Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid presented
their pick for Bank of Israel governor, Jacob Frenkel, in the Knesset on
“This was a difficult search, with many excellent candidates, but
we decided on Frenkel because he's the best of the best,” Netanyahu said. “He
was my first choice.”
The prime minister listed Frenkel’s qualifications:
winner of the Israel Prize for Economics, professor and former Bank of Israel
governor, among others. Netanyahu expressed confidence in Frenkel’s ability to
maintain monetary stability and present Israel’s economy in a positive light, as
well as help open the Israeli market to China.
Lapid took a lighter tone
at the press conference, recounting that when he was first made finance
minister, he asked Frenkel for advice.
“Frenkel told me I shouldn’t be
tired, that I should get enough sleep so I can do a good job. You should sleep,
too! You need to be the responsible adult of the Israeli economy,” Lapid told
Lapid also joked that since he and Frenkel live in the same
neighborhood, they are making life easier for protesters.
tickets for one price,” he quipped.
Outgoing Bank of Israel Gov. Stanley
Fischer said Frenkel did an excellent job in the position in the past, allowing
subsequent governors to run the bank in a way that helped Israel’s position in
the world economy.
“Frenkel proved himself many times in more than one
position. I’m sure he will continue to serve the State of Israel in this way and
protect the Israeli market,” Fischer added.
The Bank of Israel
governor-designate thanked Netanyahu, Lapid and Fischer for entrusting him with
the important position.
“It’s not a secret that I hesitated a lot, but
when there’s a prime minister who is determined and won’t accept any answer
other than the one he wants to hear, you can’t say no,” Frenkel said.
want you to remember that,” Netanyahu interjected.
“I’m proud to re-enter
this institution, which I know inside-out,” Frenkel added.
commended Fischer, saying the latter did such a good job as governor that he
feels that he has time to re-learn the job and even get some sleep, as Lapid
Frenkel said he plans to do “pirsumei nissa,” – an Aramaic
term meaning “publicizing the miracle,” used in the context of Hanukka candles –
for the Israeli market.
“The potential of our market is great, but it can
be promoted more, and I am committed to doing that,” he said. “There are many
amazing things that are a total secret. The world doesn’t know the great
things that happen here.”
Frenkel also said that the key to his success
will be working as a cooperative, harmonious group with “one head and one heart”
with Netanyahu and Lapid.
“I’m sure that we agree about our goals, and it
will be a historic injustice if we don’t attain them,” Frenkel
Among the many congratulatory calls which Frenkel received on
Monday, was one from President Shimon Peres, who told him that Israel does not
have to look far for someone who can meet the many economic challenges
confronting her, when she has one of her own to whom she can turn.
thanked Frenkel for accepting the appointment and discussed with him some of the
economic problems that Israel has to overcome. Peres, in his many previous
positions, has also served as finance minister.
The two men agreed that
everything possible must be done to encourage economic growth and to create new
employment opportunities that will contribute to the continuation of a stable
Peres expressed confidence that Frenkel would thrust his full
professional energy into his new position and would be no less successful in the
future as he has been in the past.
Frenkel’s name had apparently come up
in conversations between Netanyahu and Peres, and Frenkel, aware of this, knew
that Peres was warmly in favor of his appointment.
helped me to make my decision,” Frenkel said.