Activists plan Passover ‘pizza party’ to protest hospital hametz law

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Two prominent anti-government activists have announced plans to distribute pizza outside a hospital on the first day of Passover to protest against legislation to ban bread and porridge products from such institutions.

Dana Gat and Yoav Glasner plan to announce the location of their “pizza party,” as they called it, closer to its planned date of April 7, Time Out reported Sunday. The action is related to the advancement of the so-called Hametz law in the Knesset, which gives hospital directors the power to announce – but not enforce – a ban on bringing bread into their institutions on the week of Passover, when a command is given to Jews. refrain from eating leavened products, or hametz, in Hebrew.

The bill, whose opponents say amounts to religious coercion and whose advocates intend to protect the rights of observed patients, was scheduled for the second and third reading on Sunday night.

“We are in favor of freedom from – and from – religion,” Gat and Glasner wrote on Facebook, on an event page advertising the pizza party. “Hametz’s law does the opposite. To protest this, we will have a pizza party on Passover this year in front of a hospital in the centre.”

The legislation, initiated by lawmakers from two Orthodox Haredi parties, is indirectly linked to the debate over the balance of power between the judiciary and the executive branch, which is at the heart of the government’s controversial judicial overhaul.

Lawmakers who introduced the bill said it was in response to a 2021 ruling by the High Court of Justice, which said hospitals could not legally prevent people from bringing in porridge during Passover. The court cited the civil rights of those who are not interested in observing that religious rule.

In multiple surveys conducted in recent years among Jewish Israelis, a clear majority of respondents, between 59 percent and 70%, said they do not eat hametz on Passover. Religious laws on Hametz command Jews to ensure that there is no Hametz on Passover in their homes or other residences. However, if one is unable to remove hametz from such a dwelling, many rabbis agree that one is not breaking the rules.

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