Jerusalem – Rav Tuvia Weiss, head of the Eidoh Charedis, will oppose any agreement that allows Intel’s Jerusalem chip plant to operate on Shabbos, even if all of the workers are non-Jews, Rav Yosef Rosenfeld, chairman of the Rabbinical Council for Shabbat in Jerusalem, told Globes.
Rosenfeld acknowledged that various internal disputes within Jerusalem’s charedi community underlie the larger clashes. He said Rav Eliyashiv requested certain amendments to the agreement drafted last week that would ensure workers employed on Shabbos are not Jewish. If such an agreement is hammered out, Rav Eliyashiv would be likely to consent.
“If Rav Eliyashiv accepts the agreement with Intel, the company would probably approve it even if the demonstrations continue,” claims Rosenfeld. He says the Eidoh is made up of no more than 7,000 families, “but they are spearheading this battle.”
Figures associated with MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) also believe Rav Eliyashiv will eventually reach an agreement with Intel. They said the protests would eventually stop when the Eidoh comes to understand that if Jews are not employed at the site, claims of chilul Shabbos are ungrounded, adding that Intel is well aware of the consequences if Rav Eliyashiv supports protests.
Just last week bellicose tones were heard at Intel. “We’ll work when needed and as much as needed,” said Maxine Fassberg, general manager of Intel Israel and vice president of Intel worldwide. Yet apparently the force of the campaign took even her by surprise, which led the way for the compromise agreement now being negotiated.