Daylight saving time will now end in early October, according to a bill the Knesset passed on Monday.
The legislation passed in its second and third (final) readings in a special Knesset meeting called to approve government bills during the election recess. The daylight saving time law combines an Interior Ministry bill with two similar ones Kadima MKs Ronit Tirosh and Dalia Itzik proposed.
The daylight saving time will last for an average of 193 days per year, from the first Friday before the last Sunday in March to the first Sunday after October 1, which is 11 days longer than the previous system, which had the daylight saving time ending before Yom Kippur each year. Next year, clocks will be set back an hour at 2 a.m. on October 6.
The new bill followed protests in 2011 and 2012 against tying the time change to the religious calendar and setting clocks back earlier than most of the Western world, with some of the demonstrations taking place in front of Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s home.
On Monday morning, MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who proposed a bill extending daylight saving time to November, complained that the Interior Ministry legislation does not go far enough.
“The new bill is an improvement over the existing situation. Daylight saving time will go according to a set, secular date, and will be slightly longer. However, this change is far from what is necessary,” Horowitz explained. “The new law will cause all of us to lose an entire month of afternoon sunlight.”
Both Itzik and Tirosh agreed with Horowitz that the new law does not go far enough, but voted in its favor, because it is better than the previous legislation.
Horowitz criticized the Interior Ministry-appointed Kehat Committee, which recommended the extension to October 1, saying it did not discuss the influence of a longer daylight saving time on traffic accidents and energy consumption.
“The new law is the fruit of a professional committee’s labor that not only extends days of sunlight but stems hatred between secular and religious people in Israel,” Yishai said.
A Shas spokesman said the law’s passage will put an end to people taking advantage of the issue to incite against the religious community.
The bill passed with 19 MKs in favor, seven opposed and one abstention.