Israel’s dark future in its making
Today the situation gives on the bright side a little bit of hope that the negotiations between the coalition and the opposition will bear some fruits.
On the other hand, to reach an agreement, which at the same time means to abandon the whole nature of the judicial overhaul so that the judicative will de facto be powerless, is not in the interest of the coalition. Hence the “reform” is to be expected to pass on the Knesset as soon as it will resume sessions.
Additionally, the status of the economy has seen better times. The Shekel has been declining in value constantly reaching a new low point with a bright perspective to dive further. This is adding to the issue of the inflation which additionally contributes to rising prices with hardly any salary adjustments in the common working class, unlike MKs who got a decent – tax funded – pay raise.
Soon international rating agencies will most probably degrade Israel. This will have the consequences that foreign investors will be even more encouraged to withdraw any investment they still have in Israel and end any cooperation with Israeli entities as the risk and obviously the probability will be too high to have a negative outcome on their investment.
Apart form that another big concern is the rapidly becoming more and more dangerous security situation from multiple fronts.
Firstly there are the increasing terrorist attacks within Israel proper, the attacks on civilians in the West Bank, the growing aggressive behaviour of settlers with murderous outlawed acts of vengeance, etc.
Secondly the build-up of established and new Palestinian terrorist groups (Lions’ Den) in the West Bank who are also are preparing to fill in the vacuum after a looming collapse of the Palestinian Authority, either during Abbas’s lifetime or the day he will pass away and the internal turmoil following.
Thirdly the rockets from multiple fronts, from Gaza, from Lebanon and from Syria into Israel plus the involvement of Iranian proxies and Iranian state actors itself to see how far they can go, to check out how much the internal Israeli split is affecting the country’s deterrence.
The real possibility that this checking out the limits will drag also Hezbollah into a war with Israel which it most probably doesn’t want at the moment, is horrifying, not just for Israel but also for Lebanon as it also has much to lose internally and possibly falling apart completely. Israel’s north would also suffer tremendously under a long rain of rockets which the Iron Dome can’t hold against for long as the sheer number of incoming rockets will outnumber the possibilities of the defense system.
Additionally the serious question must be raised whether the US, to which Israel distanced itself further in recent months, will still be willing to send US made weapons, support, or spare parts which are crucial for the Iron Dome and other defense (and attack) systems, and will continue sharing crucial intelligence to a widely seen non-democratic Israel in case if (rather when) the Judicial Reform will incapacitate the only checks and balances the country has.
And finally, and maybe the biggest challenge, the rapid polarisation of particularly the Jewish Israeli society, with the hitherto unseen aggressiveness the sides counter each other in public as well as in private, splitting families and ending friendships.
Given those circumstances they are working as a catalysator to a trend which was anyhow to come, yet much slower: the demographic timebomb combined with a brain-drain.
The first mentioned will happen anyways and is unaffected by the situation as we have reached Israel’s demographic point of no return, the latter one on the other hand is being catalysed enormously by the whole situation and will advance the country’s abyss quickly.
Prof. Dan Ben-David who heads the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research underlined years ago that around 50% of the country’s working population is so poor that they don’t reach the lowest income tax threshold and therefore don’t pay any income taxes.
On the other end there are roughly only 400.000 people of a total population of 10 Mio (that is 4% of the population what is very low and has rather the characteristics of a “Banana Republic”) who keep the country’s social system afloat with them paying their share of high taxes who contribute to far over 90% of Israel’s tax income.
If only a small percentage of them is leaving, and a substantial part of them for sure will if circumstances deteriorate further as the children’s future is crucial and nobody wants them to grow up in a failed state, the social system will collapse swiftly.
Left behind will be the middle class, the hard-core ideological Zionists who will stay despite their foreseeable economic and social ruin, and an overly uneducated mass which lacks a basic education to grasp the worldly matters who can’t possibly contribute positively to the economy and therefore to the wider society.
Whoever will still have the possibility and did not leave until then will do so after they will have realised the hard way that they were next in line to carry the unbearable burden of the social welfare state but wouldn’t be able to do so even if they truly wanted as they don’t earn enough, as inflation or by then hyperinflation will strike them hard. Hence the abyss is perpetrating itself.
It can’t be stressed enough; a dark future is in its making.