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Jews Call for Blood of Harry Potter

JERUSALEM: The figure responsible for Israel's latest religious row is a bespectacled British teenager who is gifted with magical powers, world famous and entirely fictional. The synchronized worldwide launch of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the seventh and last … Read More

By / July 17, 2007

JERUSALEM: The figure responsible for Israel's latest religious row is a bespectacled British teenager who is gifted with magical powers, world famous and entirely fictional.

The synchronized worldwide launch of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the seventh and last installment in the wildly popular series, falls at 2:01 a.m. local time this Saturday — on the Jewish Sabbath, when Israeli law requires most businesses to close.

With Israelis already clamoring for "Deathly Hallows," many bookstores are planning to launch the book on time anyway. That has drawn fire from Orthodox Jewish lawmakers, including Industry and Trade Minister Eli Yishai, who threatened to fine any store that opens Saturday.

"Israeli law forbids businesses to force their employees to work on the Sabbath, and that applies in this case as well. The minister will fine and prosecute any businesses which violate the law," said Roei Lachmanovich, a spokesman for Yishai, of the ultra-0rthodox Jewish Shas party.

Avraham Ravitz of the United Torah Judaism Party slammed the Potter books for their "defective messages."

"We don't have to be dragged like monkeys after the world with this subculture, and certainly not while violating our holy Sabbath," Ravitz said in a statement.

A friend writes, "Stay tuned for the sequel, Harry Potter and the Wrath of the Pharisees. And if there was any doubt as to who is responsible for the death of young Harry, let me suggest a certain time-tested storyline proven popular in market segments the world over . . ."

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