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Stanley Fischer's legacy in Israel - placing banks above the law, subservient to the US surveillance apparatus

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Under Stanley Fischer, Bank of Israel established Israeli banks as an arm of the US surveillance apparatus, reporting to the US government on their clients.   A new Freedom of Information Act request by Washington DC attorney James Jatras ( on new Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug would unveil whether she is ready, willing, able to chart a new path on such fundamental matters.

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Stanley Fischer, former Bank of Israel governor with his newly acquired Israeli ID in 2005; current Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug in 2013.
Occupy Tel-Aviv, November 27 0- FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) is an inherent part of the US surveillance apparatus.  It purports to subject banks worldwide to US jurisdiction, and requires that banks worldwide routinely report to the US government on all US citizens' financial transactions.  While the law was NOT yet in effect in the US, and with no basis in the law of the State of Israel, then Governor of Bank of Israel encouraged Israeli banks to fabricate FATCA regulations and enforce them in Israel starting January 1, 2013.

Under Stanley Fischer's tenure as Governor, Bank of Israel refused to publish its own regulations in this matter, or respond on related Freedom of Information Act (FOIA -- Israel) requests.  The law of the land remained a secret.  At the same time, under such circumstances, refusal by a US citizen in Israel to sign a waiver of privacy to the US government, resulted in the unlawful seizing of his money, deposited with the Israeli Bank Hapoalim, BM. 

Moreover, the Supreme Court of Israel refused to duly register and review a related petition, which alleged that Stanley Fischer exchanged his loyalty to the laws of the State of Israel with loyalty to the laws of another nations and/or with loyalty to the interests of financial institutions. 

Following the early and hasty departure of Stanley Fischer from his Bank of Israel post, Karnit Flug was recently appointed the new Governor of Bank of Israel.

Now, Washington DC attorney James Jatras, of, filed a request with Governor Flug to disclose its FATCA-related policy.  The letter sums it up as follows:  "instant inquiry seeks to elucidate whether under your tenure as Governor, Bank of Israel and the Israeli banking system will operate in compliance with the laws of the State of Israel, or remain subservient to the extrajurisdictional demands of the US Treasury Department..."

Attorney Jatras's letter to Governor Flug was accompanied by a letter, dated January 27, 2013, on behalf of then Governor of Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer, purporting to explain the legal foundation for the seizing by the Israeli Bank Hapoalim, BM, of the funds of a US citizen residing in Israel, who refused to sign a waiver of privacy to the US government.  Attorney Jatras's letter to Ms Flug is also accompanied by Attorney Jatras's own opinion letter, dated February 6, 2013, regarding Bank of Israel Fischer's bogus legal claims.

Beyond the matter of FATCA, Attorney Jatras's FOIA request will document Governor Flug's approach to FOIA compliance by Bank of Israel. Under Stanley Fischer, Bank of Israel became notorious for its lack of transparency and refusal to respond on FOIA requests.   

Needless to say, current conditions, established by Stanley Fischer, disregard not only the Rule of Law, but even the principle of Publicity of the Law. 

Integrity of Stanley Fischer, during his tenure as a senior IMF officer, relative to the financial crisis in Argentina, was previously questioned by none other than Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz.  In his 2002 book, Globalization and Its Discontents, Stiglitz questioned the integrity of Fischer's conduct in this matter, and raised the possibility that Fischer was in fact doing the bidding of US interests instead.

However, the case of FATCA's unlawful implementation and enforcement in Israel under Stanley Fischer's tenure in Bank of Israel provides a much better documented example of conduct of the same nature.  Moreover, the general outcome of such conduct by Stanley Fischer as Governor of Bank of Israel was to place Israeli banks above Israeli law.

It remains to be seen whether Governor Karnit Flug is ready, willing, able to undo the damage done by Fischer to the Rule of Law in the State of Israel and chart new path for Bank of Israel on such fundamental matters.   Her response, if any, on Attorney Jastras's requests would speak volumes in this regard.

The author, Joseph Zernik, PhD, was copied on the letter from Attorney James Jatras to Governor of Bank of Israel Karnit Flug, since he was the depositor whose funds were seized by the Israeli Bank Hapoalim through purported FATCA compliance.  However, the author no longer has direct financial interest in the matter, since his funds were since returned, after he filed a request for protection by a third nation, and he has since removed his funds from Israel and renounced his US citizenship. 

[1] 13-11-27 US-ISRAEL: DC Attorney James Jatras' request for Bank of Israel FATCA policy statement by new Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug, and corresponding FOIA request
[2] 13-01-27 Response by Governor of Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer, in re: unlawful seizing of US citizen's bank accounts by Bank HaPoalim, BM
[3] 13-02-06 Attorney James Jatras opinion in re: Bank of Israel's Stanley Fischer's January 27, 2013 FATCA Response Letter
[4] 13-09-17 FATCA: a Tool of the Electronic Surveillance
[5] 13-09-25 Governor of Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer Acted As a Foreign Agent for U.S. Security Apparatus Banking Cartel 
[6] 13-03-08 Zernik v Fischer (HCJ 7650/12) - Request for the Chief Clerk's clarification regarding adulteration in Israeli Supreme Court records
[7] 02-06-06 Globalisation and its discontents by Joseph Stiglitz_The Economist


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Dr Zernik is a Human Rights and social protest activist, recognized for his unique application of data-mining and IT system analysis in Human Rights.

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