Don’t Blame Blips in the Israeli Economy on Proposed Changes to the Judicial System

Earlier this year, respected Israeli economists and businesspeople issued dire warnings about the potential effects of judicial reform on their country’s economy. They are now citing a major decline in venture-capital investment over the past year and Moody’s recent decision to downgrade the Israeli economic outlook from “positive” to “stable” as evidence that they were correct. Michael Fertik is not convinced:

Israel is in a superb position—probably the best globally, except for the United States—to ride the current and future waves of venture-capital allocation. Israeli startups have never been stronger, more inventive, more dynamic, more sophisticated, or more attractive. The recent downturn in venture-capital investment in Israel mirrors the declines across the globe. It has precious little to do with how many opposition Knesset lawmakers get to vote on judicial candidates.

For reasons of their own understandable concern, political conviction, or personal inclination toward catastrophic thinking, commentators against the judicial reform link a couple of juicy data together to paint a picture of looming economic doom for the state of Israel.

Israel is experiencing a venture-capital reset along with the rest of the planet. It’s a healthy and good thing. You might even conjecture that over the past decade, there has been too much venture capital flowing into companies around the world, perhaps into Israeli startups more than those of most other countries. A reset is fine. It’s right. It’s typical. And it will make Israeli startups only stronger in the medium and long term. And, more than anything else, no matter your political opinion, the venture-capital reset has just about zippo to do with judicial reform.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Israeli economy, Israeli Judicial Reform

Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy