Dalia Itzik to Rabbis: Find a Solution to Daylight Saving Time Crisis

Kadima MK urges chief rabbis to find a "creative solution" to the dispute that has divided religious and secular Israelis.

Dalia Itzik MK on Sunday urged Israel's Chief Rabbis to drop objections to a proposed law that would extend summer daylight saving time.

Tomer Appelbaum

Itzik's request came as public debate intensified following a proposal by Nitzan Horowitz, an MK for the leftwing Meretz party, to extend daylight saving time until the last Sunday in October, which is when many other countries make the change.

Rabbis have objected to the move, claiming it would lengthen the Yom Kippur fast, observed each fall on from sunset to sunset the 10th day of the Hebrew calendar month of Tishrei, making life harder for religious Jews.

But the proposal has won support from non-observant Jews, pointing to what many see as a growing gulf between the religious and secular strands of Israeli society.

"You have the power to take action and prevent a rift in Israeli society," Itzik,a Kadima MK and former Knesset speaker, told Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar. "You must find a solution that will bridge the gaps and help unite our society in time for the holidays."

Earlier Sunday, Interior Minister Eli Yishai suggested a compromise that would move the clock to standard time during Yom Kippur, switching back to daylight saving time at the end of the 10-day holiday period.

"Religious people enjoy daylight saving time just as much as secular people," said Yishai.

Under the current law, Israel switches back to Standard Time on the Sunday before Yom Kippur, about two months before the United States does so and well over a month before Europe does, on October 31 this year.