Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Technological Entrepreneurs

The low rate of ultra-Orthodox participation in Israel’s workforce is a major problem both for the Israeli economy and for haredi communities. But a growing number have founded high-tech start-ups, and one of them has launched a forum to encourage greater entrepreneurship. David Shamah writes:

For many Israelis, the terms “ultra-Orthodox” and “high-tech entrepreneur” don’t belong in the same sentence. Tech entrepreneurs are open to new ideas, experiment with advanced technologies, show independent spirit, and are at home on the Internet—quite the opposite of the popular stereotype of the average haredi individual.

But anyone who thinks that way is behind the times, says Itzik Crombie.

Haredim are just as creative and imaginative, and as willing to succeed, as are secular Israelis—in fact, from what I have seen among those in the high-tech world, they are even more ambitious. . . . The problem is that they don’t have role models to show them how to navigate the business world and get to the point where they can build their own businesses.”

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israeli economy, Israeli technology, Ultra-Orthodox

If Iran Goes Nuclear, the U.S. Will Be Forced Out of the Middle East

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in May that Iran has, or is close to having, enough highly enriched uranium to build multiple atomic bombs, while, according to other sources, it is taking steps toward acquiring the technology to assemble such weapons. Considering the effects on Israel, the Middle East, and American foreign policy of a nuclear-armed Iran, Eli Diamond writes:

The basic picture is that the Middle East would become inhospitable to the U.S. and its allies when Iran goes nuclear. Israel would find itself isolated, with fewer options for deterring Iran or confronting its proxies. The Saudis and Emiratis would be forced into uncomfortable compromises.

Any course reversal has to start by recognizing that the United States has entered the early stages of a global conflict in which the Middle East is set to be a main attraction, not a sideshow.

Directly or not, the U.S. is engaged in this conflict and has a significant stake in its outcome. In Europe, American and Western arms are the only things standing between Ukraine and its defeat at the hands of Russia. In the Middle East, American arms remain indispensable to Israel’s survival as it wages a defensive, multifront war against Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hizballah. In the Indo-Pacific, China has embarked on the greatest military buildup since World War II, its eyes set on Taiwan but ultimately U.S. primacy.

While Iran is the smallest of these three powers, China and Russia rely on it greatly for oil and weapons, respectively. Both rely on it as a tool to degrade America’s position in the region. Constraining Iran and preventing its nuclear breakout would keep waterways open for Western shipping and undermine a key node in the supply chain for China and Russia.

Diamond offers a series of concrete suggestions for how the U.S. could push back hard against Iran, among them expanding the Abraham Accords into a military and diplomatic alliance that would include Saudi Arabia. But such a plan depends on Washington recognizing that its interests in Eastern Europe, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East are all connected.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy