The search for a Bank of Israel governor has become a farce, Labor MK Merav
Michaeli said in a Knesset debate on the topic on Wednesday.
recounted the events of recent months in that arena, peppering the story with
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s first two nominees
for the position, former governor Jacob Frenkel and Bank Hapoalim chief
economist Leo Leiderman, pulled out of the race due to alleged scandals. Now,
the Turkel Committee, which approves candidates for high-ranking public
positions, is meeting with former Argentine Central Bank president Mario Blejer,
former Bank of Israel deputy governor Zvi Eckstein and Bank Mizrahi CEO Victor
Michaeli focused on Netanyahu’s refusal to nominate Acting
Governor Karnit Flug, and reports that Netanyahu said he would choose “anyone
but her” for the position. As a result of being snubbed twice, Flug announced
that she would resign from the bank after a new governor was
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) has alleged in the
past that Netanyahu’s rejection of Flug stems from sexist motives.
is anyone better than her?” Michaeli asked. “What is the advantage of bringing
someone from abroad? What kind of message does that send to Israeli economists?”
The Labor MK concluded her speech by saying that “the selection process for one
of the most important positions in Israel has become a farce.”
Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) also wondered why Netanyahu began his search for a
governor abroad and not in Israel. He joked, in reference to Frenkel and
Leiderman’s alleged scandals, that any wife who wanted to investigate whether
her husband had any skeletons in his closet should nominate him to head the Bank
The Knesset Finance Committee also discussed the lack of a
Bank of Israel governor on Wednesday, and the Prime Minister’s Office adviser to
the Turkel Committee said a final decision on the matter was delayed because the
committee had received complaints about all three candidates.
Committee approves appointments to seven positions – IDF chief of staff, chief
of police, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head, Mossad head, Prisons Service
chief, Bank of Israel governor and deputy Bank of Israel governor. It also makes
sure the appointments are not the result of nepotism, business connections,
political positions or other factors deemed to be inappropriate.
Knesset Finance Committee will look into steps to prevent this saga from
happening again,” said committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi). “It
cannot be that the State of Israel is going so long without its senior economic
Slomiansky suggested that the government appoint a search
committee to find an appropriate Bank of Israel governor.