Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has made it clear that he will hold the Finance Ministry portfolio in the next Israeli government.

In that context, Mr. Netanyahu will meet in Tel Aviv on Sunday with the 40 ranking leading figures in the Israeli economy. Mr. Netanyahu has set an agenda where he will ask them for answers on dealing with Israel’s current economic crisis. The expected rise in unemployment and spurring growth in Israeli business and industry over the next two years will be on the agenda.

This is against the backdrop of the Bank of Israel’s gloomy forecast for an unprecedented 1.5-percent negative growth rate.

Among those invited include:

  • Shari Arison and Danny Dankner of Bank Hapoalim;
  • Galia Maor of Bank Leumi;
  • Tzadik Bino of First International Bank;
  • Former Finance Minister and close Netanyahu associate Prof. Yaakov Neeman, an expert on taxation;
  • Former Accountant General in the Finance Ministry Yaron Zelekha;
  • Shraga Brosh, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel;
  • Reuven Schiff, president of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Israel, who will explain the situation from the accounting angle;
  • Moshe Tari, former chairman of the Israel Securities Authority, who will explain the stock market;
  • Attorney Uriel Linn, president of the Israel Chambers of Commerce and former chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee;
  • and Elisha Yanai, a veteran high-tech man, who will be asked to review the situation in this important sphere in the Israeli economy.

Mr. Brosh, the president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, said on Wednesday he intends to raise “the credit problem – a critical problem in light of the fact that non-bank credit has vanished and there is no recycling of old credit.”

Mr. Linn, president of the Israel Chambers of Commerce, will suggest Mr. Netanyahu form a team that will be authorized to approve investment in infrastructure with an emphasis on the periphery.

“My first advice to the designated prime minister is to put money into the economy to prevent a credit strangulation even at the expense of increasing the budget deficit, even more than the governor of the Bank of Israel has proposed,” accountant Mr. Schiff said.

Mr. Yanai, on the other hand, plans to say “high-tech must be encouraged with grants and money, discounts in taxes instead of paying unemployment.”

He says tax benefits are essential to reducing layoffs and reviving Israel’s economy.

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.