NEW YORK (Aug. 21)
Officials of Israeli banks here denied today that a strike that has shut down the Israel Discount Bank in Israel has any impact on their operations in New York. Aaron Kahana, executive vice-president of Israel Discount Bank, Ltd., which has two offices in midtown Manhattan, stressed that the Israeli labor dispute is purely a local matter having to do with the objections of the workers to the loss of some former benefits under Israel’s new tax reform laws. Kahana maintained that the bank in New York is a separate operation from that in Israel.
A spokesman for Bank Leumi, which has four locations in Manhattan and one in Queens, said “none at all” when asked if the Israeli strike had affected operations in New York. Officials for Bank Hapoalim, which recently opened an office in midtown Manhattan, were not available for comment.
Kahana also said he could not agree with warnings in Israel that unless the strike was ended soon that nation’s bank system could collapse. He said he did not believe the situation was as “drastic” as that.
Zeev Sher, Economic Minister of Israel to the United States, said that “Despite the difficulties that the people of Israel may suffer as a result of the banking strike, there is no danger to the stability of the banks or to the fulfillment of Israeli obligations in the United States.” He stressed that while the banking system may be disrupted by the strike the banks themselves were in no danger of collapsing.