Israel Railways crisis: Only non-Jews to perform infrastructure work on Sabbath

Shortly after Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman threatened to resign, an agreement was reached regarding infrastructure work for Israel Railways on Sabbath. According to the agreement, only non-Jewish employees will carry out the work on Sabbath.
Litzman (left), Netanyahu (right) Photo credit: Flash 90/ Channel 2 News

Today (Friday), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a deal with Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, according to which all the railway infrastructure work that must be done on Sabbath will be carried out only by non-Jewish employees to prevent the desecration of Sabbath.

The agreement was made after Litzman threatened to resign from the government. “Turning Sabbath into the national renovation day for Israel Railways is against the status quo,” Litzman stated. “It constitutes a grave violation of Israel’s tradition and of the sanctity of Sabbath.”  In addition, it was agreed to increase supervision of the infrastructure work to ensure that it is necessary and cannot be performed on a week day.

Photo credit: Israel Railways/ Channel 2 News

“Since I received the authority to grant work permits on the weekend, I have always maintained an essential balance between the vital needs and the public’s feelings,” stated Welfare and Social Services Minister Haim Katz. “All while taking into account the welfare of the employee.”



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