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"Businesspeople and members of my generation increasingly have the feeling that sitting at home whining is too great a luxury and we cannot afford it now. If it is possible to go somewhere where we can make an impact, it is our national duty. I would like to believe that people take on public sector positions because this is a critical moment in the nation's life," Joseph Bachar, director-general designate of the Finance Ministry told Haaretz yesterday in his first public comments since announcement of his planned appointment.

Bachar has served as managing partner of accounting firm Luboshitz Kasierer for the past eight years. Previously, he was in charge of accounting standards at the Israel Securities Authority.

Bachar confirmed that he had been offered the director-general's position by Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that he had agreed. He noted the appointment "is not yet a done deal."

In the past two decades, treasury directors-general have all come from within the treasury ranks or the public sector, and Bachar's appointment from the business sector is considered unusual. According to Bachar, responses from his colleagues in the business sector indicate that businesspeople are substantially interested in contributing to "changing something," as there is a sense of general dread regarding the fate of the state.

"There is a sense among central business leaders that it is time to contribute, and our front is the business front. It is evident in the widespread support the finance minister receives" Bachar stated.

According to Bachar, he is not deterred by friction with the political echelon or the possibility he will not be able to implement his plans due to political considerations. "We may encounter difficulties, but I prefer to be in the situation of having tried. I believe that change can be made," he said.