Yes, Netanyahu is facing corruption probes and is practically annexing the West Bank. But for many Jewish Israelis, he has also provided relative security, a better economy, and growing international legitimacy — which makes the unknown alternative much worse. Benjamin Netanyahu won his fifth election campaign Tuesday, making him Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. Most Israeli citizens, and an overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis, prefer to continue with the exact same policies that the Likud has put forward over the past decade. These voters rejected most of the far-right, fundamentalist parties that call for formal annexation, turned the Zionist left into an insignificant…Read More... | 6 Comments
The longer military rule over millions of Palestinians persists, the less Israel will invest in education, health, and welfare. By Shlomo Swirski The hasty and rather under-reported deliberations on Israel’s 2019 state budget, approved by the Knesset on Thursday, present us with an opportunity to raise an important question: should the country stick to the policy of reducing public expenditures, especially social expenditures, relative to the rate of economic growth? [tmwinpost] This policy is well reflected in fiscal formulas, but always aimed at the reduction of budget deficits and at capping expenditures. The reduction of the deficit, for its part, facilitates…Read More...
Poverty in Israel is not the result of low social security transfers, it's the result of low income. And the truth of the matter is that the issue of poverty is not high on the Israeli government’s list of priorities. By Dr. Shlomo Swirski and Attorney Noga Dagan-Buzaglo (translated from Hebrew by Noam Benishei) The Alaluf Committee to Fight Poverty was appointed by a government that does everything in its power to reduce labor costs in Israel for the benefit of corporate business, as well as the government itself, because it, too, is a big employer. In doing so the government…Read More...
Finance Minister Yair Lapid raises taxes on alcohol, then claims it was because of a binding agreement with the OECD. Problem is, the OECD has no clue what he's talking about. After only a few months in office, local news and social media arenas seem to be catching Finance Minister Yair Lapid with a new faux pas almost daily. Be it wrong economic figures, misunderstandings, misquotes or others - Lapid just can't seem to keep up the appearance of someone who actually knows what he's doing. But if until now his unfortunate mishaps were limited to the scrutiny of domestic critics, today…Read More... | 8 Comments
Instead of a budget that slashes money for important environmental projects, an Israeli “Green New Deal” will bring hope for economic growth and advance the wellbeing of all echelons of society. By Mossi Raz A threefold crisis has developed in Israel in recent years. The most prominent crisis, most often featured in the media, is economic: manifested mainly in the state budget’s shortfalls. Israel is facing a budget deficit caused by a decline in the state’s income from direct taxation, a just method in theory, but not when implemented through Netanyahu’s misguided policy of reducing corporate tax payments, as a…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Central Bureau of Statistics announced it is changing its criteria for calculating unemployment. On the new list: Arab communities. Off the list: IDF conscripts who are now considered "employed" . The result: A quantum leap of 20 percent. This isn't even an April Fools joke. I wish it was. Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) sheepishly announced that the criteria it's been using to calculate the unemployment ratio in Israel don't match the ones used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which Israel insisted upon joining two years back. Now that the CBS intends to switch over…Read More... | 37 Comments
After months of following the OECD’s decision to hold the 86th Session of its Tourism Committee meeting in Jerusalem and after repeated communications with them regarding the harsh human rights reality of what is happening in Jerusalem and Israel’s illegal approach to the city, particularly to East Jerusalem I was assured by certain officials of the innocent and non-political nature of the meeting. Furthermore these same OECD officials reassured me “that the occurrence of such a meeting is naturally without prejudice to the status of the city.” The reality is that the decision to hold the meeting in Jerusalem has…Read More... | 3 Comments
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