PM apologizes to chief statistician for email firing

Netanyahu says he will investigate why Shlomo Yitzhaki was so unceremoniously dispatched

Shlomo Yitzhaki in September 2012. (photo credit: Oren Nahshon/Flash90)
Shlomo Yitzhaki in September 2012. (photo credit: Oren Nahshon/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized late Monday to a top government official who received a firing notice via email.

Prof. Shlomo Yitzhaki, the Central Bureau of Statistics chief statistician, was informed with an email Sunday that the state would not renew its contract with him, after 11 years on the job.

“This kind of thing is unacceptable, and I apologize that this was how it happened,” Netanyahu said. “It’s inappropriate. A man shouldn’t have to hear about the termination of his position like that. I’ll look into how it happened. I want to thank you for your years in the service of the country.”

Yitzhaki, who will reportedly be replaced by Hebrew University professor Danny Pfefferman, had said said the way he was informed was not right.

Yitzhaki leveled a number of sharp critiques of government officials during his term, including one instance in 2003 when he accused the Finance Ministry, run by Netanyahu at the time, of sugar-coating numbers and not releasing figures in an organized way.

The Prime Minister’s Office told Israel Hayom that Yitzhaki’s term had official ended over a year ago, but he was allowed to remain on a temporary basis until a replacement could be found.

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