EXCERPT: Israel's government is examining a proposal to shift the weekend to the western Saturday and Sunday, a step that may benefit financial markets and retail and leisure companies.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week appointed Eugene Kandel, head of the National Economic Council, to look into the implications of changing the weekend from Friday and Saturday. The proposal would make Friday a half-day of work. Many in Israel use Friday to prepare for the Jewish Sabbath, which begins at sundown. Working and traveling is forbidden on the Sabbath according to Jewish law and most stores and many restaurants are closed for the Sabbath.

"The main creator of jobs in Israel today is not the manufacturing sector but trade and services," said Uriel Lynn, president of the Israeli Chambers of Commerce. "If Sunday is a full holiday when people can go out with their families to shop and enjoy themselves, it will create more jobs in trade and services."

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1 Comment

  1. Matt says:

    This article shows that the underlying rationale is economic. Sunday as a "vacation day" makes it appear that person's may choose to work or to take the day off. The comment by Lynn suggests that Sunday would be a good day for Jews to shop and vacation, but if that is the case, then people would have to work on Sunday in order to benefit those who shop and vacation. this sounds like it will benefit the well-off and disadvantage the less well-off who would have to work low paying hotel and resort industry jobs to benefit those with discretionary money to spend.

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