Gil Mildar
As the song says, a Latin American with no money in his pocket.

They don’t care

In the shadows of a silent dawn, when the soul of Israel reflects the darkness of the night, Eugene Kandel emerges as a harbinger of doom, a Cassandra of economics and finance, shouting truths that few dare to whisper. He says the unspeakable: “Israel will not reach its centenary.” These words resonate like a funeral bell, a prelude to an inevitable catastrophe, etched in his spreadsheets’ cold, relentless numbers.

Fifteen years ago, in a rare moment of insight, Netanyahu chose Kandel to head the National Economic Council. Today, in the early summer of 2024, Kandel breaks the complicit silence of business and academic halls, revealing a burning truth: Israel’s current trajectory is a collision course with the abyss. “Despair is not a work plan,” some say, but Kandel counters with the harshness of facts, indicating that without a solid plan, the future will merely echo what could have been.

Kandel speaks not of empty despair but of a bitter and urgent realization. He does not wear the mask of a prophet but that of an alarmed Israeli. The robust foreign currency reserves and financial assets abroad are mere cushions, postponing the inevitable. The tide of fleeing investors and workers, which can surge in an instant, threatens to transform Israel from a promising nation into a wasteland. “Not in twenty-five years, not in five. It could happen next year,” warns Kandel, his voice urgent like a siren.

But why does Kandel say this? He knows that economics is not an exact science but a reading of trends, of subtle movements that portend significant changes. Israel’s current trajectory is supported by fragile pillars: excessive dependence on technology and the startup sector, increasing social inequality, and growing political polarization. Kandel sees a country where foreign investments, the backbone of economic growth, can evaporate overnight if confidence is lost. He sees a population increasingly divided, where internal conflict threatens to destabilize society and the economy.

Upon hearing Kandel’s words, the fury of a businessman reflects the despair permeating the corridors of power. “This kind of despair doesn’t help us,” he exclaims, while the business community arms itself for the final battle: removing Netanyahu. But Kandel does not speak of despair; he issues a somber warning. This Russian immigrant who, at 18, chose Israel to raise his daughters and grandchildren has dedicated his life to strengthening Israel’s startup industry and economy. Now, as president of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and professor of economics, he sees daily the signs many prefer to ignore.

Kandel’s metamorphosis from a defender of right-wing economic views to a critic of Israel’s structural flaws is a reflection of the crisis he foresees. He and other business leaders, scientists, and technologists understand that Israel’s survival depends on unprecedented collaboration, a unity of efforts transcending individual interests. This is not about political positioning but about the survival of the state. Nothing will be left to fight over if we do not awaken from our blurred vision of opposing sides.

Netanyahu knows this. He knows the warning signs and the alarming trends Kandel points out. But this is not his problem. He will not be alive to see the ruin unless he miraculously lives to 100. He doesn’t care. But you do. You care about your children and grandchildren. So, do something. Because if you don’t, we will die as a Jewish state. Period.

About the Author
As a Brazilian, Jewish, and humanist writer, I embody a rich cultural blend that influences my worldview and actions. Six years ago, I made the significant decision to move to Israel, a journey that not only connects me to my ancestral roots but also positions me as an active participant in an ongoing dialogue between the past, present, and future. My Latin American heritage and life in Israel have instilled a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, and justice. Through my writing, I delve into themes of authoritarianism, memory, and resistance, aiming not just to reflect on history but to actively contribute to the shaping of a more just and equitable future. My work is an invitation for reflection and action, aspiring to advance human dignity above all.
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