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Israeli experts warn of ‘inevitable civil war’ due to far-right cabinet policies

A number of Israeli specialists have warned of a “real disintegration of Israeli society” and a state of chaos prevailing in the 1948 occupied territories due to the performance of the incumbent far-right regime headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Oded Granot, a senior Middle East and Arab World commentator at the Hebrew-language Israel Hayom daily newspaper, warned, “When the religious partner in the cabinet publicly declares that he will not bear the burden, not even in national service, and at the same time also supports unilateral and far-reaching legislative processes that disintegrate Israeli society – cohesion crumbles, the principle of peaceful coexistence dissolves.”

He stressed that “Israel is marching towards chaos.”

The Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper also confirmed in its editorial written by veteran journalist and TV presenter Amnon Levi that the root causes of the crisis in Israel’s society is the “social-sectarian gap,” while the root of the evil prevailing in Israel is the “occupation”.

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“The long occupation of other people has spoiled us and caused a crisis, and there is no doubt that the occupation caused great damage,” he said.

“This time [the driver of the current crisis in Israel] is much more ancient and deeper. What drives the simple crowd of reform supporters [led by the right-wing cabinet] is hatred, anger, envy and the intense desire for revenge from those who had harmed, insulted, and excluded their families and never took responsibility for that,” Levi added.

Around 80% of new Israeli startups choosing to incorporate in US

Meanwhile, some 80% of new Israeli startups are currently choosing to incorporate in the United States, particularly in the state of Delaware.

The Reuters news agency, citing an Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) survey, reported on Wednesday that the figure was up from 20% in 2022. The IIA did not provide the number of companies surveyed.

Israeli entrepreneurs told Reuters that the move is spurred chiefly by the extremist cabinet’s policies, including its so-called judicial overhaul plan.

“The fact that you are shaking up the judicial system puts Israel in a very high level of uncertainty and investors don’t like uncertainty,” IIA Chairman Ami Applebaum, who is also chief scientist at the Innovation, Science and Technology Ministry, told Reuters.

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The news agency also said a survey of 615 firms by Startup Nation Central, a nonprofit organization that tracks Israel’s tech industry, showed that 8% of Israeli startup/tech companies had started moving their headquarters abroad, and 29% intended to do so soon.

“It’s just a very high level of uncertainty,” Ian Amit, an entrepreneur in the process of registering an AI cloud security company in Delaware, said.

“It mainly really revolves around corruption and uncertainty of what system is there to protect me as a business, from a tax perspective, from a legal perspective or an intellectual property perspective,” he said.

Tomer Tzach, CEO of the agri-tech firm CropX, told Reuters he was also considering the move.

“At the end of the day as a CEO I need to do what’s right for my shareholders, my investors, my company and I feel terrible about it,” he said.

Earlier this month, Start-Up Nation Central said private funding by Israeli startups in the first half of 2023 dropped to a five-year low as the “ripple effect” from the growing uncertainty around the judicial shakeup takes its toll on the regime’s tech ecosystem.

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Public outrage against the regime’s policies has grown since last month, when the Knesset passed the first bill of the judicial overhaul plan after opposition lawmakers left the session. The bill scrapped the “reasonableness” law, through which the Supreme Court can overturn decisions made by the Israeli cabinet such as ministerial appointments.

The remaining parts of the overhaul package will be discussed after the Knesset returns from summer recess in October.

Netanyahu, who is fighting corruption charges in court, has said he would be willing to negotiate with the opposition, though previous mediation efforts, including by the regime’s president, have failed.

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