Friday has come round once again, and this week and since we are still in Yom Ha’atzmaut mode, there is plenty of good news for a Good News Friday post.
Considering where Israel was a mere 69 years ago, it is incredible to see that Israel’s economy is surging against all odds, as Yoram Ettinger writes:
155 Israeli hightech companies raised $1bn during the first quarter of 2017, compared to $1bn during the 4th quarter of 2016, $933mn – 3rd quarter, $1.7bn – 2nd quarter and $1.1bn – 1st quarter of 2016 (Globes, April 29)
Fitch credit rating reaffirmed Israel’s credit rating at A+, based on the stability of Israel’s economy, balance of payment surplus, expansion of foreign exchange reserves, decline of debt-GDP ratio from 95.2% in 2003 to 62.2% in 2016, decrease of budget deficit, natural gas potential, etc. (Globes, April 26, 2017).
Adam Reuter, the Founder & CEO of Israel’s Financial Immunities: Against all odds Israel’s aggregate economic growth since 2008 – 35%, almost twice the OECD average; Israel’s GDP per capita is almost $36,000, 24th in the world (while population is much younger than all advanced economies); Israel’s foreign exchange reserves exceed $100bn, one of the highest per capita in the world; debt-GDP ratio reduced substantially; unemployment decreases below 5%; higher participation in the labor market (more ultra-orthodox and Arab participation); Israel is the global leader in research & development investment per GDP (over 4%), employing 140 per 10,000 in research & investment (the US is second, employing 85 per 10,000); Israel is one of only eight countries developing, manufacturing and launching space modules; Israel is a global co-leader (with the US) in the area of unmanned aerial vehicles and second global power in cyber technology; over 350 global companies operate research & development centers in Israel, which has become the largest industrial global laboratory; Israel’s economy benefit from the highest fertility rate among advanced economies and net-positive-migration (no need to import labor force, in order to sustain economic growth); Israel’s income tax is one of the lowest among OECD countries; Israel’s technology transformed the country from inherent irrigation deficit to surplus (almost 90% of sewage is recycled – drinking water standard – for agriculture); offshore natural gas development is already bolstering the economy; etc
There is much more at the link. Read it all and be proud of our little country with the great people. We have to thank G-d as well as our financial leadership who has kept our (not so little) ship afloat throughout the turbulence affecting the rest of the world.
Since we’re on economic news, here’s quite a shocking item (in a good way): A Swiss court has ordered Egypt to pay Israel $2 billion for breaching their contract with Israel (as I reported here in 2012):
A Swiss court ordered Egyptian natural gas companies to pay Israel’s state-owned electricity provider $2 billion in fines for breach of previous contracts, a step that could complicate chances for the two nations to sign future gas deals as Israel seeks to become an energy exporter.
The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland said Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding were liable for the damages caused by repeated attacks on a pipeline through the Sinai Desert that supplied gas to its neighbor, Israel Electric Co. said in a text message Thursday. The Egyptian companies had appealed a previous ruling from Dec. 2015 that imposed a $1.73 billion penalty.
It’s about time too! But who would ever have thought that justice for Israel would come via Switzerland? Kol hakavod to the Swiss courts who ruled in our favour at last. Interesting too that the tables have turned, and now Israel is the one exporting gas to Egypt, instead of the reverse. That is one of the huge benefits of Israel’s natural gas finds.
Going back to Yom Ha’atzmaut, as I reported in my Yom Atzmaut post, Israeli Arabs are very happy to rejoice with Israel on its independence. Here (from Israelycool) is how some Israeli Arabs celebrated:
Commenter Reality mentioned on my post that the Arabs at her place of work also wished the Israelis chag same’ach on their holiday. This is not even unusual any more. We just have to show the rest of the world what our reality (no pun intended) is really like.
Talking of showing the world what Israel is really like, and not what the propagandists would have you believe, watch this incredible video made by CAMERA on Campus:
In the past few years UC Irvine has become synonymous with anti-Israel activities: BDS votes, petitions against Israeli speakers, boycotts on Israel-related events and more.
Students on campus don’t even get to meet Israelis or visit Israel, but they constantly hear how bad it is.
So these students decided to bring the REAL Israel straight to the campus – and the results were amazing.
See for yourselves!
Kol hakavod to CAMERA! This initiative should be replicated across the world in every college and school. Only this way, by direct contact, can the evils of BDS be vanquished.
And I’ll close with a cute video “What does it mean to be Israeli?”, made by Im Tirtzu and funny girl Renny:
And with these happy thoughts I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!