Chareidim Protest Yerushalayim Parking Lot Open On Shabbos

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protest-shabbosThousands of chareidim gathered today at the entrance to Yerushalayim’s city hall over the city’s decision to open a parking lot under the municipality buildings at Kikar Safra for visitors on Shabbos. A non-Jew was used to operate the lot. The protest, which left six police officers lightly injured, was the first major test of the always delicate chareidi-secular coexistence in the city for Mayor Nir Barkat since his election seven months ago.  The protesters spilled over into nearby Meah She’arim after they were repelled from city hall. Police say officers were pelted with stones, food and diapers,Yerushalayim Police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said that seven people were arrested on suspicion of rioting and stoning police officers.

The gathering was sparked by the city’s decision to open the parking lot free of charge on Shabbos, to accommodate thousands of visitors to the capital.

Over the last several years, all parking lots near the Old City were closed on Shabbos.But after a recent decision to bar vehicles from entering the Old City itself on Shabbos, a parking solution for the visitors became more pressing, since many drivers just parked their cars in no-parking zones around the Old City.

The municipal move had been made in agreement with charedi representatives on the city council, but not all charedi elements in the city were consulted.

As part of the accord, a larger parking lot opposite the Old City walls, which was originally intended to be opened, remained shut.

The opening of the city lot had already been postponed by a week after police warned the mayor of major charedi protest, and talks between the mayor’s officials and the charedi community continued.

But by the week’s end, the talks had ended without results, and the ground was set for the protest.

Fliers posted in Meah Shearim on Erev Shabbos read: “Prepare for a battle for Yerushalayim.”

Meanwhile, a small secular counter-protest included placards that read “This is not Teheran,” and “The charedim have no shame.”

Barkat’s office denounced the demonstration.

“The parking lot was opened in consultation with all sectors of the public, including the charedim, without the desecration of the Shabbat in order to solve the lack of parking in the city,” Barkat spokesman Evyatar Elad said late today, in a statement.

In the meantime, Yerushalayim police were planning to hold talks with charedi leaders in the city as well as the mayor to prevent further Shabbos protests.

Yerushalayim Police Chief Cmdr. Aharon Franco called the charedi demonstration, whose size and force caught police by surprise, “brutal and severe.”

He said that parking lots needed to be opened in the city – by agreement between the sides – to accommodate visitors.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel/JPost}

10 COMMENTS

  1. This is called getting what you deserve. You go and vote for a guy thats not shomer shabbos just so R’ Meir Porush should’nt win. Go deal with it now!

  2. PLEASE NOTE. THERE ISNT A SINGLE RABBI OR RAV WHO SAID THAT IT IS MUTTAR TO THROW ROCKS,THROW DIRTY DIAPERS AT POLICE OR CAUSE PLOOD SHED. ALL THE ABOVE ARE EQUALLY CHILLUL SHABBOS MIDORYSA. THOSE WHO DID THESE THINGS HAVE DONE IT OUT OF SIMPLE VILD KYT WITH OUT ANY HETER WHAT SO EVER.

  3. Please note, Anonymous 12:10 is a true am haaretz. There are ways that all the above are mutar, not that I agree with it. stop trying to show how much you don’t know.

  4. don’t know who took the picture you post on this ticket, this is also chillul shabbes. are you 100% sure it is from a not jewish photographer etc etc ???

  5. Throwing rocks is not chillul shabbos deoraissa by any count.

    Where are the charedi politicians who agreed to this? Which rabbonim agreed to it?

  6. To 12:20 I disagree. The rabbonim are responsible for the Chillul Hashem that occurred last Shabbos,even if they did not specifically say whether it is mutar or not. Their nonaction, gave the protesters the green light.

    Ask yourselves, do you think that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein or the Lubavitcher Rebbe would approve of such a protest? I doubt it very much. They were ohaivim yisrol(excuse my Hebrew). The actions or nonactions of the rabbonim today are responsible for delaying Moshiach, C”V.

  7. the gavvad and the eidah charadis who are one of the biggest rabbanim in eretz yisrael called for this protest it was a big kiddish hashem, thing about if nobody would have protested after ww2 how many peaple would be meachallel shabbos today

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