The Israeli Economy Needs to Break Free of State Control

Despite its many successes, Israel has been hindered by a deep-seated belief that the state is responsible for managing the economy. Among intellectuals, academics, and policymakers, the idea that a nation’s economic progress results from a culture imbued with the spirit of capitalism, and not from government intervention, is almost heretical. Amnon Lord writes:

[I]n a lecture in Jerusalem, [American] presidential candidate Mitt Romney said [in 2012] that he attributes Israeli economic success to a “strong culture.” “I come here to this city and I see the accomplishments of people of this nation,” he said. “I see the power of culture and other things.” Romney compared the Israeli economy to the Palestinian one in terms of GNP: “You see such dramatic and prominent differences in economic vitality.” Later he said in a more philosophical tone: “if you can learn something from the history of the economy in the world, this is the lesson: culture is what makes the difference.”

The pseudo-intellectual outrage that erupted in the wake of Romney’s statements is a test case in how a profound truth turns into a distortion at the hands of those who support leaving power in the hands of the state and fraudulent “social justice.” As if a statement on how culture can help the economy promotes the idea of “cultural superiority”—with racial superiority not far off, of course. This is one of the methods used by supporters of socialism nowadays to suppress any serious discussion of the profound questions of economic reform.

Read more at Mida

More about: Capitalism, Free market, Israeli economy, Mitt Romney

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7