Debate on Religious Issue Demanded in Knesset; Bill for Sabbath Observance Urged

Mapam deputies today demanded a parliamentary debate on the authorities’ failure to debark immigrants who arrived in Israeli waters during the Shavuoth holiday. They also demanded a formal discussion on incidents which took place in Jerusalem in connection with demonstrations by the extreme Orthodox group Neturai Karta against the failure of soldiers and civilians to observe the Sabbath.

Immigration Minister Moshe Shapira told the Knesset that the immigrants preferred to remain on shipboard and cruise from the Haifa harbor along the coast to Tel Aviv rather than to be transferred to a camp during the holiday. He pointed out that they were happy to spend another day outside of camps since they had been in such Centers in Italy for many weeks.

Zorach Warhaftig, leader of the Hapoel Hamizrachi, Orthodox labor group, demanded that the government should present a bill to parliament providing for the observance of the Sabbath with all its rituals. The parliament decided that this proposal would be considered by a special committee of the Ministry of Interior. The decision was adopted after members of the Mapam spoke against the proposal.

NEXT STORY