The Knesset Interior Committee held a special discussion this morning in regard to Lag B’Omer Meron preparations. The authorities seemed less than prepared for Israel’s largest mass event.
“How is it possible that every gathering of 200 people need take out a license and for a Mega Event of 400,000 people do not have a license; there is no comprehensive body responsible?” wondered Committee chairman MK Dudu Amsalem.
Attorney North, Chief Superintendent Moshe Berkowitz defended the current status: “Outdoor event require a license only when someone wants to hold an event. Here nobody asks, people just go. It is therefore defined as a spontaneous event that does not requires a license. ”
Sabtai Gerbretzik, a spokesman from the religious sector police agreed: “Jews will be there with us or without us.”
Dror Ganon, of the Ministry of Transport also brought up the potential for a catastrophic bus shortage. “We have been preparing since December, in close cooperation with the police. We have built an event that will cater to an increase of 20-30% compared to last year’s number of revelers . The state invests 12 million subsidized buses. There are lines from 30 points a ride across the country, ordering in advance. However, the decision by the Ministry of education to move the holiday created a shortage of 600 buses.”