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Sep 20, 2012

Fighting About An Hour

This Saturday night, early Sunday morning really, here in Israel we will be changing our clocks. We will be abandoning Daylight Savings Time and moving back to the winter clock. That means it will soon be getting dark at around 5:00 PM.

This issue of when to move to and from Daylight Savings Time has been a fight among the political parties for many years. The religious parties always want to abandon DST right before Yom Kippur. While the fast remains 26 or so hours long no matter what the clock says, without DST an extra hour of it is in the dark when people will generally be sleeping, while on DST would mean that hour is in the daylight while awake. It is not really a big deal, but that is their preference. Those who don't like that say we should be more in sync with the DST situation around the world which is generally adjusted at around the end of October.

To stop the annual fight over DST, which was always won by SHAS anyway, they formulated a law, which had broad support (at the time), determining a formula of exactly when we move to and from DST. For a number of years it has actually been quiet when the time to adjust the clocks approached. No fighting about it. The law worked.

Looks like those days are over...

Nitzan Horowitz from Meretz is protesting the fact that we are adjusting the clocks this Saturday night. A while back he proposed a 5-word law to replace the current law - all it said was "DST will conclude at the end of October" (in Hebrew). At the time, Eli Yishai responded by forming a professional committee to lok into the issue and make a professional recommendation.

Sure enough, the committee worked and concluded. They recommended that the Ministry of Interior should lengthen the period of DST by about another month, to a total of 193 days of the year. Upon release of the committee's conclusions, Yishai said he would consider the findings and make a decisions as to implementation.

until now, no decision has been announced. Basically the findings were ignored. No problem here - that too is a decision. That too was expected. I don't think anybody expected Yishai to seriously consider making a change to DST. Setting up the committee was just a delay tactic. That's how the committee system generally works in Israel.

So, for now, DST is still working according to the formulation of the law that has been in place for the past several years. But it does not bode well for the future, if the fighting over the issue is getting back on track..
(sources: NRG, Globes)

Interestingly, Eli Yishai has responded by saying the committee met, gave it's recommendation, and that he intends to implement it. Yishai said that he has not yet had a chance to review the findings and implement them, but he definitely intends to. (source: Kikar)

It just looks like it won't be this year. If it will be, he is cutting it awfully close. And I am surprised he is saying he will implement it, and not saying that he will review it and decide. Saying he will implement does not give him much room to maneuver and change his mind later...

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1 comment:

  1. Actually, changing the clocks back before Yom Kippur was a defeat for Shas. We used to change them back before Elul, when the Sephardim start saying Selichot. Shas lost the political fight, which is why we now change the clocks back so much later.

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