Wanted: Chairman For Bank of Israel

YERUSHALAYIM -
Jacob Frenkel’s nomination to succeed Stanley Fischer as Governor of the Bank of Israel was announced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a press conference on June 24. On Monday, Frenkel bowed out. (Miriam Alster / Flash90)
Jacob Frenkel’s nomination to succeed Stanley Fischer as Governor of the Bank of Israel was announced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a press conference on June 24. On Monday, Frenkel bowed out. (Miriam Alster / Flash90)

The nominee for chairmanship of the Bank of Israel withdrew his name on Monday in the wake of an investigation into a shoplifting allegation, as well as other issues, according to media reports.

Jacob Frenkel, who served as head of the BOI from 1991 to 2000, has given up his try for a second term.

Frenkel’s nomination was plagued by problems since it was announced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in late June.

It was immediately recalled that Frenkel’s record as BOI chairman had already been blemished by the scandal over his more-than-generous compensation package at the end of that first term. The state comptroller at the time forced Frenkel to return NIS 238,000 to the government.

But perhaps more damaging was in the eyes of the Turkel Committee, which reviewed the appointment, was a shoplifting tale that occurred at a Hong Kong airport in 2006 involving a bottle of perfume. Even if the incident was a “misunderstanding,” as Frenkel claimed, the fact that he did not report it to the commission on his own added to the questions concerning his fitness for the post.

Frenkel was poised to replace Stanley Fischer, who stepped down at the end of June after eight years in the role. Fischer’s deputy Karnit Flug has served as acting governor since his departure.