TEL AVIV (Mar. 11)
Petach Tikvah’s Chief Rabbi, Baruch Salomon, was arrested yesterday for allegedly leading ultra-Orthodox Jews who broke into a restaurant that was opened on the Sabbath. According to eyewitnesses, they broke furniture and doors, smashed crockery, glassware and windows.
The incident was the third in as many weekends where Orthodox Jews resorted to violence to force the closure of places of business and entertainment. On Friday night they demonstrated outside the Heichal cinema in an attempt to prevent patrons from entering. Police prevented a confrontation with a group of secular youths who held a counter-demonstration against “religious coercion.”
Salomon was released shortly after his arrest and kept his promise to report to the police after the Sabbath. He was carried there on the shoulders of ultra-Orthodox Jews. The police said he would be charged with trespassing and damage to property if sufficient evidence was obtained.
AGUDA DEMANDS INVESTIGATION BE DROPPED
Aguda Israel circles demanded that the investigation of the rabbi’s behavior be dropped forthwith, Aguda MK Menachem Porush threatened that the party would leave Premier Yitzhak Shamir’s coalition if this was not done.
But other Aguda circles denied today that a walkout was threatened. The Aguda is presently attempting to secure larger financial allocations for their yeshivas at a time of drastic cuts in government expenditures.
Interior Minister Yosef Burg, a leader of the National Religious Party, was reported today ready to veto the recent by-law instituted by the Mayor of Petach Tikva to allow places of entertainment to remain open on the Sabbath. Should he do this, the cinema could be sued for giving “illegal” performances on Friday nights.