Today MK Michael Malchievi, a member of the Shas political party which is part of the ruling coalition in the Israeli parliament, called on the Culture and Sports Minister to prevent the preparations and rehearsals for 2019 being held on the Sabbath.
The Sabbath, or Shabbat as it is referred to in Judaism, is a day of rest once a week commencing at sundown on Friday until the appearance of three stars in the sky on a Saturday. Typically a Shabbat means refraining from work activities and thus spending the time in a restful way. The Shas party are particularly conservative when it comes to religious matters and focuses on the needs of Sephardic Orthodox Israelis.
According to the Israeli media site Ynetnews MK Malchievi stated that the Minister for Culture and Sport needed to understand that the preperations for Eurovision needed to take place without desecrating the Shabbat.
In response the Minister, Miri Regev said
My guess is that as soon as the contest’s location will be chosen, work on Saturdays could not be avoided. We will have to explain the ultra-Orthodox community that they are things beyond our decision and control.
The Eurovision is always held on Saturdays nights. In the past, the Eurovision was held in Jerusalem, and we will have to come to an understanding with the Haredim on this matter.
I don’t think works will be done on Shabbat. However, there will be rehearsals. All the preparations for the Eurovision will be completed long before the event, and there will be no reason for work to take place on Saturdays.
Currently the Shas party only has 7 members in the 120 seat parliament (the Knesset) however the ruling coalition would not have a majority without their votes. Additionally there was another recent intervention by another Shas MK named Yinon Azulay who wrote to the Prime Minster resulting in the prevention of a bridge being constructed in Tel Aviv which was due to take place on the Shabbat.
Will Shas’s intervention have any influence on the timetabling of Eurovision 2019? Stay tuned to ESCBubble to find out more information as we get it. Don’t forget to leave us your comments and views on our social media.