Photo: Gil Yohanan
Minister Raleb Majadele
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Mazuz: Arab government workers forbidden to work on Shabbat
Following seminar held by the Science, Culture, and Sport Ministry for Arab directors last Saturday, Mazuz says all government offices must refrain from holding events on Shabbat to avoid violation of Hours of Work and Rest Law. MK Gabbay: Majadele must not forget that he is a minister in a Jewish state
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz determined that government offices must refrain from working or holding events on Shabbat so as not to violate the Hours of Work and Rest Law and prevent the absence of Jewish officials from various activities.
Prior to a seminar that was held by the Science, Culture, and Sport Ministry at the Wingate Institute in Netanya last Saturday for Arab directors of cultural institutions in Israel, National Union–NRP Knesset Member Eliahu Gabbay sent a harsh letter to Minister Raleb Majadele and Mazuz in which he demanded that the event be cancelled.
"The Sabbath is the State of Israel's day of rest, and no government office has ever violated it in such an official and blatant manner, Gabbay wrote, adding that despite the fact that only Arab employees were invited to attend, Jewish workers "who fear the director-general and minister" would also take part.
'Glad Majadele was put in his place'
Yoav Rosen, the ministry's director-general, said in response that Jewish employees were not forced to attend and that the decision to hold the seminar on Saturday was reached following a review of the Hours of Work and Rest Law by the ministry's legal counsels.
According to Rosen, Gabbay's demand was aimed at hurting the Arab-Israeli public and its culture through a personal attack on Majadele, Israel's first Arab minister.
Mazuz responded to Gabbay's demand by saying that while he decided that there was no room for his intervention in the specific event at Wingate, he did make it clear to Majadele that "government offices must refrain from working on Shabbat".
Gabbay told Ynet "I am glad that the attorney general put the minister (Majadele) in his place and made it clear to him that government offices in the State of Israel, even if they are headed by an Arab, must keep and respect the Sabbath.
"(Majadele) must not forget that he is a minister in a Jewish state," the MK said.