@tomfriedman Zionist Apologist/Shill opines on The Economic Visionary/Neo-Faschist Netanyahu, in 1,461 words…

Almost Marx confronts a New York Times Public Intellectual!

The opening paragraphs of Mr. Friedman’s ‘almost defence’ of Netanyahu is awash in carefully laundered gush:

If you want to understand the economic riskiness and moral fraudulence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s headlong rush to ram through a total overhaul of Israel’s judicial system and put it under his thumb while he faces corruption charges, you just need to study two statistics and ask one question. 

The two statistics: The Economist ranked Israel as the fourth-best-performing economy in 2022 among O.E.C.D. countries. And in 2020, Israel ranked 19th among the economies in the world, making the top 20 for the first time in its history, based on G.D.P. per capita — ahead of Canada, New Zealand and Britain. 

That’s right: Israel has been enjoying a quiet economic miracle in the past few decades, and no Israeli leader deserves more credit for that than Netanyahu. During his previous 15 years as prime minister, he did a superb job, in my view, helping to transform Israel into the world’s leading start-up nation. He put in place smart economic policies to attract investors. He would go anywhere and talk to anyone (except me!) to promote the Israeli economy. And he played a key role in providing government resources so Israel’s high-tech community could forge world-leading positions in cybersecurity technologies, water conservation, solar energy and digital health. 

The Critical Reader might look to these statistics offered by the BBC of May 24, 2021

Headline: Israel-Gaza: How much money does Israel get from the US?

This support came as part of an agreement signed by former president Barack Obama in 2016 for an overall package of $38bn (26.8bn) in military aid over the decade 2017-2028.

Over the years, US aid has helped Israel develop one of the most advanced militaries in the world, with the funds allowing them to purchase sophisticated military equipment from the US.

For example, Israel has purchased 50 F-35 combat aircraft, which can be used for missile attacks – 27 of the aircraft have so far been delivered, costing around $100m (£70.4m) each.

Last year Israel also bought eight KC-46A Boeing ‘Pegasus’ aircrafts for an estimated $2.4bn (£1.7bn). These are capable of refuelling planes such as the F-35 in mid-air.


That America handsomely finances Israel’s Military, and as argued ’That’s right: Israel has been enjoying a quiet economic miracle’ … so this praise for the standing of Israel @TheEconomist is based , indeed, under-written by The American National Security State.

The Economist ranked Israel as the fourth-best-performing economy in 2022 among O.E.C.D. countries.

In the face of the near final ‘evolution’ of the toxin of Zionism, Mr. Friedman, in a moment of almost political honesty, confronts the facts of Zionist Fascism? All the while, avoiding at all costs, the fact of the Genocide-On-The-Installment Plan against The Palestinians: The Reader confronts ,again, the moral/political vacuity wedded to mendacity of this propagandist !

So you cannot be surprised that many global and Israeli investors are looking at Israel today and asking this simple question: If the Israeli legal system that has gradually and collaboratively evolved over the past 75 years was so awful — so in need of emergency radical surgery overnight, without any national debate — how did it help produce and guard the Israeli economic miracle of the past 20 years that Netanyahu always, and justifiably, takes credit for and has made Israel’s middle class amazingly prosperous? 

Nothing is more dangerous to Israel’s continued prosperity than Netanyahu’s inability today to give a credible answer to that simple question. 

Because in the absence of a credible answer, the only thing one can believe — the only thing foreign investors increasingly believe — is that the whole process is being driven by a small group of far-right authoritarian ideologues, an extremist right-wing think tank inspired by the Federalist Society in America and a prime minister who seems so desperate to escape from his trial on 2020 charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust that he is ready to change the rules of the entire Israeli Monopoly game to secure his own get-out-of-jail-free card. 

Now, that is scary. 

The Reader has yet to confront the remaining 1, 038 words of this Propaganda… I’ll engage in a bit of self-serving reductionism, that might demonstrate/elucidate the dominant economic theme of this intervention. That dissolves the question of Netanyahu’s attack on the fiction of Israel’s ‘Democracy’ by way of his Economic Leadership?

Any investor, foreign or domestic, should be worried that Netanyahu is letting the judicial extremists in his cabinet ignite a legal intifada in Israel and a Palestinian intifada in the West Bank — at the same time. 

And you want to talk about governance risks? Israel’s own president, Isaac Herzog, is publicly

As a general rule, investors don’t like investing in countries roiled with protests and chaos. 

And that is why some have started pressing the pause button.

“Investors are taking a step back and saying: ‘First, decide whether you are a democracy or a dictatorship, and then we’ll talk,…

And that is also why, behind the scenes — behind their don’t-worry-be-happy public bluster — my business contacts tell me that Netanyahu and his strategic adviser Ron Dermer have been calling global corporate leaders, financiers and even economists, like Lawrence Summers, to try…

But the more that Netanyahu and Dermer call to tell them not to worry, the more those investors worry that they have something to worry about. 

Here’s a report on Sunday from one of Israel’s leading business newspapers, The Calcalist: “An investigation by Calcalist shows that a large number of high-tech companies, whose managers are not at all involved in the protest against the judicial coup, are quietly withdrawing their companies’ cash balances from Israel.

And on Tuesday, The Times of Israel reported that the country’s leading bankers met with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and informed him that they were seeing “early signs” that the planned radical judicial overhaul “will damage the economy and urged the coalition to adopt a compromise plan proposed by President Isaac Herzog.” 

According to Israel’s Channel 12, Uri Levin, the C.E.O. of Israel Discount Bank, one of the country’s largest, told the finance minister: “We see a tenfold increase in interest in opening savings accounts in foreign banks.

This comes after Amir Yaron, the nonpartisan governor of the central bank of Israel, reportedly warned Netanyahu — after talking to business leaders in Davos — that “the ruling coalition’s plans to upend the judiciary could scare away investors and negatively impact the country’s credit rating,” The Times of Israel reported.

Caution: One should have no illusions that somehow the market will save Israel’s democracy for democracy’s sake. The electronic herd of global investors has no soul. It will take money away from Israel or put money into Israel based on one criterion only: the ability to make a profit. Just ask China. 

But here is why one of Israel’s most important, veteran high-tech investors, who asked not to be identified for fear of government reprisals, is becoming so worried.

“It is not that you will see a stampede of all the high tech running away,” he told me. “But people are very concerned that the rules of the game are being unilaterally changed.

Foreign investors, he added, always trusted Israeli courts. If foreign companies had disagreements with the Israeli government over the firing of employees or the land authority over property or the customs authority over imports, they knew that they could go to the courts and get a fair hearing, he said.

Also, international and Israeli investors and innovators, he said, need to decide where to register their companies — in America, Europe or Israel — and where to put their profits. If this radical judicial coup goes ahead, he added, you will see more and more companies registering abroad and moving resources abroad.

Netanyahu thinks he can finesse all of this with investors, he said, adding, “The problem is: Suppose that he’s not right? The risks are enormous.” 

The damage won’t happen overnight, but over time, he concluded: “It will be like termites eating your house. It looks great today, but it will one day suddenly collapse.” 

The Reader confronts the remainder of this ‘essay’ steeped in economic imperatives: yet more evidence of Mr. Friedman’s moral/political vacuity, wedded to mendacious apologetics.

Almost Marx

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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