The Knesset plenum .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The latest in a long line of initiatives to give Israelis Sundays off is a compromise: one threeday weekend, Friday-Sunday, once a month.
For years, former interior minister Silvan Shalom championed Sundays off as a way to sync the Israeli workweek with most of the world, and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett joined the efforts, to no avail. MKs Eli Cohen (Kulanu) and David Amsalem (Likud) are the latest to pick up the mantle, proposing their middle-ground bill this week.
According to their initiative, the missed work hours would be made up over the course of the month.
The bill would institute a three-year trial run, after which the Knesset would consider expanding Sundays off to all-year-round.
Cohen said “moving to a long weekend has many benefits from a social perspective – it will improve quality of life for individuals and families – and from an economic perspective – it will increase tourism and sync days of trade and business activities to global characteristics.”
The Kulanu MK pointed out that most of Israel’s trade partners have Saturday and Sunday off, like 74.7 percent of the world’s population.
Having Sundays off would help the economy, because there would be more trade and tourism each week, Cohen argued.
Other advantages of Sundays off, he said, include expanding recreational activities, allowing religious and traditional people to participate in them, and giving parents more quality time with their children, strengthening families.