Five Steps for Improving the Israeli Economy

Were he appointed dictator for a day, Gilad Alper knows what he would do to fix Israel’s economy: abolish certain taxes, deregulate imports from Europe and the U.S., and address the perennial issues of housing costs and educational inequality:

The high cost of housing is largely due to state control of 93 percent of land and to the planning committees, a cumbersome bureaucratic mechanism that only benefits the clerks who work there. The dictatorial solution? Selling all the land to all who are interested and disbanding the planning committees. Let the citizens build houses and businesses. Release us from the stranglehold of bureaucrats.

The most challenging but perhaps the most important issue [is] education. The educational system is a clumsy behemoth because it is a state monopoly. The only solutions the present system can provide waste buckets of money on pathetic and ineffective “reforms.” The real solution is increasing competition and breaking the government stranglehold. We can achieve this through the voucher system—an equal distribution of tax money to parents that is to be used to send their children to a private school of their choosing.

Read more at Mida

More about: Economics, Education, Free market, Israel & Zionism, Israeli economy

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas