TEL AVIV (VINnews) — An estimated 200 people demonstrated after Shabbat opposite the house of Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai in protest over the public transport on Shabbat recently instigated by the Tel Aviv municipality. At present the new bus routes, which are free of charge as it is illegal to charge money for Shabbat transport, are being subsidized by the municipality. Organizers of the protest said that Huldai is attempting to harm Shabbat observance in Tel Aviv as well as breaching the status quo on religious matters.

Demonstrators held banners with quotes from prominent former Zionist leaders who encouraged Shabbat observance. Among those quoted was Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor of Tel Aviv, who said that “Shabbat is the wondrous mark of solidarity from generation to generation and whoever harms it is harming Jewish unity.” Ahad Ha’am, another leading secular Zionist, said that “more than Israel observed the Shabbat, the Shabbat preserved them and if not for Shabbat which restored their soul and renewed their spirit every week, the daily hardships would drag them down further and further until they reached the lowest level of worldliness and moral depravity.”

Yaakov Ben Hamou, who spoke at the demonstration,told Arutz Sheva that “we didn’t come to oppose the Tel Aviv residents and we didn’t come because of Tel Aviv, we came because of the entire country. The question here is whether this is the state of the Jewish nation or the state of all the citizens.”

Other protesters complained that Huldai is using taxpayers money to change the face of the State of Israel. Jonathan Pollak, one of the organizers of the demonstration, called on Huldai to “let the people decide how Israel, the Jewish state, should look.” He also called on Interior Minister Deri and Transport Minister Smotrich to “use all of the tools at their disposal and to assert their authority in order to nix this initiative.”