Stalled bill ensures daylight savings ends early

Meretz attacks Shas over "broken promise" to extend Daylight Savings Time, blames "haredi wheeler-dealers" for burying issue.

Man looks at his watch daylight savings DST 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/David Gray)
Man looks at his watch daylight savings DST 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/David Gray)
As the High Holy Days begin, an argument between Shas and Meretz that has become an annual tradition rears its head yet again: When should daylight-savings time end? MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) slammed Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Friday, saying the minister promised to pass a law to extend daylight-saving time by 11 days, but buried it in the Shas-controlled Knesset Interior Committee.
“It’s a technical change: Extend DST until summer actually ends,” Horowitz said. “Nothing is simpler than that.”
Meretz has accused Yishai and Shas of preventing the extension of daylight-saving time so that the Yom Kippur fast will end earlier in the day. However, regardless of what time the sun sets, the fast is 25 hours long.
In March, the Interior Ministry announced that daylight-saving time would end next Sunday morning at 2, before Yom Kippur, which begins on Tuesday evening, September 25. The ministry explained that, since the bill was not approved, there would not be enough time to bring it into effect in 2012.
Last June, a bill extending daylight-saving time from 182 to 193 days per year passed a preliminary Knesset vote, but the legislation has yet to progress beyond that point.
Interior Committee chairman Amnon Cohen (Shas), said the measure was stuck because of disagreements between the Interior Ministry and MKs who wanted the legislation to be worded differently.
Yishai’s office said the bill would be finalized in the Knesset’s winter session, which begins on October 15.
Horowitz, however, blamed the bill’s status on “a bunch of haredi wheelerdealers who control the Interior Ministry and made up all kinds of excuses to postpone and delay.”
The Meretz MK added that, because of Shas, it would be dark at five in the afternoon this winter.
“We wanted to get rid of darkness, but the real darkness is in the Interior Ministry and this government,” Horowitz said. “We need to get rid of them, so there will be light.”