JERUSALEM (JTA) — A bill that would have required the Israel Electric Corp. to operate according to Jewish law was withdrawn following public pressure.
National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau pulled the bill, which was dubbed "the "kosher electricity law," on Sunday, saying he did not want to disrupt "the status quo."
Opponents of the bill, which would have allowed kosher supervisors to supervise the activities at power stations — and shut them down if the stations did not operate according to the Chief Rabbinate’s standards with regard to Sabbath violations — said it would increase the cost of electricity to consumers and give the rabbinate too much power.
The measure was an effort to prevent haredi Orthodox citizens from bypassing the national electricity service, instead using generators on Shabbat so as not to use electricity produced by Jews on the Sabbath.
More than 13,000 people signed an online petition against the bill and protesters established a Facebook group, which organized a demonstration outside the Knesset against the proposed law.