ISRAEL'S FINANCIAL ACHIEVEMENTS
by Barry Chamish
Not long ago, M.S. wrote me asking for a way out of Israel after decades of hyper-patriotic loyalty. He wrote simply, "Israel sucked out my money and my life." What you should know about M.S. is that he sends out a highly popular Hebrew newsletter with much anger at the government of Israel and an equal balance of love for the Land of Israel. I will only use initials for him and all quotes in this piece to avoid complications, but if you're a Hebrew reading internet communicator, you likely know him. So you know, I offered to rent him a spare room in my Florida apartment if he needed an escape.
The list of high-charged Jews who went broke in Israel, or lived on the edge of financial nothing there and are now elsewhere, is huge. I will offer but a few choice examples like my friend M., editor of the famous website www.pushhamburger.com. I met him at his home in Nevada and about the first thing he said to me was, "How do you make a small fortune in Israel? Come with a big fortune." That is his story and I'll spare you the details of the criminal shenanigans that forced him from Israel to America. Professor Jean Shaoul will do that with an article he published in mid-November.
But watch out. I'm going to interrupt him from time to time:
Oligarchy and inequality in Israel
By Jean Shaoul
A number of high-profile economic Ã¢â‚¬Å“successesÃ¢â‚¬Â and technological achievements associated with IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s economy conceal one of the most polarised societies in the world.
Last May, Israel was admitted to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, underscoring its transformation into an advanced economy. IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s per capita GDP, at $28,365, is the fourth largest in the Middle East and larger than all its neighbours combined.
Thanks in large part to immigration from the Soviet Union, Israel currently has the highest per capita number of engineers and scientists, scientific publications and registered patents in the world. The Arrow, the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most advanced anti-missile missile, unmanned drones, the Given ImagingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s diagnostic pillcam, MRI and CAT scans, dental and medical imaging, drip irrigation and text messaging were all invented in Israel. All of the major IT, aerospace and aviation companies have subsidiaries in Israel. But the technological successes and the new wealth, flowing from Benyamin NetanyahuÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“free marketÃ¢â‚¬Â policies when he was finance minister in previous governmentsÃ‚Âmost recently under Ariel Sharon from 2003 to 2005Ã‚Âhas benefited only a narrow social layer.
First interruption. If you are not in the narrow layer, you'd better be adequately equipped to tolerate torture if you try to open a business. Established businesses do not tolerate upstarts fighting for a share of their pie and they put impossible obstacles in your way. S.A., now of Washington State, was bilked and bankrupted by her Israeli business partner and tried to escape the country. But a lien was put on her passport by the partner claiming she owed him money. She was stopped from leaving at the airport and slung back to Hell. The worst case of this was Zev A., a very talented and well published photographer, who three decades ago had a lien put on his passport over a small tax debt. His photographic equipment, including cameras, were legally seized from him, so he couldn't work to cover the debt. Interest was added to the principal of the small debt, quickly turning it into a sum he could never return. I saw him in Jerusalem 6 years ago. He looked like a street crazy, endlessly face-twitching, looking years older than his age, babbling nonsense. A woman, who I will not identify even by initials at her request, had a lien put on her passport 11 years before, escaping after a year. After over a decade she felt the pull of Zion again and flew back to Israel where the same story repeated itself. Her lesson; "If you accidentally left even one bill unpaid, they keep adding interest and demand you repay a gigantic amount. I learned, you can never safely return to Israel."
According to the 2009 Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report, Israel has 5,900 people with at least $1 million in liquid assets. Between 2005 and 2007, Israel produced more millionaires per capita than any other country. The Marker, HaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢aretzÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s financial section, estimates that the wealth of the 500 richest people in Israel is $75 billion, equal to $150 million each. To put this in perspective, last year, IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s total GDP was $205 billionÃ‚Âmaking 500 people worth more than a third of this total. Even this fails to fully show the concentrated nature of Israeli wealth and power. The wealthiest 20 families control about half the stock market and 25 percent of the top companies in Israel, notably the newspapers, banks and high tech companies, through a vast pyramid of companies that involve very little of their own money. The families appoint their relations and close friends to manage these companies. Such corporate structures and trusts were outlawed in the United States more than a century ago. Even in Saudi Arabia, the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest family-run business, corporate control by 70 ruling princes is less concentrated than in Israel. IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Central Bank recently issued a report indicating its concerns about the stranglehold these families have over the economy and their Ã¢â‚¬Å“closeÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Âa euphemism for corruptÃ‚Ârelations with Israeli politicians, likening it to a developing country.
Ahem, I'm back. Did you catch that? If you didn't, 20 families control half the Tel Aviv stock market. And they only hire their relatives and friends to management positions in the companies they own. Needless to say, they run the media with all its twists to the Left. But they also run the banks and one of them, Israel General Bank, just about got me to run out of Israel. I was one of five people who signed a tiny housing loan for one Martha Rosenberg of Italy. My risk was about $500. if she defaulted. What I didn't know is that she and three other crooks went from bank to bank co-signing loans for each other with the scheme of skipping the country after stealing about $100,000. Besides me, two other honest signers were charged with repaying all the gang stole. Never mind that bank security was breached, we were all charged $36,000 each for their theft. A thoroughly crooked lawyer, hired by the bank's owners the Safra brothers, named Yossi Cohen turned stalker against me, to the point of having me handcuffed and jailed so I'd give him money he didn't deserve and which I couldn't possibly have. My reaction was to investigate the bank. Oh, the crimes I discovered! My bill was finally reduced by 400%. I stayed in Israel but who of you wouldn't have taken the next flight to anywhere else?
The Kadima party, which former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon formed as a splinter party from Likud and Labour, is widely seen a political front for IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s oligarchs, with Shimon Peres, IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s president, as their man. The former Kadima leader and prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was forced to resign over numerous corruption scandals.
Not only is there vast evidence that Shimon Peres planned the murders of Rabin, Zeevi and brain-dead Sharon, and these are just a few of his crimes, others are far worse, according to Prof. Shaoul, he is the political leader of the oligarchs. Needless to say, Peres in any clinical test would prove to be a sociopath. He cares nothing for the Jewish people and is allowed to continue his damage because the thieves robbing the Israeli people blind depend on his leadership for their continued larceny. Only in this larcenous mindset could the Jews of Gaza and Northern Samaria have their homes bulldozed under their feet and be forced off their property, only to find the government unwilling to provide alternate housing and compensation. And just as insulting and nutty, the banks demanded mortgage payments for the Palestinian rubble their homes became.
Israel is one of the most socially polarised societies in the developed world. According to the Adva Institute, an Israeli equality and social justice NGO, top managers earn $523,000 a month, nearly 500 times the average monthly salary of $1,440. This is fives time the differential in the US. At the same time, one and a half million people, or more than 20 percent of the population, live in povertyÃ‚Âdefined as living on 50 percent or less than the median income. Fully 34 percent of Israeli children live in poverty.
Your top managers, appointed through nepotism, earn over $2 million every 2 months while 34% of children are impoverished and malnourished. And no trustbuster will ever emerge to challenge the atrocity. The oligarchy is the state and they don't take kindly to strangers busting up their scam. The direct result is 31,000 Israelis left the country for good last year, most settling in the US. Meanwhile only 3,000 Jews moved from the US to Israel. In three years almost 100,000 Israelis moved out. The number of Israelis living elsewhere is estimated to be 700,000. Putting it another way, counting their families, if they had stayed, there would be another two million Jews in Israel. The oligarch mafia scares Jews out of Israel, and scares them from coming in.
Adva reported last April that in 2009, when GDP growth fell to less than one percent, employersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ share of GDP rose from 15 percent in 2008 to 17 percent, while workersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ share of GDP fell from 62 to 60 percent. Over the decade as a whole, when GDP rose by 30 percent, the employersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ share of national income rose from 14 percent to 17 percent, while workers saw their share fall from 66 percent to 60 percent, equivalent to a loss of $250 a month, or about one sixth of their income. While the economy has been growing at 5 percent a year, wages have been falling by 3 to 4 percent a year. Public spending on anti-poverty measures, education, health, transport and social security has been cut, while the wealthy have gained from tax cuts and the protection of capital gains.
And while the appointed employers get richer far faster than in any first world country, they don't have to pay taxes. Thanks to tax deductions the majority of Israeli charity is "contributed" by the deviants who caused the poverty. These greedy oligarchs are feasted by universities, orchestras and museums while...
The impact of IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s free market policies have been felt throughout Israeli society. The elderly have been particularly badly affected. Even those who survived the Nazi extermination of European Jewry, for whom Israel was supposed to provide a safe haven, have not been spared. Support groups claim that 80,000 survivors, one third of those living in Israel, do not have enough money to make ends meet and are forced to turn to soup kitchens, charities or welfare agencies.
...a third of the remaining Holocaust survivors in Israel eat at their soup kitchens.
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I have to change my work strategy or I'll be in trouble soon. This is a query, nothing more for now.
Just know that my influence is increasing this year, while down the line, my supporters' bank accounts are decreasing. Every major Israeli media outlet is contacting me to be quoted for Rabin's 15th year murder anniversary. I have been given my own radio show and appear constantly on other shows. Barely anyone quits my newslist and it has grown to over 3500 readers including dozens of sites.
But in the past half year or so, people don't have the money to support my work. I called Joel Skousen of the subscription-based WorldAffairsBrief and he told me his cancellation rate was 60% at one point this year. BUT he advised me that his list costs $48/yr and what he is suffering is a bad patch. His income will allow him to recover. He insisted that I charge a fee or I will go under.
Look, I think $48/yr is inappropriate for me. I'd probably charge half that. Even in a recession, people have $12.50 for a half year of important news to them that they can't find anywhere else. My problem is I'm a bit frightened of losing the influence that comes with 3500 readers sending my work to their correspondents.
Will you stay with me if I switch to a subscription policy?
Let me know, please. Barry
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