Israelis support bill to take Sundays off

Monday, May 28, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

A firm majority of Israelis support legislation to make Sunday a day off of work in Israel.

Member of Knesset Zevulun Orlev, who chairs the National Religious Party, proposed the law last week. He said Israelis need to have both a full day of rest - the Sabbath - and a free day on which to conduct commercial activity and enjoy cultural events.

The wording of the bill indicates that current laws prohibiting commercial activity on the biblical Sabbath would be more vigorously enforced.

A poll conducted by the Maagar Mohot Survey Institute on Orlev's behalf showed that 56 percent of Israelis support the idea that "Sunday will also be a day off and commercial activities now being carried out on the Sabbath be transferred to Sunday."

The numbers were even higher among the secular and national religious sectors of society, with 64 percent of both communities lending their support. Only the ultra-Orthodox community opposed the proposed law, with 84 percent of Haredi Jews rejecting the idea of following the Christian world's lead regarding which days to rest from work.

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