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Intel come under flak

Intel come under flak

Intel Israel were facing a backlast from Orthodox Jews at the weekend because they refused to follow the religious rules for the Sabbath. The giant chip maker have offices in Har Hotzim, just north of Jerusalem and the building was surrounded by over 2,000 protestors shouting “Shabbes, Shabbes” at the tops of their voices.

The event was mostly peaceful but journalists came under some attacks later in the day when the tension started to mount – speaking to a colleague at the protest he said “The tension really started to heat up in the afternoon with many of the Jews becoming much more aggressive as they felt they weren’t being heard”. Intel had preempted this protest by putting barbed wire around the factory to prevent property damage. This fabrication plant has been in operation since 1985 and was always basically shut down apart from a core group of skeleton staff who needed to be available to keep it running. There is an interesting blog read about the situation over here.

Jewish laws forbid any work on Shabbat apart from that related to national security and public health areas – this forces a company requiring support on these days to have a permit.

Intel tried to reach an agreement with religious leaders of the Knesset but unfortunately for all involved they fell through. Intel has stated that they will be looking into the possibility of hiring only non Jewish workers for Saturday shift work.

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Stuart Davidson

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