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Senior Israeli Treasury Official Quits, Accuses Minister of Foul Play

Israel’s battered economy suffered another blow late Sunday evening, as one of the top officials in the Finance Ministry announced his resignation following weeks of barely concealed infighting with Minister Israel Katz. In a public “J’Accuse”-style letter, the outgoing head of the budget department, Shaul Meridor, offered a scathing renouncement of Katz’s conduct, blaming the Likud minister of fudging the numbers “to create fictitious resources and hand out extra funds” and warning of “red lines” crossed long ago. “In my many years of public service, I have never been witness to such behavior,” Meridor said. Katz, who in recent months has pushed through Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s – and his own – agenda of massive indiscriminate government handouts to all, much to the consternation of economy experts and his own advisers, brushed off Meridor’s blistering words as nothing more than politics. “He’s reverted to his family roots of hatred toward the prime minister. He wants to take [Netanyahu] down and with him the Likud party,” said Katz on Sunday, referring to Meridor’s father Dan, a prominent Likud figure who served in the Knesset from 1984 to 2013, and in multiple cabinet positions, including one year as Netanyahu’s finance minister.