Despite the prophecies of doom that accompanied the cessation of the rains before Passover, this was a blessed year. Most of the country received about 20% more than the average annual rainfall. Even so, approval has been given for the desalination plant in Ashkelon to double its output and this too is a blessing.
Despite the prophecies of doom, there has been a significant increase in investments in Israeli startups by foreign VC funds in the past two months. True, most of the funds invested were American or European, but that is no different than in the past ¿ most of the investors are usually American funds.
Despite the prophecies of doom regarding damage to the Israeli economy following international accusations of a "massacre in Jenin," Human Rights Watch, the second largest organization in the world after Amnesty International, has unequivocally determined that there was no massacre. Not only that but the organization ruled that the terrorists are the ones perpetrating "crimes against humanity."
Despite the prophecies of doom regarding grievous damage to industry and particularly to high-tech industry following the Israel Defense Forces reserve call-up, from an unrepresentative sample I surveyed, it turns out that less than 5% of high-tech employees received emergency call-up notices. This sample revealed a few other points: Women constitute a significant part of the industry; the number of people over 40 is not insignificant either (even though the consensus in the industry is that the overwhelming majority is younger); the number of combat soldiers bearing the burden is small. True, those called up were primarily from the infantry and armored corps.
In an all-out war (Heaven forfend), artillery, anti-aircraft, air force, navy and intelligence (particularly prevalent in the high-tech industry) personnel will be called up, as well as the transport corps and others, and then 20% of the workers will probably be serving in the reserves. That will be a real problem, but sometimes even in the height of the summer at least 20% of the work force of many companies is away on vacation, and the companies somehow or other, still manage to function.
For some odd caprice I have always hired economists and accountants who are veterans of combat units (women professionals notwithstanding). Financial Immunities is a small company, so it turned out that in the past two months 50% of the workers were doing reserve duty some of the time. The rest of the workers bore a heavy burden (though obviously not as heavy as fighting). I do not regret my caprice for a minute.
Even Israelis are allowed to spread financial risks
Despite the prophecies of doom regarding the vast sums of money spent by Israelis on apartments overseas, only a few dozen apartments are actually purchased each month, mainly in Toronto and New York. These purchases are offset by the purchase of apartments in Netanya, Ra'anana and Ashdod by Jews from France and Argentina.
Despite the prophecies of doom regarding a harsh blow to immigration due to the security situation in Israel, figures from the Absorption Ministry indicate that although immigration will be lower than usual this year, it will still reach 30-35,000. About 70% will come from the CIS and about 20% from Argentina. Immigration from France is still only a trickle.
Despite the prophecies of doom regarding the money being deposited abroad, for some reason the figure mentioned is the gross total of Israeli money flowing to these deposits (incidentally, this is not a bad thing because even Israelis are allowed to spread their financial risks). If one deducts the foreign investments in Israel from this sum, the net figure of "fleeing money" is miniscule compared to the fiscal balances of the Israeli public.
Regarding the prophecies of doom concerning the new Economic Plan, it is certainly worth continuing to hurl them at the Knesset members. The program doesn¿t look very good and the government and MKs should listen to the business sector and build a program that encourages growth. It will be worth it if six months from now we can write that ¿despite the prophecies of doom regarding the Economic Plan,¿ it stabilized the economy. This really is possible, despite the prophecies of doom.