yishai shalom netanyahu cabinet meeting 311.
(photo credit: Haim Tzach)
Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) has reversed himself and decided to form a
professional committee that will examine the possibility of extending daylight
savings time, Channel 2 reported on Monday evening.
RELATED:Politicians fight over setting the clock
backEditorial: Let it stay light
The shift reportedly
came in response to public pressure Yishai faced over his insistence on
maintaining the unusually short daylight savings period in
According to the report, Yishai announced that daylight savings
was a professional, not religious question, and therefore could be deliberated
upon by a group of experts from academia and the public
Representatives of those who fast on Yom Kippur, industrialists
and the general public will be able to share their suggestions with the
committee, which according to Channel 2 will be headed by Interior Ministry
directorgeneral Amnon Ben-Amichai.
The committee will publish its
conclusions ahead of the end of the summer, to enable the implementation of its
A bill sponsored by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) to
extend daylight savings time until the end of October is supposed to be voted on
in a preliminary reading in the Knesset next week, after the government twice
asked to delay the vote.
“I hope Yishai’s announcement, which comes a few
days before the vote on my bill, is not a way to avoid a decision on the matter
or delay it,” Horowitz said in a statement following Channel 2’s report. “The
interior minister and government must address this bill, which reflect the will
of the vast majority of the public. After Yishai’s intentions are clarified, I
will consider my legislative moves.”
In September, more than 100,000
people signed an online petition calling to ignore the start of standard time
and operate according to daylights savings time until November. Yishai faced
scathing criticism over his insistence on upholding the traditional practice in
Israel of switching to standard (winter) time during the 10 days between Rosh
Hashana and Yom Kippur, thereby making sunset earlier on the fast day and
synagogue services shorter.
Israel has a very short period of daylight
savings time, relative to Western countries.
In the United States,
daylight savings time lasts for 238 days, in the member states of the European
Union it lasts for 218 days, but in Israel, daylight savings time lasts fewer
than 180 days every year.