President Shimon Peres paid tribute on Tuesday to outgoing Governor of the Bank
of Israel Stanley Fischer as the recipient of the Chaim Herzog Award for his
unique contribution to Israel in the field of economics.
established by Herzog’s family in conjunction with the Hebrew University and Yad
Chaim Herzog, is presented every two years to a person who has made a unique
contribution in fields related to the lifelong interests of Herzog who served as
Israel’s sixth president.
At the award ceremony at the Van Leer Institute
in Jerusalem, Peres hailed Fischer as the man who saved Israel from
In 1985, Peres, as prime minister, was leading a country with
an inflation rate of 400 percent. US secretary of state George Schultz, an
economist and former secretary of the US Treasury, recommended Fischer to solve
Peres confessed that he didn’t know enough about economics
to argue with Fischer, so he followed his advice and was amazed to discover that
things turned out as Fischer said they would.
“No one could have advised
us better,” said Peres.
What was particularly admirable, Peres noted, was
that Fischer had come to Israel’s rescue not once, but twice. In later years, he
was already well established in the US, “but gave it all up for an Israeli
salary” as the BoI governor in 2005. He will leave the position in
MK Isaac Herzog (Labor), who is one of Chaim Herzog’s four children
– all of whom were present – said that when consideration was being given to
this year’s award, the panel making the decision was faced with an impressive
list of candidates, but the guiding thought was to give the award to someone
deserving of the Israel Prize who had not received it.
Fischer, Herzog said that he had demonstrated outstanding leadership in Israel’s
most stormy times, and had put Israel on the map in places where it had never
The award ceremony took place on the 16th anniversary of