Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

Life in Israel

tea
Israeli commercial life and society

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.

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Israel’s economy: growing and changing for the better

A series of stats published a week ago revealed just how successful the Israel economy has become.

  • Inflation has run at less than 0.5% p.a. for the past four years.
  • In a country of over 8 million people, there are 3.4 million vehicles on the road.
  • Incoming and outgoing tourism has never been so strong.

And so the list goes on. From a historical perspective, the numbers are even more stunning. Below is a set of data available from the Start Up Nation Facebook page:

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Israel’s GDP per person is measured at US$40,000. By way of comparison, the numbers for Britain and Germany are US$41,000 and US$42,000 respectively. To emphasise how the economic map has changed, the proposed budget for 2019 reveals that the biggest taker of resources will be the Ministry of Education and the not the defense sector.

So where is the “proverbial” but” in all of this glory? First, the statistical survey also pointed out that 13 senior current or prior politicians and civil servants  are now under investigation by the police for various forms of corruption. That includes the Prime Minister and some of his closest aides. In parallel, it has been the case for many years that within the OECD community Israel has some of the greatest levels of disparity between the haves and have nots. Concerning!

Coincidence it may be, but this week also saw the leak of a video showing the son of the Prime Minister at a strip club. The film was taken surreptitiously by his chauffeur, who is paid for by the state. He was chaperoned by a body guard, also provided at the expense of the taxpayer. The haves and the have nots.

The initial impressive stats do not lie. However, the reason why more people are not benefitting from this additional growth is all too apparent and very disturbing to see. Time for a change.

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