving schools from operating in the city on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The ban targets mainly the residents of the nearby Arab municipalities.
Afula City Council Member Itai Cohen’s proposal reads: “Driving schools take advantage of the sparse traffic in Afula on Shabbat and holidays to conduct driving lessons on the city streets, harming the weekly day of rest of city residents and violating the status quo that has characterized the city of Afula since its inception.”
“In recent years we have witnessed the phenomenon of driving schools, both from the city and from nearby local municipalities, that take advantage of the sparse traffic in Afula on Shabbat and holidays … especially in residential areas,” the proposal argues, adding, “This detracts from the special nature of Shabbat, which is characterized by the crowds of pedestrians and synagogue goers alongside the sparse traffic. There is no logic and no justification for trucks, buses and private vehicles to be operated by driving schools on the city’s residential streets, especially when it comes to driving schools that are located out of town. … It is worth noting that this proposal comes in response to many requests from the residents of the city of Afula who have protested the violation of the peace and sanctity of Shabbat.”
Cohen told Channel 14 News: “Afula residents should not have to suffer just because driving tests are held in Afula. We suffer enough from the nuisance on weekdays, we will no longer agree to disturbances of cars, trucks, and buses belonging to driving schools on Shabbat and Jewish holidays.”
Cohen added: “Just like in 2015 we fought for our truth against the sale of land to Arabs and won in court – after it was discovered that the purchase was coordinated and systematic, Now, too, we are fighting for our truth, justice, and legitimate rights.”
Student drivers flock to Afula from nearby Iksal, Shibli-Umm al-Ghanam, and Na’ura, because the road tests for the region are given in the city.
Mayor Avi Alkabetz told Haaretz he supports Cohen’s proposal, and since the Afula City Council coalition enjoys a majority of 11 council members against five, the proposal is expected to win a majority.
Sources in the municipality told Haaretz that its legal counselor believes the proposal could overcome legal obstacles on the grounds that it “assimilates balances between the prohibitions and the alternative solutions.”
And if you didn’t exactly understand what this means, you have only yourselves to blame, Mom said you should have gone to law school.