Moshe Gafni
Moshe Gafni Photo by Michal Fattal
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Shani Tzadikario
Shlomo Maoz Photo by Shani Tzadikario

Shlomo Maoz was factually correct in his complaints about "white Ashkenazi" rule, says Moshe Gafni, chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, which devoted a sparsely-attended session yesterday to the leading economist's high-profile dismissal by the leading brokerage firm.

"Shlomo Maoz spoke the undeniable truth," Gafni said. "He said the High Court of Justice has virtually no Sephardi justices, and that's a fact. I haven't checked what Maoz said about senior executives, but I think his statements are true."

Last week Shlomo Maoz was fired as chief economist of brokerage Excellence-Nessuah for inflammatory comments during an 18-minute speech.

Speaking at the Sapir Conference earlier this month, Maoz assailed the Ashkenazi establishment, called Bank Leumi and the Supreme Court the exclusive domain of "the whites," accused the kibbutzim and moshavim of stealing state land, and accused residents of upscale Savyon of using cheap water via the town's former status as farmland.

Yesterday Excellence dodged the issue of Maoz's employment. He hadn't actually been fired, the company's vice president told the Knesset committee. It's true that Maoz no longer serves as the investment house's spokesman, but he's still a board member and chairman of the company's mutual funds, said Moshe Barmak.

Barmak told the Knesset members that Maoz, known for his colorful media presence and barbed tongue, had been warned several times in the past.

Only three MK showed up to the meeting: Gafni (United Torah Judaism ), Miri Regev (Likud ) and Zion Pinyan (Likud ). Maoz did not attend. Neither did Excellence CEO David Baruch.

Gafni said he would convene another meeting and invite Maoz and Baruch again, along with the Israel Security Authorities chairman and court representatives.

Although he'd thrown the disgraced economist a lifeline, Gafni added that Maoz had been wrong in the past.

"In August, Maoz said things that weren't true about the ultra-Orthodox. He said the yellow school buses for ultra-Orthodox children were subsidized, and that wasn't true. He wasn't fired then. He was fired only when he attacked the white tribe," Gafni said.