In a deep affront to the holiness of Yerushalayim, an assault
on Israeli law, and a further attempt to pressure religious
observance in Israel, a new store has opened on downtown
Yerushalayim that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The owners of the store were helped extensively by Meretz
leaders, including the head of Meretz Yossi Sarid, despite
the fact that -- really because of the fact that -- the store
is a declared lawbreaker. Meretz leaders generally champion
the rule of law, and they organized the recent rally in
support of the Israeli High Court. Nonetheless, in this case
they encouraged this store to break the labor laws by
operating on Shabbos.
Drugstore 2000 opened this past Shabbos in the Ben Yehuda
Street mall. A group of chareidim came to protest and were
faced with a very small group identified with Meretz.
Under police protection, Druse inspectors from the Labor and
Social Affairs Ministry came earlier in the day and fined the
owners of the new store NIS 15,000 for violating work and
rest hour laws.
Aside from the damage that such business does to the holiness
of Shabbos, it causes unfair competition to the businesses
that remain closed, and puts pressure on them to open as
The secretary general of Degel HaTorah, Rabbi Moshe Gafni,
said that "the Leftists, who only a week ago led the inciters
who demonstrated in favored of the rule of law, are now
calling for the violation of the work and rest hour law.
"They are not concerned with the rule of law, and don't care
whether or not it is violated. All that concerns them is to
undermine Judaism in every possible manner. When the
principle of the of the rule of law is on their side, they
advocate it. When it conflicts with their aims, they
"The hypocritical mask must be removed from their faces, and
we must wage an uncompromising struggle against them."
Labor Minister Eli Yishai accused Yossi Sarid of incitement
to break the law.
"All of laws passed by the Knesset should be upheld, even if
we don't like them. One who calls for law breaking, creates
anarchy in the country,"he said.