The operation of a Tel Aviv shawarma shop on Remembrance Day eve caused controversy and outrage among residents – but the act wasn't just disrespectful, it was against the law.
The 1963 Remembrance Day law details prohibitions and procedures for the honoring of the day and Israel's fallen security personnel and victims of terrorism.
It is prohibited for cafes to be open from the beginning of Remembrance Day in the evening until sunrise the following day. Those that violate this provision can be punished with a fine. Cities such as Tel Aviv also have bylaws restricting the opening of cafes "including restaurants, bars, pubs, ice cream shops and any other eatery."
Indeed, the Shawarma shop, ASK Doner, was fined in line with the Tel Aviv by law for NIS 730.
Other finable offenses under the 1963 law and bylaws like Tel Aviv's include the operation of public entertainment such as "theater or cinema, concerts, discotheques, dance shows, dances, cabaret, circuses, games or sports, and any entertainment similar to these" on Remembrance Day.
ASK Doner had also continued to operate during the sounding of the siren, residents alleged. The sounding of the siren isn't just a social convention, but a matter of law.
"On Remembrance Day, there will be a two-minute silence throughout the country during which all work will stop and all traffic on the roads will stop."1963 Remembrance Day law
"On Remembrance Day, there will be a two-minute silence throughout the country during which all work will stop and all traffic on the roads will stop," according to the 1963 law. Flags are supposed to be lowered at half-mast, and memorials and public rallies held.
Other Remembrance Day rules to note
Another provision that businesses need to be aware of is that relatives of fallen IDF and security force personnel – parents, grandparents, spouses, children and siblings – should be offered paid absences from work on Remembrance Day.
Independence Day has far less restrictive laws as a public holiday. However, both Independence Day and Remembrance Day are anchored at certain times of the year to prevent their falling on Shabbat.