Bibi and Bogie. Living in harmony
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov

Commentary: Bibi's bubble

Five comments on decisions that will seal fate of the Israeli economy in 2011

1. Think about your plans for the upcoming year. You're probably calculated managers and experienced businesspeople. Think again. Your plans are based on the outlook for inflation, growth and the exchange rate. You're surely checking the income and expenditure targets in your budget, and calculating the expected economic flow. Regretfully, these figures may be meaningless in 2011. When you close your eyes and ignore the reality around you, you may lose your businesses, your jobs, your investments and your savings. Oh yeah, I almost forgot – your homes too. And maybe your lives.


2. When I'm asked about Calcalist's financial plan for 2011, I respond with a question: Want a business plan with missiles hitting Tel Aviv in the second or third quarter? How can we even plan the coming year when the head of Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin gives such a frightening forecast on the next war? And you may have noticed that you'd repressed the significance of Yadlin's remarks as soon as Leonardo DiCaprio visited the country.


3. Whoever is talking about the real estate bubble is missing the real bubble. Bibi's bubble. Bibi, Bogie, Silvan and Uzi, Yvette and Binyamin Ze'ev all live in harmony. And we do too. You can lie to the president of the United States in Bibi's bubble, deride European leaders, disregard the entire world, insult friends and crush the slight chance for peace. And in the same breath you can post rosy economic forecasts. The bubble lives in a pathological denial of reality, refusing to listen to other voices. In recent days there have been rumors that the prime minister is trying to get out of his bubble. Maybe. Could be but I have my doubts. If you're believers, you can sign the plans and send them to the directorate.


4. The shocking revelations from the security establishment's rotting pipes shed a ridiculous light on the righteous who reprimanded Amnon Abramovitch when he exposed the sewage for the first time. Here is that well-known rule again: Sunlight is the best disinfectant. How Boaz Harpaz wrapped experienced generals around his finger is fascinating, but you should be concerned with harder questions that deserve to be checked urgently and thoroughly: Is Israel's most fateful decision – to attack Iran or not to attack Iran – also infected with the stench of special interests and the desires of the individuals involved, with Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the forefront? In the past defense ministers have lead Israel by the nose into harsh, unnecessary wars. Barak may lead us to the worst war of all. How do we quantify the defense minister's complex personality in assessing the threats facing our enterprise?


5. The Zionist enterprise, the great miracle which happened here, is in danger. Paraphrasing a US election campaign slogan – It's the economy, stupid - I suggest a slightly different slogan: We're the stupid ones. We hand our keys over to people who are ignorant, removed from reality or corrupt; or people who are all three. That's clearly our preference. When the sirens wail, we'll wail together. And I'm sorry about the noise. This alarm is real.


Yoel Esteron is the founder and publisher of business daily Calcalist



פרסום ראשון: 11.18.10, 07:42
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