Labor party rejects Shabbat buses

Bus debate Photo: Motti Kimchi

Bus debate Photo: Motti Kimchi

Several key Labor members abstain from vote on bill calling of public transportation on Shabbat


Several Laborparty members, including Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich, chose to abstain from a Knesset vote Wednesday on a bill calling for public transportation on Shabbat.

While Labor is seen as a traditional supporter of secular causes, several key party members stayed away from the vote, where the bill calling for Shabbat buses was defeated.

Yachimovich already declared her objection to such bill in the past, arguing that it would cause “deep social harm.”

Meanwhile, Labor member Isaac Herzog said that the party faces deep disagreements on the issue and has not yet formulated its stance on it.

Officials in Meretz, which initiated the vote, slammed Labor and vowed to keep fighting for public transportation on Shabbat.

“Meretz is disappointed but not at all surprised by Labor members’ abstention at the vote,” one party official said. “This isn’t the first time where the Labor party prefers an imaginary pact with the haredim over genuine principles of social justice, environmental concerns and freedom of religion.”

The fight for public transportation on Shabbat across Israel has been the subject of much debate recently, after the Tel Aviv city hall decided to seek a Transportation Ministry permit to offer bus services on Shabbat.

By: Attila Somfalvi

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