Videos: Barkat Criticizes Chareidi Shabbos Demonstration


barkat[Videos below.] Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat slammed the demonstration of residents of Meah Shearim as riots continued in protest of the city’s decision to open a municipality-owned lot on Shabbos. The clashes, which began last night, were held under the banner of ‘The Battle for Yerushalayim.’ Thousands gathered at the lot in Kikar Safra, many of whom, police claimed, threw rocks, dirty diapers and other objects at security forces. Today again, demonstrators lit trash cans on fire and blocked roads. “There is no place for such rallies,” Barkat said in a news conference today. “I respect (the charedim) and their democratic right to protest, but I’m sorry they felt the need to protest and certainly the need to deteriorate to violence,” he said.

Barkat explained that he was very surprised at the intensity of the response to the municipality’s decision to open the parking lot on Shabbos.

“We went through a very organized process in which we were very considerate. Our model was the same one as that of hospitals and hotels in Yerushalayim – no payment is demanded and non-Jews are managing the site,” he said.

The lot “provides a real solution to a real problem” and was developed “after dialogue between charedi representatives and the city council,” he explained, stressing the municipality’s efforts to uphold halachic law in this case. “I don’t understand the protests, but it’s their right,” he added.

Chareidi organizers submitted and were granted a request to hold the protest, but promised to limit their activities.

Police fear that the weekend riot is only the tip of the iceberg. Charedi leaders have already issued a formal announcement that they would protest every Shabbos until the lot is closed.

“I think this was just the opening move,” Zaka Chairman Moshe Meshi Zahav said Shabbos. “It’s very comfortable for the charedi community to paint Barkat as anti-religious; the time is ripe for that. The fact that the first day of the protest garnered thousands showed that it was a success.”

To view videos of the protest, click on the screens below:

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{Ynet/Yair Israel}


  1. Wow! So inspirational! I’m sure Mayor Barkat and the chiloni population will immediately stop driving on Shabbos, and close down the parking garage. They saw the holiness of Shabbos. They saw the simcha and pleasure Shabbos brings. What an inspiriational scene this demonstration was.

    The demonstration surely solidified in their minds why they should send their own children to cheder, to learn the “Torah true” way to live life. They saw how lovingly the rabbonim treated them, they will surely be too embarrassed to be seen being mechallel Shabbos in the future!

    What a disgrace.

  2. Unfortunately many yidden do NOT know the consequences for breaking Shabbos in Jerusalem. I recommend Birkat and some of the Matzav readers look at the prophets warnings to the Jewish people on the consequences for breaking Shabbos in Jerusalem. Specifically read Yermiyahu 17 and the commentaries. If you do then you will see that these actions are done to save Jerusalem and hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives! BTW, the medinas supreme court is looking to end the Tal law which excempts frum yidden from army service! The state is falling apart very rapidly… Daven for Zion like you have never davened before because we are facing dark times!