2021 Is Going Be a Great Year for Startup Nation Israel

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“I’ve got a feeling 21 is going to be a good year, especially if you and me see it in together”

The first lyrics from The Who’s rock opera Tommy should serve as the first verse of our journey into 2021.

2020 wasn’t a good year; humanity was challenged. The State of Israel faced 2020 head-on and I believe 2021 will be a great year.

Startup Nation is Gaining Steam

Technology is the engine of the world economy. Our entrepreneurs and technologists are building the foundation for growth in every industry under the sun. Former adversaries are our new partners in improving the Middle East. Our youth have a bright future to look forward to after their army service.

In 2021, technology is normalized in Startup Nation Israel. Working at a startup or established tech company isn’t new. Israeli startup exits and IPOs are a regular part of the news cycle.

Our Healthcare System is a Model for the World

Israel’s healthcare system was perfectly designed to handle a pandemic. Our healthcare professionals reflect and represent all parts of our diverse society – Jewish, Arab and immigrant. Our system defies definition – “single payer?” Every working man and woman pays a health tax. Socialist? If you pay a bit more, you can obtain a higher tier of health care within the four HMOs as well as private health insurance. The best definition of Israel’s healthcare system is a phrase often used in social media to describe relationships – it’s complicated.

Israel is vaccinating citizens at a record setting pace. Our digitized healthcare system allows citizens to choose the day and time of their vaccination. Startup Nation hasn’t relied on paper and pen for medicine for over a decade.

Four Peace Agreements in One Year

After decades of inactivity on the “peace front”, Israel secured four peace deals with our neighbors. We are gradually becoming integrated in our neighborhood. I suspect that more are on the way. There is momentum in the air. Our neighbors have a lot to gain from integrating their critical infrastructure and economies with Israel.

We haven’t made any moves with our nearest neighbors – the Palestinians. I believe that the “outside -> in” formula will prove successful.

Our Enemies are Losing Resources and Allies

The Lebanese economy is in shambles and Hamas relies on handouts to feed the people of Gaza. Call me brash, but I have serious doubts that Hezbollah will dare test Israel’s resolve in 2021. I look forward to the day when Lebanese workers take buses to Israel in order to work and conduct business. Hezbollah is aware that poor Lebanese citizens with little to lose won’t tolerate another unnecessary conflict with a much stronger Israel.

As time passes, the more Hamas’ missile strikes into Israel look futile. Yes, they have a record of continual ineffective policies for decades. I believe that the newfound trend of Israel-Arab peace deals is shifting the ground both in Lebanon and Gaza.

Our politics may be dysfunctional, but our vital institutions (everything under the Ministries of Defense and Heath) are working wonderfully.

There are cynics among us who excel at shining lights on our problems. A strong Israel will continue to unmask our societal flaws.

Count me among the optimists. 2021 is going to be a great year!

About the Author
Kenny Sahr is a startup marketing executive. His first startup, founded in 1996, was featured in Time Magazine and on 60 Minutes. Kenny moved to Israel from Miami, Florida. In his spare time, he is an avid music collector and traveler.
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