The UTJ Knesset members met with Ariel Sharon in the prime
minister's office on 25 Tammuz. They requested the meeting
to protest Foreign Affairs Minister Shimon Peres' Shabbos
meeting with Yasser Arafat at the International Socialist
conference in Spain.
The UTJ representatives also raised the issue of the Israel
Electric Company's transfer of a shipment on Shabbos a few
weeks ago, an act that involved massive Shabbos
They noted that while the previous Government, headed by
Ehud Barak, continually undermined Shabbos and other
religious values, the public hopes that the current
Government will avoid such offenses that offend the
sensitivities of hundreds of thousands of Shabbos-observant
Jews in Israel and throughout the world.
Prime Minister Sharon said that he accepts the UTJ position,
and that unequivocal guidelines will be issued to government
ministers not to hold any official meetings or activities on
Sharon said that he has issued orders to prevent a
recurrence of the Shabbos transport of heavy equipment by
the Israel Electric Company.
At the meeting, the rabbis stressed the need to anchor all
funding for the chareidi sector in the State budget as
regular items in order to prevent the need for yearly
negotiations on these clauses.
Rabbi Shmuel Halpert asked Prime Minister Sharon to discuss
the need to preserve the 784 Romanian Jewish cemeteries at
his upcoming meeting with the Romanian prime minister. Rabbi
Halpert suggested the passing of a Romanian law to accord
special status to cemetery areas. Sharon agreed to raise
this issue at his meeting with the Romanian prime
Sharon gave the members an extensive report of the current
political and security situation, noting that the Government
aims to maintain the security of its citizens, prevent
terror, preserve the unity government, and maintain a
favorable relationship with the United States.