The Shabbat is an important issue with haredi politicians. In 1977, a government even fell after F-16 planes were delivered to Israel on Shabbat. So the haredi criticism on Thursday was not long in coming.
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Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said, “We have not had anything like this before, that a government minister who is supposed to represent all of the people of Israel holds a formal presentation on Shabbat and in another country. This is outrageous. Lapid has not solved one problem in Israel and until this moment there is still no Bank of Israel governor, finance clerks are escaping from the Treasury and he sits in the US and desecrates Shabbat. We will disassociate ourselves from him and it is preferable that in the same way that he left Israel, he should stay there and not come back.”
MK Ya’akov Asher (United Torah Judaism) has requested that the government secretary act to postone the press conference which Lapid plans to hold.
Sources close to Lapid said that it is customary once a year that the Israel finance minister and Bank of Israel governor hold a presentation for journalists on the main day of the meeting of the International Monetary Fund, and thus it will be this time as well.
Lapid is supposed to participate Friday in discussions at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. The IMF event is considered the most significant economic event of the year. During the meetings, financial data is published by the countries, along with forecasts and suggestions for handling financial crises.
Over the past few days, Lapid has held meetings with government officials and Washington-based economists, and Thursday he met with US Vice President Joe Biden. In the coming days, he is expected to meet with the finance ministers of various countries.
Akiva Novick contributed to this report
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