#ShutDownNation: Admitted by former Israeli PMs. Ignored by Western media

Finally, Israel’s opposition leaders, not just its leading economists and business executives, are admitting that under the current government, the most far-right, fundamentalist and corrupt ever, apartheid Israel is facing a serious economic crisis and fast becoming a #ShutDownNation. 

So why is the mainstream Western media still silent about this?

Former PM Ehud Barak warned, “The masks have been removed. … Netanyahu and his partners [are] determined to degrade Israel into a corrupt and racist dictatorship that will crumble society, isolate the country and jeopardize its future.”

Not to be outdone, former PM Yair Lapid recently wrote: “Israel is no longer the Start-Up Nation. It’s a nation in crisis. It’s a political, social and international crisis, but its effects will be economic. … Some of the [economic] damage caused recently will take years to repair.”

These dramatic statements by leading Israeli politicians have been triggered by several recent reports detailing the magnitude of the crisis in the Israeli economy, and in particular in its main engine, the high-tech sector. 

A new report released by law firm Gornitzky GNY and the IVC Research Center, for instance, reveals that initial investments in Israeli startups dropped by 90% in Q1 of 2023, as compared to the same period in 2022.

Israeli high-tech companies experienced a massive decline in funding in the first half of 2023, with investments decreasing by 68% from the corresponding period last year.

An Israel Innovation Authority survey found that 80% of Israeli startups in 2023 so far were “opened outside Israel” and that companies also “intend to register their future intellectual property overseas – which would result in a severe blow to Israel’s tax coffers.”

While Nasdaq is up 17% this year, Israel’s tech index is down 4%. Should the gap widen further, “many Israeli high-tech companies will find it very hard to raise investment and will be forced to close or move to other countries,” said the Innovation Authority.

Reflecting on the worsening Israeli high-tech crisis, leading Israeli economist Eugene Kandel said last week, “Israeli high-tech may not exist in a decade, even without political instability, and the risk is even greater in the current atmosphere.” 

Shaul Meridor, former head of the Israeli Ministry of Finance’s budget department, said, “the current government gave steroids to the global crisis here in Israel. All the investors say 'they've gone crazy so we'll wait', but their ‘waiting’ means ‘not coming back.’”

Yossi Levy, CEO of the giant Moore Investment House, said that since the new government announced its judicial plans, Israel has lost some $10B in “funds that left Israel and those that did not enter.” Investors “are looking for a … safe market - and they don't find it here.”

A senior Israeli editor recently said, “It’s time to give Israel a real slap in the face” to stop its oppression of Palestinians. With Israel’s capital flight, drying investments, high-tech relocations, and worsening economic crisis, there are now compelling financial reasons to #DivestFromApartheid. Not just ethical and legal ones!


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