(Illustration)
(Illustration) Flash 90

Israelis changed their clocks from daylight savings time to standard time on Sunday, causing much confusion as Israelis scrambled to rectify glitches with their cell phone carriers. 

But MK Yifat Kariv (Yesh Atid) intends to file a bill this week to cancel the concept of time change entirely, she announced Sunday, stating that the yearly "spring forward, fall back" custom just causes a national headache.

"Early this morning, the sun was almost at its zenith," Kariv noted. "Sunset is at 5:00 pm today and most public parks in this country will not be lit properly."

"'Winter time' harms most citizens of Israel. It's unnecessary, depressing, and affects both children and their parents," she added. "As we have managed to extend daylight [savings time], I want to abolish the time change entirely and leave light in our lives."

Kariv argued that, in this day and age, the idea of "winter time" is obsolete - and is "not related to the holidays, nor to the actual winter season, and not even to our cell phones." 

Daylight savings time is controversial in Israel, where it has become part of the debate over religion and state.

In 2013, the Knesset decided to regulate the customary time change to align with the standard in Europe: changing from daylight savings to standard time not in the week before Yom Kippur, but instead during the last week in October. Those who favored extending Summer Time (daylight savings) insisted the change would save money by increasing productivity and reducing traffic accidents.

The relatively early time change in the fall that was customary in previous years was meant to make life easier for observant Jews who wake up early for the Slichot prayers, and for Jews who fast on Yom Kippur.

On the other end, the change from standard time to daylight savings was always scheduled to fall after the Passover seder - allowing Israelis observing the late-night traditional meal to glean an extra hour of sleep, and for children to stay awake for more of the meal. Instead, daylight savings time has now been regulated to begin in the last week of March regardless of the Jewish holidays. 

The idea of abolishing the practice entirely, however, has not been raised yet in the Israeli Knesset. 

That abolishment may have some level of precedent: while most of the Western world keeps the season-switch system, at least one US state - Arizona - has abolished the time change in several counties since 1967. 

The reason was the state's extreme heat, according to late '60s literature and editorials from the state. If Arizona were to observe Daylight Saving Time, the sun would stay out until 9 p.m. in the summer (instead of 8 p.m., like it does currently). 

"[Data] clearly show that we must wait until about 9 p.m. DST to start any night-time activity such as drive-in movies, moonlight rides, convincing little children it’s bedtime, etc," a 1969 Arizona Republic editorial maintained. "And it’s still hot as blazes!"

Summer temperatures in Arizona have a mean of about 95F (35C), with highs reaching as hot as 196F (41C) in July. 

That argument may not work for Kariv, however: Israel's average temperatures hover about 10F (12C) lower than that, even in July, in every region but Eilat. 

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