JERUSALEM (VINnews) — In a Yediot Aharonot interview to be published Friday, Angel bakery director Omer Bar-Lev hotly denies having apologized to the chareidim, despite the letter of apology which he and Yaron Angel brought to the Edelstein family. It should be noted that Bar-Lev and Angel were criticized in the secular media for “capitulating” to the chareidi boycott.
Bar-Lev said that he had “been surprised at the broadness of the boycott” but insisted that he had not caved in or surrendered.
“A week after I became head of the Angel board of directors, people spread fake news that I had allegedly demonstrated opposite Rabbi Edelstein’s home and insulted his honor,” Bar Lev said. “I didn’t intend to bring such a result of a boycott, but it happened very fast when there were calls for a boycott, including from Moshe Gafni and Aryeh Deri and from there it spread. This wasn’t a boycott from the rabbis, it came from the public.”
Bar-Lev claimed that the reason for Angel’s decision to apologize wasn’t economic. “Of course there were orders cancelled but what concerned us was that people supporting families would be fired from all kinds of positions in the bakery. That was the last thing I needed.”
Bar-Lev said that “we didn’t give in or surrender, this has been going on for a month and we didn’t cave in due to threats, but the moment it became another dispute within the Israeli public against the bakery – which has nothing to do with the current public debate and has been providing bread for 100 years to everyone – and the moment it became clear that they saw our silence as arrogance and contempt, it was clear we had to do something.” Despite this Bar-Lev insisted that he had not apologized. “I don’t see this as an apology. You can give any headline you want, it wasn’t an apology.”
In the wake of Bar-Lev’s statements, Yaron Angel said that “Omer Bar-Lev is a private person and a politician and the interview with him is personal and did not involve us. Angel’s Bakery apologized from the depths of our heart and publicly, an apology which cannot be misconstrued. That is a fact and we stand behind it.”