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November 05, 2012

Let There Be (A Little Bit More) Light! Israel Extends Daylight Savings Time, Despite Strong Haredi Opposition

Stylized cartoon sunIn a sparsely attended special session held earlier today, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed a bill that adds eleven more days each year to Israel’s period of daylight savings time. The move follows years of protests by secular Jews against the country’s early switch to standard time, which was made in 2005 largely to accommodate haredim.

Stylized cartoon sun

Let There Be (A Little Bit More) Light!
Israel Extends Daylight Savings Time, Despite Strong Haredi Opposition
Shmarya Rosenberg • Failedmessiah.com

Let there be (a little bit more) light!

In a sparsely attended special session held earlier today, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed a bill that adds about eleven more days each year to Israel’s period of daylight savings time, Ha'aretz reports. The move follows years of protests by secular Jews against the country’s early switch to standard time, which was made in 2005 largely to accommodate haredim.

From then until now, Israel has switched back to standard time each year before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Many haredi and Orthodox Jews believe having Yom Kippur fall during standard time makes it easier and more comfortable to complete the 25-hour holiday fast.

Under the just-passed law, Israel’s daylight saving time will now average 193 days each year, as opposed to 182 under the former law. In many years, including next year, Yom Kippur will now fall during daylight savings time. Today’s bill was a compromise between some Kadima and Meretz party Knesset members who wanted many more days added to daylight savings time and the Likud-led coalition, which supported a more moderate extension.

More than 390,000 Israelis signed a petition earlier this year calling for daylight savings time to be extended past October 1.

“The decision [to change the clocks back before Yom Kippur] means millions of working Israelis return home from work in the dark and get up in the morning after the sun has warmed up our already-hot country.

“Standard time cuts short the quality time that parents have with their children, adds to the risk of traffic accidents because of the additional travel in the dark, puts the local time at variance with the time in Europe and the rest of the world, and costs the Israeli economy hundreds of millions of shekels,” the petition read.

Politicians from the haredi Shas party pressured the government to block today’s vote, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused, keeping his pledge to to bring the issue to a vote before the upcoming elections. To keep that promise, Netanyahu had to call the Knesset, which was on recess, into a  special session.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai, a member of the Shas party, claimed that the 2005 bill ending daylight savings time before Yom Kippur was passed while Shas was in the opposition.

“It was based on social and financial considerations and enjoyed a broad political consensus,” Yishai claimed, even though that consensus reportedly had much more to do with appeasing haredi politicians than benefiting the majority of israel’s citizens.

The bill passed today was based on the recommendations of the Kehat committee, which Yishai himself formed in February of last year to evaluate the arguments in support of and in opposition to extending daylight savings time.

At the time of today’s vote, only 27 MKs were reportedly in attendance. Nineteen voted in favor of the moderate extension and seven opposed it. One Member of Knesset abstained.

Comments

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Great news. Hopefully the time can be extended further.

And good for business as the times will be closer to those in Europe. (That's good for Charedim because regular Israelis need to work and do business so they can pay lots of tax to support the Charedim.)

> and enjoyed a broad political consensus,

Yishai has a strange definition of "broad", doesn't he.

Interestingly enough, Israel adopted daylight savings time later than many Western countries because of socialist opposition. The socialists were afraid that more daylight hours would lead to longer working hours in agricultural and outdoor work and it took a long time to get them on side.

The entire universe just revolves around them, doesn't it?

The entire universe just revolves around them, doesn't it?

Posted by: Jeff | November 05, 2012 at 05:03 PM

Well, in this instance, the sun at least.... (remembering they believe in a geocentric model of the universe). :-)

Heh! Yeah.

I propose moving the clock two hours forward and instituting the new time all year round.

[/leftist-acting-as-dumb-or-dumber-than-the-haredim]

The country could just change the hours of the central bank and allow the haredim the feeling that the day ends earlier on Yom Kippur. But, no, without a big fucking pissing contest with the haredim it wouldn't be the Israeli Knesset.

Having Yom Kippur in Standard Time was *not* primarily meant to benefit charedim, who will be completing the fast in any event, who are used to fasting until 20:00 on 17 Tammuz and 9 Av, and will likely be starting their day on Yom Kippur with shacharis the same number of hours after (or before) sunrise as every other year, regardless of what time it says on the clock. It was an attempt to help the sizable number of traditional Israelis who fast but do not spend the day in shul, and who might have a hard time at the end. Numerous charedi MKs made this point over and over again, and I think it is true.

That being said, I happen to think it was silly, and I am in favor of yesterday's change. But I think your spin is totally off.

I also think it's good that they set DST through the beginning of October and not the beginning of November, like Nitzan Horovitz is insisting on. Do we really want sunrise getting as late as 6:55? Even leaving aside the davening issue, aren't there many secular people who start getting ready for school and work at 6:00 or 6:30, and would like to get up in the light?

"But that's how they do it in Europe" is irrelevant. We're a grown-up country and can think for ourselves about what makes sense. If you want to argue for November 1, then show me why it makes sense; don't tell me what they do in Europe. Culturally speaking, I think that people here (in Israel) start their days significantly earlier than they do in Europe, so a late sunrise presents more of a problem here.

Daylight savings time should be canceled or made permanent.
It doesnt save money if it ever did and is just silly
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/11/04/why-daylight-saving-time-should-be-eliminated/

The point is not whether the law is good or bad, but whether the Israeli government is enforcing the law in an evenhanded manner. The US government was forbidden from selective enforcement in the Yick Wo case. See http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Yick_Wo_v._Hopkins (Unfortunately, it took the Court a long time to take the same stance regarding the Jim Crow laws.)

If the laws regarding illegal businesses were enforced with an even hand, there would be nothing wrong with what Israel is doing. However, this is not the case. If the government were evenhandedly enforcing these laws, they would most likely be stopping many Haredis from their "cash only/tax free" businesses.

Posted by: amrilusaguy | November 06, 2012 at 03:00 AM

One sane voice in a desert of lunatics.

Or perhaps everyone else is sane and you are crazy:

Doc Daneeka: You can't think like that Yossarian!
Yossarian: Why not!!!??
Doc Daneeka: What would happen if EVERYBODY thought like that?
Yossarian: The I'd be crazy not to!

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