Steven Greenberg
Writer, Expat, Single Dad

To ‘rabbihg’: The economic snowball is already rolling

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To the bravely anonymous lady or gentleman with the TOI handle “rabbihg”:

Thank you for your insightful comments on my recent blog post, which included – among other memorable pearls — “You and your friends will take your money and go home. Boo hoo.”

I am humbled by your wisdom and expository prowess, truly.

My personal fortune could fund two falafels (if they were on sale). So, my “sense of self-importance” played little role in the argument I made about the economic fallout from Netanyahu’s plan to keep his butt in the PM’s seat at all costs.

Here’s the thing, my friend: with or without my falafel money the economic snowball is already rolling downhill. Investors are already pulling out or rethinking future investments. Banks are noting an uptick in small private capital outflow. Funds are moving their money out. And despite my self-importance, I’m far from alone in raising the alarm. I’m preceded by hundreds of economists, prominent jurists and the head of the Bank of Israel.

Change is like a lamppost on a foggy bike path – once you see it, it’s frequently too late to swerve. I spent four years writing a novel about the unthinkable – a Middle East without Israel. During this time, I learned to look the worst case scenario in the eyes, while still keeping a realistic perspective on the present. So, I’m not an alarmist or a fool. I’m not predicting imminent doom. But the lamppost is looming and you are not grasping the bigger picture in the fog and background noise.

Economies grow or shrink and markets rise and fall not based on facts, but on perception. The 1987 stock market crash, for example, was sparked by concrete factors. But it was driven by subjectivity, pure and simple. Investors panicked, and the market crashed. Today the long-term viability of Israel’s regime and economy is being questioned by governments and financial bodies – for the first time in my adult lifetime. King Bibi has lit the match – the question is, how much is going to burn?

Here’s a parting truth: regime change happens all the time. It is not unthinkable that it could happen here. Deep societal, economic and governmental change is frequently bemoaned ex post facto by people who were willfully blind to its incremental creep. Economies teeter, even if they don’t crash. Those who foresee these dips tend to profit from them, or at least come out unscathed. Those who look the other way, fingers in ears, taunting change – well…

So, rabbihg, by all means continue to mock me, the legal community, the banks, the economists, the Bank of Israel, global financial leaders and hundreds of thousands of regular folks like myself. For my part, I will continue to raise a red flag every way I can, in the hopes that the part of the public still buying into Netanyahu’s “ihiyeh b’seder” mantra will open their eyes and see the true height of the cliff on which we all are balanced.

About the Author
Steven Greenberg is an award-winning novelist (see , a professional writer (see, and a full-time cook, cleaner, chauffeur and single dad for three young adults (see his dishpan hands). Born in Texas, Steven grew up in Indiana and emigrated to Israel just months before the first Gulf War in 1990. He's a former combat medic in the Israel Defense Forces, who never learned to properly salute despite his rank of Sergeant. And he's a career marketer, who's run a home-grown marketing boutique since 2002.
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