The Blog

It's the Economy, Stupid?

As Ariel Sharon starts his own party, Israeli politcs might finally focus on economics.

11:00 PM, Dec 20, 2005 • By DANIEL DORON
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Growth this year is approaching 5%. It may rise next year. Unemployment is falling. So there is a chance that an economic revival may serve as the best antidote to damaging populist policies. But it is only a chance, because after years of indoctrination by a well financed (by millions in US contributions) Socialist welfare lobby, practically every politician is jumping on the anti-poverty bandwagon. Netanyahu will have to labor hard to have the election debate focused on effective economic solutions, but who can do it better than he?

It is not be the first time that populist politics threaten economic growth in Israel. The forthcoming March elections will decide whether regressive politics will again undo reform, and sentence so many Israelis to merely keeping their heads above water and surviving, or whether continued economic reform will enable Israel to finally emerge from the shackles of an impoverished state dominated economy, to grow and prosper. p>

Daniel Doron is president of the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, an independent pro-market policy think tank.