Monday, May 9, 2011

What is Real Independence?

Being that it is Yom Ha'Atzmaut, or Israel Independence Day, I thought that I would throw my two cents into the matter. I mean, I DO blog, so I have some type of opinion, as silly as it may be.

I don't celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut. I recognize it but I don't celebrate it. Some of you may be angry at this confession. Some of you may agree. Almost none of you will have no opinion on the matter. But before you either steam off or throw a celebration, let me explain why.

The foundation of the State of Israel is truly a wonderful day, without a doubt. Regardless of your philisophical views on Medinat Yisrael vesrus Eretz Yisrael, Israel is accessible to both camps. Jews can wander the land in relative peace and harmony. It really is great. However, I do have some serious issues.

Besides for my "Chareidization", which is a factor, I believe that even the founders didn't believe in Israel. For the most part, it could have actually been IN Uganda, as was spoken about by Herzl and his cronies. Secondly, Israel was loosely based of a Socialist model. It may have changed a bit since then, but really not by much. I mean in certain Kibbutzim, there were pictures of STALIN hanging in their dining halls. Socialism doesn't work and will never work and I believe it is ruining Israel. Call me crazy, but last I checked the USSR has fallen and Mr. Gorbachev did tear that wall. Thirdly, Israel is not independent. It is its own entity, but it isn't independent.

In an article I read on YNetNews, 62% of all donations coming into Israel come from abroad. I'm not talking about cataclysmic disaster relief either. For the most part, these donations help Israel and it's citizens function. Why does this matter though? I mean, who cares. Well, the reason why Zionists should care is as follows: 0.7% of Israel's GDP is philanthropic. This small amount is indicative of many things, one being prosperity. If you have ever been inside any synagogue, ever, there is always a Tzedaka box, Charity box. Jews give charity, big time. It is even written in the Torah to do so, and yet 0.7% in Israel from Israelis. Then, I read this article, also on YNetNews which states that the OECD's, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, of which Israelwas admitted to in 2010, annual report on economic gaps are the widest of all members of OECD in Israel. 

As of 2010, the labor force of 3.08 million people, of which 23.6% live under the poverty line, has an unemployment rate of 6.4%. Please note, unemployment rate is only counted by people who are looking for jobs but can't find. (If I hear someone talk about Chareidim, I will laugh at you and possibly call you out for being a hypocrite. The societal norm for Chareidim is to study and not to work. It is a holy endeavor and should not be mocked. I don't see people mocking Christians for becoming Priests or Pastors or Buddhists. This is nothing more than a close-mindedness.)

With an unemployment rate of 6.4%, which is probably low-balling the figure and is probably higher than that, its interesting to see how the labor force is broken down by occupation:

Agriculture: 2%
Industry: 16%
Services (as of 2008): 82%

Now, I don't know where certain professions may sit, but it does go without saying that jobs in Agriculture and Industry are lacking, like everywhere in the developed world. Industry, the production of  an economic good in an economy, is what nurtures economic growth. It supplies jobs as well as brings foreign money into the country through export. 

Time and time again on Supporting Our Israel, I have discussed self sufficiency. Israel must do for itself. Being that it is roughly the size of New Jersey, however, makes it a little harder to diversify the Industry portfolio. Automakers probably won't be popping up and building vehicles in Be'er Sheva anytime soon. But, if you look at nurturing and raising an economy as a child, if the kid has a natural proclivity towards mechanical workings, you try and nurture and develop that skill in the child.

Israel is number one in so many niche industries worldwide, why are they not bringing these powers to the forefront? As it says on the Wikipedia page for Israel:

  • "Israel is a global leader in water conservation and geothermal energy, and its development of cutting-edge technologies in software, communications and the life sciences have evoked comparisons with Silicon Valley."

  • "According to the OECD, Israel is also ranked 1st in the world in expenditure on Research and Development (R&D) as a percentage of GDP."
  • "Leading exports include fruits, vegetables, pharmaceuticals, software, chemicals, military technology, and diamonds."

Brain power! Israel has significant brain power. So naturally, putting that brain power to good use, and with the palpable rise of investing into Israel, why is the unemployment rate at 6.4%? Factories could be opened to produce the technologies developed in Israel. If not factories, then support centers for the technologies, like India for Dell, Motorolla and basically every other company.

Before the expulsion from Gaza, Israel had incredible greenhouses and greenhouse technologies being developed there, so advanced that the current residents, former employees, call to ask how to work them.

I am a Zionist but my definition varies from other people. I believe that the only way I celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut and support Israel is to bring these topics to the forefront in a venue like this or other publcations, volunteer my time to help and to learn Torah and pray for the existence of a country that benefits the world, but for me to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel has to help itself. Stop kowtowing politically and still benefit from the world. Make China come to Israel for technology advancement. Make the US come to Israel for greenhouse technologies. Make Africa come to Israel for water conservation and energy advancement. Becoming indispensable in the world is the only way Israel will truly become dependent.

No comments:

Post a Comment