Thursday, September 27, 2012 | return to: news & features, international


Israel moves to standard time amid protests

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Israel moved back to standard time, bringing out demonstrators who oppose the early switch due to Yom Kippur.

Dozens demonstrated Sept. 22 in Tel Aviv against the decision of Interior Minister Eli Yishai of the haredi Orthodox Shas Party to turn back the clock in mid-September to accommodate an early end to the Yom Kippur fast.

Protesters from Israel Hofshi, which promotes religious freedom, said the change damaged their quality of life.

A law passed in 2005 requires Israel to move to standard time the Sunday morning before Yom Kippur each year.

Legislation to extend daylight saving time into October was adopted this year by Yishai, but it was not brought before the whole Knesset in time for consideration before this year’s change. — jta


Posted by rocky
09/28/2012  at  07:44 AM
Moving to Standard Time

Israel’s early move to standard time reflects the growing influence of the Haredi. They make up only about 12% of the country’s Jewish population but have been reproducing at a much faster rate than the rest of the Jewish population. For years they have played a disproportionate role as king makers in Israeli politics owing to their ability to bring down governments in the country’s fragmented proportional representation in the Knesset.

One can only speculate as to why the founders of the state chose to pattern the Knesset on the failed Weimar Reichstag, with its multiplicity of political parties and its weak minority governments.

The influence of the Haredi will only grow in coming years: 25% of the Jewish grade 1 class in Israel this year is Haredi. Because of their refusal to serve in the military and their low participation rate in the secular economy, the Haredi will eventually destroy the system that heavily subsidizes their welfare way of life.

While all eyes are focused on Iran and its nuclear weapons program, Israel faces a demographic time bomb of its own making in no more than a generation or two. The early switch to standard time is the least of the country’s worries.

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