Social and Economic Resilience in a Crisis Situation: Strategic ImplicationsMarch 30, 2020
The ability of Israeli society to stay resilient at a time of national emergency – specifically in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic – has direct strategic and security implications, insofar as Israel demonstrates that it is capable of facing adversity. in addition, despite the huge budgetary hit engendered by Corona, it is vital to sustain Israeli investment in advanced military capabilities, and retain an untouchable budget reserve for this purpose.
China’s Rise, US Opposition, and The Implications for IsraelMarch 25, 2020
This article offers assessments of China in a clear-eyed and non-polemical fashion. It offers not an apology but an explanation for why China, having suffered a century of humiliation by external powers in the 19th century, is focused on re-establishing its role in the world – a role it believes its global economic weight entitles it to have. The Chinese response to the coronavirus is a vivid reminder of the fear that constrains honest discussion or reporting or intellectual development in that vast country.
The Corona Epidemic: Systemic Challenges for IsraelMarch 23, 2020
Israel is in a state of emergency: schools are closed, businesses are shut, and people continue to lose their source of income. Optimal handling of this dramatic challenge demands a combined strategy. The primary thrust, prevention, protection, and containment, must be complemented by a strategy to promote societal resilience as the secondary effort.
The Corona Crisis and Israel’s National SecurityMarch 20, 2020
A seminar at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) on political and security implications of the corona crisis underscored the prevalent uncertainty regarding the situation, but also highlighted several instructive points. The biggest threat to the global (and Israeli) economy derives from the slowdown or negative growth in the United States, and at the current stage, the American ability to meet the crisis effectively is not clear. As for Israel, the risks of escalation in the northern arena and the Gaza Strip have decreased in the short term, but toughening the restrictions on the border crossings with the Palestinian Authority could lead to its economic collapse.
Using Transcripts, Interviews and Conference Proceedings to Write HistoryMarch 18, 2020
In writing history, documents and primary texts are reliably accurate. Veracity can emerge by crosschecking sources. However, if all we have is one shard of pottery from the second temple period, we must settle for it in isolation as evidence of how the pottery was constructed, its composition, use, etc. Unless of course, we are fortunate enough to have a text that describes the pottery piece, and we have the piece of pottery as evidence. When oral recollections are used to bolster the written text, subtle shades and emphatic dimensions provide colorful detail to historical writing. Unlike written records, oral evidence provides vignettes, opinions, hues, suppositions, and sentiments almost always absent in a document.
Palestinian Public Resigned to Israel’s Election Outcome, Looks to Other Arabs Instead for Next StepsMarch 16, 2020
A Palestinian public opinion poll conducted during this latest Israeli election campaign, January 23-February 11, showed a mere 8% of West Bankers, along with 22% of Gazans, reporting that the vote would probably turn out “better for the Palestinians.” Many more expected Israel’s election to make things worse for them: a third of West Bankers, and nearly half (46%) of Gazans. The remainder—half in the West Bank, and a quarter in Gaza—anticipated that it would “probably make very little difference either way.”
Startup Israel tackles coronavirus with ingenuity and chutzpahMarch 13, 2020
A handwashing machine and facemasks that claim to kill coronavirus. Contact-free monitoring of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Proactive policies to prevent the spread of the virus. A possible vaccine on the horizon. These are among the many ways Israel is responding with characteristic swift ingenuity to the raging coronavirus pandemic.
As Israel’s Kingmaker Gets Off the Fence, Gantz Gets a BoostMarch 11, 2020
Israel’s third round of elections last week seemed inconclusive at first, but the deadlock may now be broken. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did better this time than in September’s round two, but his gains were insufficient to form a new government. Potential kingmaker Avigdor Liberman jettisoned his previous idea of getting the two top parties to join forces; instead, personal antipathy and policy differences have led him to definitely state that he will not join any government Netanyahu leads.
Sudan’s Predicament and the Israeli ConnectionMarch 9, 2020
In this issue of Iqtisadi, Paul Rivlin delves into the structural factors that led to protests and the overthrow of Sudan's longtime dictator, Omar al-Bashir, in 2019. This background along with more recent developments, explains why some of the leadership in Sudan today believe engagement with Israel makes good economic sense.
Israeli startups are greasing the wheels of the Fourth Industrial RevolutionMarch 4, 2020
How did a tiny country without a significant manufacturing sector become so important to the Fourth Industrial Revolution – and how will that help us all? While the Third Industrial Revolution introduced technologies such as robotics, 4.0 innovations digitize, simplify, connect, safeguard and generally improve every step of production. This tiny country in the Middle East ranks third in I4 venture investments (after the US and China) and second in early-stage investments.
Israeli Election Day is still surprisingly low-techMarch 2, 2020
Election season in Israel is traditionally a raucous affair. But unlike the lead-up to Election Day, the voting process is staid, tedious and – despite the sporadic appearance of politicians and celebrities coming to cast their votes – pretty unglamorous. No electronic polling stations. No online voting. Only paper chits, envelopes, a cardboard partition and a box in which to cast one’s ballot. ISRAEL21c presents a photographic retrospective of 7 decades of queuing, cardboard boxes and paper chits that keep Israel’s democracy going.
A New Political CardFebruary 28, 2020
Has the "Deal of the Century" injected energy into Israel's third election and perhaps provided an incentive for Arab Israelis to turn out in higher numbers than September? Election rallies for the Arab parties in Israel rarely garner much attention or excitement. But recent policy proposals engineered thousands of miles away may have re-energized a once stagnant and unreliable voting bloc. Arik Rudnitzky uses the village of Bartaa as a possible case study.