Pro-Sundays demonstration to be held at MK's office

Silvan Shalom expresses support for demonstration calling for extension of weekend to Sunday, says long weekend is "good for the economy."

July 28, 2011 02:43
1 minute read.
Silvan Shalom

silvan shalom 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The protests of students, young couples, demobilized soldiers and doctors will be joined by a different demonstration Thursday morning in Tel Aviv.

The head of the Israeli Chambers of Commerce, stock exchange, hotel association, students association, youth groups, artists association, Knesset members, mayors, businessmen, rabbis, and leading sports figures will all come together to express support for extending the weekend and making Sunday a day off.

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The demonstration will take place at the office of Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, who has been the top proponent of the move. Shalom said he was not concerned that the many other demonstrations taking place would take attention away from his.

“I don’t think it will be overshadowed,” Shalom said. “After the prime minister formed a committee to examine the issue, we decided we needed to join forces.”

The committee, headed by National Economics Council head Eugene Kandel, is due to issue its recommendations when the Knesset returns from its summer recess at the end of October. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is waiting for the committee to issue its findings before deciding whether to back the move, but as more parties express support for it, a bill submitted by coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) could pass even if Netanyahu opposes it.

Polls have shown that as many as 73 percent of Israelis support extending the weekend to Sundays and lengthening the work day the rest of the week. Shalom said he expected support for the initiative to continue to grow as more people understand the potential benefits to the economy, working mothers, and the cohesiveness of Israeli society.

“It’s good for the economy, it can create thousands of new jobs and the public seems ready now to focus on the civil agenda and not only the security agenda,” Shalom said.

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