JERUSALEM — When Israel moved its clocks back early Sunday in preparation for the holy fast day of Yom Kippur, people in this high-decibel society found something new to disagree about: the time of day.
The end of daylight savings time here came more than a month and a half before most European countries, bringing a winter-like onset of darkness in early evening — even though the Mediterranean summer is still very much in full swing — and sparking a debate about the role of religion in national politics.
Many Israelis say the move, aimed at making life easier for Jews observing Yom Kippur, this weekend, unnecessarily disrupts life and costs the economy millions of dollars. Activists launched an Internet protest petition calling on Israelis to unilaterally stick to summer time, and more than 230,000 people signed.
“This change causes a lot of damage to the people of Israel,” said Nehemia Shtrasler, an economic-affairs columnist for the Israeli daily Haaretz. “You disconnect from the Western world, where the clock moves on Oct. 31, and nothing matches — flights, imports and exports, appointments. It’s a mess.”
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