Photo Credit: PikiWiki
The Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

The proposed “Long Weekend’ bill that would add Sunday as a day off and allow Israeli workers to enjoy six long weekends a year, has hit a snag.

According to a report quoting sources close to Economy Minister Eli Cohen (Kulanu) Thursday by The Jerusalem Post, there are three major forces blocking the proposal.

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1. Manufacturers Association of Israel President Shraga Brosh – A powerhouse in his own right, not only is Brosh citing the high costs this legislation will mean for the Israeli economy, but he is also rallying the troops from other sectors as well. Brosh estimates the bill will cost Israel NIS 8 billion, or one percent of GDP per year. Now, he’s joined:

2. Histadrut Labor Federation head Avi Nissenkorn – Even on the best day, one thinks twice before messing with the Histadrut. Nissenkorn has proposed a shorter work week, reducing it by one hour. The total number of hours adds up the same, but for obvious reasons, one less hour per week means more days for the employer and less free time for the employee.

3. Social Services (Welfare) Minister Haim Katz, whose office says he will support any plan to shorten the work week. But that’s not the same as long weekends six times a year. Katz said that proposal is still under consideration – but it’s facing heavy opposition, from the National Economic Council, the Bank of Israel and the Education Ministry.

Both proposals will be considered in the Labor and Welfare Committee when the Knesset returns to session in October.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.