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0202 – Points of View from Jerusalem


"Anger in a Haredi neighborhood: Parking tickets on Friday night.

Dozens of parking tickets were distributed to parked vehicles in the Haredi neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo[1]. The residents are furious. A city council member has gotten involved in the issue. The police intend to cancel tickets.

Residents of the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood were shocked to discover tickets on their parked cars that were distributed by Israeli police on Friday night, during Shabbat [2]. 'Traffic disturbance' tickets were left on cars that were parked illegally, despite them not disturbing any traffic, as residents claim.

According to residents, they have been double parking during Shabbat for years without blocking the streets or disturbing traffic, which stops on the holy day. 'Many young couples and guests come before Shabbat and there aren't enough parking spots [in the area to accomodate them.] It became routine for drivers to park their cars alongside other cars and immediately, upon the end of Shabbat, everyone knows to move their cars. /We are frustrated and don't understand what the tickets are for,' says one the tickets recipients. 'In every city and neighborhood, it is accepted to park along the road as long as it doesn't block or disturb [traffic.] Who is so keen on fining us?'

Residents' are even further angered because of the repeated complaints which they have previously filed against reckless drivers of minorities who disturb the [neighborhood's] peacefulness of Shabbat, which have gone unanswered. 'We complain about life threatening moving cars and the response comes in the form of needless enforcement against [our] parked cars,' complains a resident.

City council member Avraham Betzalel has risen to the occasion to try to solve this issue, asking that anyone who received a ticket contact his office so that he may personally deal with the cancellation of the tickets. Betzalel attacked the police saying, 'This is a badge of shame for the police. Instead of enforcing the supermarket law [3] in Israel's capital, they chose to give out tickets to people whose only transgression is parking their car on the day of rest.'
According to information received on the Newspapers hotline, the police expressed understanding of the residents' complaints and will cancel the tickets.

– This week in Jerusalem

0202 Editor's Notes:
[1] A prominently Haredi neighborhood in North Jerusalem. In many Haredi neighborhoods, driving is reduced to a minimum or prohibited completely on the Shabbat (see below).
[2] The Jewish holy day of rest which commences with sunset on Friday night and ends with nightfall on Saturday evening. According to Jewish Orthodox law, driving (among many other actions) is forbidden during Shabbat.
[3] By Israeli law, most private businesses must be closed on Shabbat. The law allows for local municipalities to pass by-laws allowing certain businesses to remain open. The new supermarket law authorizes the Minister of Interior to overrule local by-laws, thus empowering him to force the closure of businesses on the Shabbat, even in such localities (excluding Tel-Aviv). This law is part of the much bigger, essential and ongoing public debate regarding the enforcement of religious-traditional aspects of Shabbat in the public sphere.

#Shabbat_in_Jerusalem #Police #Traffic_Tickets #Shabbat_Observance

The full article is in the comments below.