Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai on Tuesday threatened to fine bookstores holding special 2 am sale events on Saturday for the launch of the final installment in the Harry Potter series.
The deputy prime minister said the release of the new book must be pushed forward to Friday morning or delayed until after Shabbat. The book is scheduled for global release on July 21st and stores are forbidden from selling the book at an earlier time.
“We must put a limit on the desire to imitate other countries. It is inconceivable that numerous employees will be brought in to allow these events to take place and damage the spirit of Shabbat. I plan to file charges and fine anyone who violates the Hours of Work and Rest Law,” Yishai said.
MK Avraham Ravitz this week also slammed the plan to hold the launching of the seventh and last book in the series in Israel on a Friday night, saying "Aside from the book and its poor content, which serves as education for teenagers in Israel and the world in this new age, the book chains add insult to injury with their intent to hold this celebration while massively desecrating the Shabbat, and by violating the law that prohibits employing workers on Shabbat," MK Ravitz said.
"We don't have to get carried away like monkeys and imitate the world in this kind of subculture, especially not while desecrating the holy Shabbat," he added.
The last book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will be put for sale simultaneously around the world on Saturday, July 21. In Israel, eager fans of the book will be able to get their hands on the English version as of 2:01 am on the night between Friday and Saturday. Thousands are expected to attend the events.