News ID: 115339
Publish Date : 22 May 2023 - 23:12
280 Leading Economists Warn

Israel Becoming Third World Economy

TEL AVIV -- Israel is becoming a third world economy, 280 leading economists have warned in response to the budget announced by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition.
Details of this year’s budget were revealed by the occupation regime in a meeting held in a tunnel underneath Al-Aqsa Mosque. The meeting was seen as an attempt to demonstrates the Zionist entity’s control over the occupied city of Al-Quds and its holy sites. The tunnel in question is located under Al-Buraq Wall (the so-called Western Wall) of the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa.
In their warning reported by Haaretz, the academics cited massive subsidies expected to go towards the ultra-Orthodox school system, as well as bigger stipends for full-time yeshiva students. The current far-right cabinet is heavily influenced by extreme religious parties. Netanyahu is said to have agreed last year to boost public funding substantially for ultra-Orthodox institutions that don’t teach core subjects such as maths and English, to the tune of billions of shekels a year.
According to Haaretz, concessions made by Netanyahu to build his far-right coalition include an agreement to boost stipends for ultra-Orthodox men who eschew full-time employment for lifetime study in institutes catering for advanced study of the Talmud and rabbinic literature, or a traditional Jewish educational institution yeshiva for married men.
Netanyahu also agreed to increase funding for food vouchers from 850 million shekels ($234m) to a billion shekels, despite warnings that the new system for determining eligibility would politicize the social welfare system.
“In order to enable integration into the labor market, children should receive an education that enables this, and adults should face incentives to do so,” the economists are reported as warning.
“Unfortunately, the Israeli regime not only does not deal with this dire issue, but also chooses measures that exacerbate the problem and deteriorate the future of Israel’s economy towards the Third World.”
Relations between the ultra-Orthodox and secular communities are extremely fraught in Occupied Palestine. Tensions are said to be extremely high, so much so that the two communities are “Heading for War” according to one Israeli commentator. Secular Zionists are said to be incensed over the billions of shekels earmarked for the Haredi community and their educational institutions.
According to education ministry documents obtained by Haaretz, in 2019 more than 90,000 Haredi students – 27 percent of all ultra-Orthodox

 students – were excused from studying core subjects that year. Resentment is fuelled further because the Haredi community is growing at a much higher rate than any other group and only contributes two percent to the regime’s revenue from income tax.
Among the signatories of the letter are senior academics, including former Netanyahu economic adviser Prof. Eugene Kandel; Prof. Omer Moav, a former adviser to the finance minister; Prof. Avi Ben Bassat, a former director of the finance ministry; Prof. Udi Nisan, former budget head at the finance ministry; and Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, who held a string of key regime positions.
Also signing the letter are a group of former deputy governors of the bank of Israel, including Prof. Avia Spivak, Nadine Trajtenberg, Prof. Zvi Eckstein, and Meir Sokolov, as well as additional former senior bank of Israel officials.
“It is not only the ultra-Orthodox population that will be harmed: when a significant percentage of Israeli children do not acquire basic skills, it is self-evident that Israel will not be able to continue to be among the world’s developed economies,” the economists wrote in the letter. 
“The socioeconomic price will be reflected not only in the loss of GDP, but also in the fact that the economy will find it difficult to provide Israeli residents with health, education, transportation, and welfare services at the level of an advanced economy.”
The letter cautioned that the “current growth trend of the Haredi population doubling every 25 years, and Haredi children failing to acquire basic skills essential for the integration into a modern labor market, poses an existential threat to Israel’s future, because only advanced countries can finance military technologies necessary to protect their residents from threats on the future battlefield.”
The Zionist regime delivered an unprecedented 10th consecutive interest-rate hike on Monday and didn’t signal if tightening is close to an end, as the central bank tries to damp inflation by bringing borrowing costs to their highest level since 2006.