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Sabbath Wars – Episode Three; The Counter Demonstration

27-June-2009, Jerusalem – Less than 24 hours and riots against the Shabbath opening of the Karta parking lot erupted once again, disrupting the serenity of Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of ultra-orthodox Haredim clashed with police in the Mea She’arim neighborhood, at the corner of Hanevi’im and Shivtei Israel streets. Police prevented the rioters from making their way toward Municipal Safra Square, where hundreds of secular residents of the city held a colorful counter demonstration in support of freedom of choice in Jerusalem and against religious coercion.

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Sabbath Wars – Episode Two

26-June-2009, Jerusalem – Just two weeks after a violent demonstration in the Safra Municipal Square in Jerusalem (6-June-2009), thousands of ultra-orthodox Jews have taken to the streets of Jerusalem once again. Bar-Ilan Street is depicted in mass public prayer on Friday afternoon, just as sunset declared the beginning of the Sabbath.

The issue of opening a parking lot on the Sabbath continues to be a source of conflict between secular Mayor Nir Barkat and the religious Haredi community in the city. During the past two weeks negotiations took place in an attempt to find a compromise that would satisfy all parties and provide a solution for Jerusalem’s extreme Sabbath parking problems. When the desired compromise was not achieved, Barkat announced the Karta parking lot would open this Saturday. Ultra-orthodox leader, Rabbi Itzchak Tuvia Weiss called on the Haredi community, using written pamphlets scattered in the streets, to assemble Friday afternoon in mass public prayers and to welcome the Sabbath in a show of force and opposition of municipal resolutions.

Episode III this Saturday afternoon …?

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