Rivlin: Local councils should decide on Shabbat buses

Rivlin says the decision on whether to operate public transportation on Shabbat should be made by local authorities, not the government.

“I am not asking to solve the things that cannot be solved, just asking to ponder whether the time has come to move the debate about religion and state to the regional and community level. Maybe, just maybe, we can reach a compromise that is better for all sides,” says the president at an international forum on secularism, Ynet reports.

“It is clear that when public transport on Shabbat is a question on the national level, we are being dragged into a zero-sum game between ‘the State of Tel Aviv’ and ‘the State of Bnei Brak,” the president says, referring to two central cities known for their secularism and orthodoxy, respectively.

“We all understand that these two important cities in Israel can have excellent neighborly relations if we would only grant them a mandate to make the decisions that are right for them, away from the spotlight, spin and political constraints,” he adds.

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