Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev said on Wednesday that Minister Jisraël Katz van Transport made the right decision when he stopped construction work.
a new bridge over the Ayalon motorway during the weekend, since Israel is a Jewish state and the government must take into account the needs of the ultra-orthodox community.
The new pedestrian and bicycle Yehudit bridge is located above the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv and connects Yigal Alon Street with the Montefiore district.
The planned work was scheduled to take place in six weekends from 31 August. This would necessitate the closure of parts of the Ayalon Highway in the area around Tel Aviv between 6 PM and 6 PM on Saturday, due to the hazardous nature of the work placement of six solid steel beams, 55 meters long, weighing more than 1,000 tons.
Transport minister Katz said, however, that "the building plans of the bridge appear to be problematic and cause severe and disproportionate damage to the general public during the weekend."
That is why the minister instructed Ayalon Highways Co. to immediately freeze the plans and submit new ones as quickly as possible to carry out the work without disturbing the traffic on the weekend, for example by carrying out the work in the late night hours.
Ayalon Highways Co. said it would act "in accordance with instructions from the Ministry of Transport and explore alternatives."
Katz & # 39; s decision caused quite a stir at various MKs. According to MK Meirav Ben-Ari (Kulanu), she can not understand "when the work will take place, if no construction is permitted on Shabbat." It is not pleasant to tell, but work initiated by the Minister of Labor, Welfare and Social Services Haim Katz, and approved by the Minister of Transport, is already being carried out on Saturday. The aim is to allow residents in the district around Tel Aviv to reach the city on foot. "
Similarly, Meretz leader, MK Tamar Zandberg, slammed Katz's decision by saying: "In a democratic-liberal state in 2018, infrastructure work must be managed in accordance with needs and in a way that will least affect citizens' lives. disrupts, and not according to the dark grilling of politicians who serve rabbis instead of the public.The insufferable capitulation of Katz against the Haredim proves how much this government leads Israel away from liberal democracy. & # 39;
Minister Miri Regev, on the other hand, defended Katz's decision in an interview with Ynet. Regev argued: "If the bridge can be built during the week, why should we desecrate the Shabbat?" Finally, the Shabbat is a day off for the workers to go on Shabbat, beyond the religious meaning it has for religious citizens. continue to work if it is possible to build the bridge from 2 am to 5 am. "
"In this way, the work will be completed within a month, and not in two weeks." If it is possible to understand, I do not see this as a problem. "The Minister of Transport heard different opinions on this issue and made the right call, I think this is a correct and correct decision," said Regev.
Is it not at the expense of the general public that is stuck in traffic all day long?
"I travel in the late night hours, I travel all over the country, I think on Shabbat the roads are overcrowded more than between 2 am and 5 am So I think the decision to let the work perform night hours is a right one Once again, when there are specific sensitive issues, it is possible to sit with the ultra-orthodox parties and come to an agreement. "
Those who disagree with the bill in its current form are the ultra-orthodox community, it seems they are dragging this government to decisions only on the basis of their needs.
"In the first place, they do not drag the government to decisions based on their needs, the government is excellent and does an excellent job in promoting the agenda of various ministries, including the ultra-orthodox needs." Yaakov Litzman does an excellent job as the Moshe Gafni does an excellent job as chairman of the finance committee, and certainly all MKs that belong to the ultra-orthodox parties do an excellent job Yes, I think the ultra-orthodox parties have to accept the draft law in the current state. "
So why not accept it now?
"First and foremost, we are in a niche and we should return immediately after the holiday, according to the Supreme Court we can approve a new law until December 3rd."
It is true that the needs of the ultra-orthodox community must be taken into account, but what about the needs of the secular and traditional public? Likud's mood also reflects the public who disapproves of Litzman's decision.
"I want to surprise you and say that anyone who submits a petition to the Supreme Court – against the will of the mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai – to close all shops and supermarkets on Saturday, are actually the owners of small businesses that are not neither religious nor members of the ultra-orthodox community, but they asked for competitive freedom and asked to match their competitiveness with those who open their businesses on Saturday and keep their Shabbat, a rest day for the state of Israel and we must preserve this social day of rest, not just because of religious reasons, but also because we want people to generally have one rest day per week, that's Saturday. If it's possible to get an understanding, I think it's good to do. "
According to Regev, "even on the left, there are conservatives and religious people who want to rest on Shabbat." I repeat, it has nothing to do with the elections … First of all, I still do not see any elections on the horizon, despite the fact that the prime minister said that if no agreement is reached on the draft law, a date will be determined within the next two weeks before national elections.
I hope we can reach an agreement on this because the bill is proportionate – on the one hand, the & # 39; Torah study is a work & # 39; regulation, and that should be the case. On the other hand, it determines that enlistment is not something that you can avoid on the basis of a hasty decision. "
By the way, what will you do if the preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest require work on Shabbat?
"This is a question that I also discussed when discussing this issue. I talked about this with Litzman and the Prime Minister, because at the moment the Israeli Public Broadcasting (IPBC) cooperates with the European Broadcasting Union still has to decide where the match will be held, so right now it's not on the table, I suspect that once the location has been chosen, the work on Shabbat can not be avoided We will have to explain to the ultra-orthodox that there are things about which we have no control and that the Eurovision Song Contest finally takes place on Saturday night, and we need to understand this.
So the Eurovision competition will be held despite the work being done on Saturday?
"No, I do not think there will be any work on Shabbat, but there will be rehearsals, no work. All preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest will be completed long before the event, and there will be no reason to work on it. on Saturday. "