Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on Monday came out for the first time in favor of initiating a five-day work week. But Steinitz issued serious opposition to Vice Premier Silvan Shalom's idea of making Sunday a day off, as it is in the United States.
Steinitz said he would instead support making Friday a day off. He cited the Jewish identity of Israel, the Muslim sabbath on Fridays, and the fact many religious people take off a half-day on Fridays anyway, which together with Sundays would create a three-and-a-half-day work week.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided to appoint a committee to examine the issue, led by head of the National Economic Council Prof. Eugene Kendal. Netanyahu asked the committee to present its findings by the time the Knesset returns from its summer recess in October.