JERUSALEM (JTA) — Politicians from the left and Orthodox parties criticized Finance Minister Yair Lapid for calling a news conference on Shabbat.
Zehava Gal-On of the left-wing Meretz party said Lapid’s decision to call what she said was a largely unnecessary conference outside his home on Saturday was “a demonstration of insensitivity.”
“While you were enjoying your Shabbat, Lapid decided to pull all the economic journalists out of their homes in the middle of Shabbat and order them to his driveway in Tel Aviv to hear him read an unimportant message in which he praised Israel’s credit rating by S&P,” Gal-On wrote in a Facebook post.
The fact that the Prime Minister’s Office does not release statements on Shabbat could have been the impetus for the “insensitive” timing of the news conference, she said.
Lapid posted a three-sentence statement praising the ratification of Israel’s international S&P rating on Facebook after the news conference.
Aryeh Deri, head of the Sephardi Orthodox party Shas, also criticized Lapid.
“Lapid’s disrespect for the basic Jewish values of the State of Israel, which sanctifies Saturday as its official day of rest, is unacceptable and stands out when he calls up media staff in the middle of the day of rest for non-urgent matters that could be postponed to another day,” Deri said in a statement released after Shabbat.
Shuli Moalem of the Jewish Home party, which is part of the coalition government, told the Israeli media that Lapid can do what he wants in his own home on Shabbat, but “he is working on Shabbat and desecrating the day of rest” for political gain.