Pesach pizza party to protest hospital hametz law

Activists plan to distribute pizza outside a hospital on Pesach to protest legislation that allows hospitals to ban leavened products.

The action is connected to the progression in Knesset of the so-called hametz law, which gives hospital directors the power to announce – but not to enforce – a ban on bringing bread into their institutions on the week of Passover, when Jews are commanded to refrain from eating leavened products, or hametz, in Hebrew.

The bill, whose opponents say amounts to religious coercion and whose advocates say is meant to safeguard the rights of observant patients, was scheduled for a second and third reading on Sunday night.

“We favour freedom of — and from — religion,”  activists Dana Gat and Yoav Glasner wrote on Facebook, on an event page advertising the pizza party. “The hametz law does the exact opposite. To protest it, we’ll 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 tied to the debate about the balance of power between the judiciary and the executive branch, which is at the heart of the government’s controversial judicial overhaul.

The lawmakers who submitted the bill said it was in response to a 2021 ruling by the High Court, which said that hospitals may not legally prohibit people from bringing in leavened goods during Passover. The court cited the civil rights of those not interested in observing that religious rule.

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Activists plan Passover ‘pizza party’ to protest hospital hametz law (Times of Israel)