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Israel Deputy Minister of Religions Testifies on Sabbath Clashes

Dr. Zorach Warhaftig, Deputy Minister for Religions, testified in a closed session today before the public commission investigating the Sabbath disturbances in Jerusalem which have resulted in almost weekly pitched battles between ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta sect members and non-observers or the police. It is believed that Mr. Warhaftig’s testimony dealt with the national Sabbath Law.

Yesterday, Knesset deputy E.M. Genichowsky, a member of the Hapoel Hamizrachi Party, recalled that he had been arrested and beaten by police some two years ago when, as a bystander, he had been rounded up with Sabbath demonstrators. He expressed the view that Orthodox people were entitled by right and for humanitarian reasons to demonstrate and express the pain they felt at traffic on the Sabbath.

Other religious people testified and blamed the police for the tension which developed during Sabbath demonstrations. They condemned the police for vigorous action against demonstrators while they were obviously indifferent to the actions of the counter demonstrators.