Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

20 Sivan 5764 - June 9, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Bank of Israel Spokesman Claims Commissioner Was Unaware Press Release Would be Sent on Shavuos
By Betzalel Kahn

Following a report in Yated Ne'eman about a press release sent out by Bank of Israel Spokesman Gabi Fishman on Shavuos afternoon based on an order issued by the bank's commissioner, Dr. David Klein, Fishman claimed, "The Commissioner was unaware of the time at which the document was publicized."

In an unsigned, handwritten message to Yated Ne'eman, Fishman wrote, "This activity did not depart from accepted practices in work with the media, which operates on holidays and Shabbatot--including the work of public institutions--as manifested by announcements, responses, answers to questions and even interviews with public figures, ministers and Knesset members on these days as well."

The message, not written on a BOI letterhead, goes on to say, "With full recognition of the sensitivity regarding Jewish holidays and Shabbat among the public and bank workers, the Commissioner immediately instructed all of the relevant figures at the bank to refrain from this type of activity in the future as much as possible, while taking into account the fact that spokesmen and media consultants--even at public institutions--must be available to the media at all times."

In conclusion Fishman writes, "Bank of Israel management and I, personally, extend apologies to anybody who felt hurt by the activity done on the holiday."

BOI retiree R' Moshe Shofel filed an appeal in the Jerusalem Region Labor Court demanding the bank spokesman be relieved of his duties after admitting, "he has repeatedly violated the Work and Rest Hours Law and declares he will continue to do so at this post," a reference to Fishman's remarks to reporters last week that, "there are no directives preventing spokesmen in public service from working with the media on holidays and Shabbat" and that "the spokesman's office at the Bank of Israel must be available to the media 7 days a week, 24 hours a day."

According to the appeal the BOI spokesmen violated the Work and Rest Hours Law for years, including the period in which Frenkel served as bank commissioner. In the appeal Shofel asked the court to issue a temporary restraining order instructing the commissioner not to employ workers at the bank in violation of the Work and Rest Hours Law. Judge Oranit Agassi rejected the request until both sides appear in court two weeks from now.


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