To facilitate the entry of haredim into academia and the workforce, the state and private industry have invested hundreds of millions of shekels in recent years to create ultra-Orthodox frameworks to support individuals who are looking for academic education and employment while also remaining loyal to their cultural mores. As a result, nearly 80 percent of ultra-Orthodox women are now employed, on par with secular Jewish Israeli women.
Will the High Court of Justice’s refusal to extend the Tal Law indeed reduce the inequality of burden sharing in Israeli society? IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Momi Dahan does not think so, and argues that ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel should be exempted from the army and allowed to work, so as to assume their fair share of the tax burden.
A recent law stripped local authorities of the power to decide on allowing commercial activity on Shabbat and handed it over to the Minister of the Interior, a development which was met with public uproar. Would it not be better to leave these powers in the hands of the municipalities, which act according to the profile of their resident population? Dr. Shuki Friedman makes the case for leaving these decisions in the hands of the local authority.
Despite last summer's war in Lebanon, Hamas's rise to leadership, Hizbullah rockets being aimed at Israeli cities, and international boycotts, Israeli economy is thriving, the national debt and unemployment have significantly dropped, and investors continue to look to Israel as fertile ground for investment.
Following the publication of the Poverty Report, Dr. Sami Miaari points out the large percentage of Arab Israelis that live in poverty. He says the current situation requires a new strategy and economic investment on several levels simultaneously. This article first appeared on Times of Israel.
Survey to serve as backdrop for discussion at Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society – June 19 and 20
In this article, originally published in Haaretz on April 1, 2010, IDI Senior Researcher Prof. Avraham Ben-Bassat warns that Israel's policy of reducing taxes should be frozen since it may precipitate an economic crisis, and advocates giving preference to increasing public spending while preserving the economy's stability.
Dr. Peter Jarrett, the head of the Country Studies Division at the OECD, says the government must do more to integrate all Israelis into the economy if it is to continue to prosper and grow. "Boasting that Arabs and Ultra-Orthodox Aside, Israel's Situation is Excellent - is Simply shortsighted and Foolish."
Top Israeli economist, Professor Eytan Sheshinski, has joined IDI as a senior researcher in the Center for Governance and the Economy, under the leadership of Dafna Aviram-Nitzan.
With the featured participation of: Bank of Israel Governor, Education Minister, Economy Minister, Director-General of the Finance Ministry, Director-General of the Prime Minister Office, Chairman of the Histadrut Labor Federation, Director-General of Bank Leumi, Director General of Microsoft Israel and other VIPs