Eda Haredit rejects Intel compromise

Eda Haredit rejects Inte

haredi intel 248.88 ap (photo credit: AP)
haredi intel 248.88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
The proposed compromise to keep Jerusalem's new Intel microchip factory open on Shabbat has been rejected by the head of Eda Haredit's rabbinical court, Rabbi Tuvia Weiss, who declared Thursday that haredi protests against the chipmaker would resume this coming Saturday. The deal would have reduced Saturday production at Intel to the bare minimum, with only non-Jews working the line. In contrast to the Eda Haredit's stance, Lithuanian haredim told Army Radio that their leader, Rabbi Elyashiv, tends to accept the agreement, and might even order his followers to protest in front of Rabbi Weiss's home. The agreement began to take shape during last Thursday's meeting of Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) and Intel Israel CEO Maxine Fassenberg, but it was not ready to be put in to effect in time to prevent last week's Saturday's demonstrations. A senior official in Rivlin's office confirmed that negotiators had "seen a willingness in Rabbi Elyashiv's faction [Lithuanian haredim]" to accept the compromise proposal, which would be based on three changes to the current working situation at the Har Hotzvim factory. Fassenberg agreed to reduce the Sabbath work to only those production aspects that could not be stopped for the Sabbath, that the number of workers would be reduced from 120 per Sabbath shift to 20 in each of three shifts, and that none of the employees who work the Sabbath shifts will be Jews. Also on Sunday, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) made an appearance at a rededication ceremony at the Jerusalem plant at which he spoke out against the demonstrators, and expressed hope that the hi-tech giant would chose to stay in the city. Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.