J'lem: New cinema, but not on Shabbat

Barkat affected by haredi pressure on planned movie theater, secular groups say.

Barkat big face 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Barkat big face 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Jerusalem Municipality Finance Committee approved a plan for the construction of a new cinema complex in the Haleom parking lot opposite the Supreme Court, on condition that it remains closed during Shabbat, Israel Radio reported Thursday.
The city council is reportedly expected to approve the decision Thursday evening.
Following the report, the Forum for a Free Jerusalem movement said thata cinema closed on Shabbat would not fulfill the needs of the secularpopulation in the city.  The Hitorerut Yerushalayim (Wake Up Jerusalem)movement accused Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat of capitulating to haredipressures.
The municipality, however, said that the decision toclose the complex on Saturday was a result of government policy, whichdoes not allow businesses built on government-owned land to work during Shabbat. The municipality said Haleom parking lot was state-owned.
FinanceMinistry sources told the radio station that any petition of landappropriation for public needs must be submitted to the financeminister's advisory committee, adding that no request had been receivedregarding such a cinema complex.