Eli Yishai Expected to Compromise on Extension of DST

Daylight savings time currently ends the Sunday before Yom Kippur; Yishai expected to propose extension to early October.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai is expected to propose today that daylight-saving time be extended into October every year. Currently, daylight time ends on the Sunday before Yom Kippur, which falls on a date between mid-September and mid-October. After hearing the recommendations of the panel of experts that he appointed, Yishai is expected to propose ending daylight time on the same date every year in early October.

Under the plan taking shape, in the coming several years Yom Kippur will fall during DST about half the time. Yishai consulted with religious authorities before adopting his position.

His proposal will go to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which will also hear private members' bills on the issue. MKs Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz ) and Dalia Itzik (Kadima ) have submitted draft laws that would further extend daylight time, in the case of Horowitz's bill until the end of October.

Yishai appointed the advisory committee shortly before the Ministerial Committee for Legislation was due to consider Horowitz's bill. Some politicians at the time accused Yishai of creating the panel in order to simply to head off the prospect of the Yom Kippur fast falling every year when daylight time was still in effect. The committee of experts was instructed to look at options that recognized the "special status" of Yom Kippur.

Several ministers, including Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom, recently expressed support for a substantial extension of daylight time, and it is not clear if they would be satisfied with Yishai's compromise proposal. Even if there is sufficient support for Yishai's proposal, it is not certain the Knesset will manage to complete the legislative process before the expiration of daylight saving time this year on October 2.