Wild horses couldn’t drag Israeli Rolling Stones fans from their June 4 concert in Tel Aviv, but Shavuot is an entirely different story.
Knesset Finance Committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) wrote a letter to the producer of the Stones upcoming concert, Shuki Weiss, pointing out that it is scheduled to begin just after the end of Shavuot, the holiday commemorating the giving of the Torah to the people of Israel.
Slomiansky has received several complaints from religious people – including his daughters – that they cannot attend the show, as it is impossible to reach the Park Hayarkon concert site in time without violating the holiday’s Sabbath- like restrictions.
“Having the concert on this [night] will force the police and Tel Aviv Municipality workers to desecrate the holiday, starting in the afternoon,” Slomiansky wrote to Weiss.
“Instead of being with their families and children, they’ll have to be in the streets of Tel Aviv to direct heavy traffic for the thousands of people who will come to see the show,” the Bayit Yehudi MK argued.
Slomiansky emphasized, however, that he is “happy to hear of any artist or band that performs in Israel, especially the more famous ones, which shows that Israel is a respectable destination on the international cultural map.”
“I think we can have such shows with sensitivity and consideration of the holidays and traditional people,” he added.
The band is expected to take the stage at 8:30 p.m., just after the Shavuot holiday ends. The organizers have arranged for discounted hotel rates nearby for those who observe the holiday, but this necessarily excludes a great many religiously observant Stones fans.
Niv Elis contributed to this report.