73% of Jewish Israelis agree with Shabbat ruling – poll

Seventy-three percent of the Jewish public in Israel supports the High Court of Justice’s ruling allowing certain Tel Aviv businesses to stay open on Shabbat, according to a poll released by religious freedom advocacy NGO Hiddush.

Last month the High Court of Justice ruled in favor of the Tel Aviv municipality’s battle to expand facilities open to the secular public on Shabbat, saying that the city can permit mini-markets to operate on the Jewish day of rest.

The ruling was hailed as a victory by the city and liberal politicians, who said it was an important step against religious coercion. However, ultra-Orthodox officials vowed to fight it and bypass the court.

According to the survey, 97% of secular Israelis agree with the ruling, as do 31% percent of Jews who define themselves as “religious.”

“The Supreme Court’s ruling respected the public’s will and gave proper expression to the balance contained in the formula of ‘Jewish and democratic,’ granting local authorities the right to decide such matters based upon municipal public opinion,” said Hiddush CEO Rabbi Uri Regev.

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