The coronavirus crisis exposed a number of fundamental challenges that Israel must confront in the coming years, says Prof. Dan Ben-David. president of the Shoresh Institution for Socioeconomic Research and an economist at Tel Aviv University.
Among those challenges are addressing large gaps in Israel's education system, increasing government transparency so that government decisions can be opened for public debate, and clamping down on the shadow economy that may be leaving as much as NIS 60 billion in potential tax revenues uncollected.
Especially during the pandemic, Israel's economy feels like a tale of two different worlds. In one, Israel's hi-tech ecosystem is booming, with incredible technologies and record investment levels that are growing every month. In the other world are the countless shopkeepers, tour guides, restaurant owners and workers whose businesses — and lives — have been shattered by the nation's three lockdowns. As Israel looks to recover from a year in which 16% unemployment was the norm, Prof. Ben-David offers a road map to some of the challenges on the road to recovery.