Intel Israel rolls out the barbed wire
Fending off protests
Intel Israel faced angry orthodox Jews on Saturday as they protested at the chip giant's refusal to follow the religious rules for the Sabbath.
The chip maker's offices in Har Hotzim, north of Jerusalem, were surrounded by about 2,000 protestors shouting "Shabbes, shabbes!".
After a peaceful start there was some violence directed at journalists later in the day. Intel had put barbed wire around the factory to prevent break-ins, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Despite meetings between senior Intel figures and religious members of the Knesset no agreement was reached. Intel has said it would look into the possiblity of only employing non-Jewish workers for Saturday shifts.
Jewish law forbids any work on Shabbat except for that related to national security, public health and some other specific areas. Any company requiring staff to work must have a permit to do so.
Fab 8 has operated since 1985 and used to all but shut down on Saturdays. A skeleton crew would ensure no damage was done. It is not possible to simply turn off the power at a chip fabrication plant and expect it to work again.
This seems to have changed since a recent refurbishment. This blog has more. ®
Isn't it wonderful to have religious fanatics tell you what to do??
Intel has had Saturday work permits for years
It appears, however, that some Orthodox groups have decided protest and even riots are how to hang onto political power -- or gain more. The English-language Jerusalem Post often covers this. Search there for "haredi" or "haredim".
A 13 November article about Intel's troubles, "Barkat voices his support for Intel" by Judy Siegel and Abe Selig, says,
While government permits are required for companies to employ Jews on Shabbat, the original Fab 8 facility had such permission from the outset. When it closed for renovations two years ago, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor permit was no longer necessary, but negotiations to renew it are considered by management as a formality that will not be rejected.
"This comment is silly., The only reason they have many Jewish believers is because of Zionism."
Hmmm.. not sure their comment was silly... Maybe mis-guided. But I would certainly question the sillyness of your comment. True, it's a zionist country, but it's law.
So. There you have it - Law is law, lawbreaker ;-)
Mines the one with the "Jewish Book of Why" in the pocket
Sorry to inform you, but it's Actually what you call "A state low" here in Israel.
sorry, El Reg, you're wrong
I'm from Israel and unfortunately, the Reg got the info wrong...
It is actually a government law to prevent employers from forcing employees to work on Saturday (Shabbat). There are few companies who have an exemption, but those companies are required to give a free day to a worker if he worked on Saturday.
Intel could have solved this issue quite easily by hiring non-Jews to work on Saturday (and let them have another job inside Intel for the remaining days maybe) and be done with it, but once again, Intel ignored the law. Why Intel ignores the law which every company here in Israel respects - is beyond me..