Israeli Manufacturers' Association chief: We are in midst of economic war

According to Tomer, the current wave of the coronavirus poses challenges that have yet to be seen in Israel.

 Independent business owners and workers from the tourism sector protest, calling for financial support from the Israeli government, outside the Ben Gurion International Airport, on December 13, 2021 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
Independent business owners and workers from the tourism sector protest, calling for financial support from the Israeli government, outside the Ben Gurion International Airport, on December 13, 2021
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

Israel is in the midst of an “economic war,” Manufacturers' Association president Dr. Ron Tomer warned this week as businesses continue to struggle due to the meteoric increase in Omicron infections across the country. 

"More than 51 ships are waiting outside the ports, and many workers are not coming to work,” Tomer said. “Soldiers need to be brought in to operate the five available docks. We are in an economic war. Military drivers or reservists must be recruited to maintain operational continuity."

According to Tomer, the current wave of coronavirus infections poses challenges that have yet to be seen in Israel.

DR. RON TOMER: Report reveals only the tip of the iceberg. (credit: ISRAELI PHARMACY COMMITTEE)DR. RON TOMER: Report reveals only the tip of the iceberg. (credit: ISRAELI PHARMACY COMMITTEE)

“One-to-two million infected people a month will reduce the workforce by a quarter,” he said. “It is difficult to continue without monetary compensation and without practical preparation on the ground.”

Tomer praised the government for deciding earlier this week to shorten quarantine from 10 to seven days but noted that "even before the financial compensation, it is important to take care of the supply chain, so that no citizen in Israel will lack essential commodities.”

He said that the government took the right step in helping companies continue paying workers who are in isolation, but that it will also need to step up and help asymptomatic infected sick days due to the high volume of infections.

"[Finance Minister Avigdor] Lieberman acted correctly when he prevented the closure of the economy and allowed people to continue working,” he said. “Now is the time to offer a bit of help to businesses since in reality, there is a de facto closure."