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Bank Mizrachi, where are you?

He wanted to manage his personal finances but all he got was a lousy haircut
A man removes cash from a Bank Leumi ATM machine in the Meah Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A man removes cash from a Bank Leumi ATM machine in the Meah Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

I’ve just come back from one of my rare visits to your bank. The reason I was there? I’ve been trying desperately to transfer money from my savings portfolio to cover the overdraft in my current account. You don’t answer my calls, you ignore my emails and you are undoubtedly charging me interest on my growing deficit.

So this morning I knocked on your door which was locked and after waiting in vain for a response, stormed across the street to get a haircut. “Don’t you know the bank is on strike?” answered the barber when I vented my frustration and asked him if I could pay him next week. I think that was the moment he chopped a little too deep on my left side giving me a skin-toned Batman lightning flash across the grey. “Not only are they on strike, but not a word is mentioned anywhere; not in the papers, not in the TV news, nowhere. It’s like Bank Mizrachi has ceased to exist,” he added.

I was stunned. “The bank is on strike?” I yelled. “What are they striking for?”
Thinking about it, I remembered that there were bank strikes many, many years ago, when Israel was a non-entity in the financial world. Who had ever heard of the New Shekel? But 2017 is a different story. Israel is a financial powerhouse. Didn’t one of our startups recently sell their Mobileye system for 10 billion dollars? Hasn’t the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, Intel, just decided to spin off a huge lump of their Israeli business to join Mobileye in the development of driverless cars?

As a matter of interest, Bank Mizrachi, when Intel arrives at your front door to deposit their monthly takings of about 20 million dollars, do you ignore the knocking at your door? And another thing, while we are going international — I read somewhere that Israel has the largest number of companies quoted on the New York and Nasdaq stock exchanges — more than any other country in the world. But I guess Bank Mizrachi doesn’t deal with any of those companies.

Bank Mizrachi is so good at sending me mail and messages and updates and advice. How come I didn’t get a message about the strike? A letter of regret, or a note of apology? An SMS, a phone call?

If it’s still in the works I’ll be out there waiting. I’m the guy with the bright blue shirt standing among your striking customers.

About the Author
Leon Moss grew up in South Africa and has lived in Israel for 35 years; He is a construction estimator by profession, and has been a freelance writer for the past 10 years, writing odd stories, articles and web content. Leon paints and works hard at being retired. He and his wife live in a retirement home in central Israel.
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