Knesset debates ‘chametz law


The Knesset held a special session to discuss a court ruling allowing stores to sell chametz on Passover.


Last week, a judge of the Jerusalem Municipal Court dropped indictments against four restaurants and grocery shops for violating the country’s so-called “chametz law.” Five days before Passover, that is the ruling that stands.


The law, the Passover Bread Ban Act, forbids the public display of chametz, though many have interpreted it to mean that chametz may not be sold as well.


“The judge’s decision shows that she considers herself authorized to make decisions on a national issue,” said Knesset member Shmuel Halpert of the United Torah Judaism Party, who called Monday’s session. “The judge’s decision harms the Jewish identity of the State of Israel.”

Meretz lawmaker Zahava Gal-On said, “The Passover Bread Ban Act shouldn’t be amended, it should be annulled. Since when does the entire Jewish identity depend on eating bread on Passover?

“I respect people’s right to believe and keep kosher on Passover, but I also respect people’s right to go into a private establishment and eat whatever they want. Coercion is not what Israel is about.”

Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik said she believes the fate of the law should be decided in the Knesset and not by the attorney general.

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