In a panel discussion with Walla journalist Liat Ron, Noy Hadas, and Adv. Roee Cohen discussed corporate responsibility and its importance in Israel today.
Hadas is owner of the Noy HaSade direct network of agricultural stores and website that sells Israeli produce. Cohen is president of Lahav-Chamber of Independent and Business Organizations in Israel.
Hadas, a farmer, pointed out the importance of supporting and maintaining local agriculture in Israel.
“If more resources were directed toward agriculture, the cost of living would be significantly reduced, there would be better quality goods, and prices would go down. This would save the economy. Importing fruits and vegetables will not solve the problem.”
Hadas also discussed the high prices of certain fruits in Israeli supermarkets, saying the large stores purchase from farmers at low prices and charge a great deal more to the customer.
She added that importing fruits and vegetables by boat causes needless pollution to the sea, when all the produce that is needed is available here in Israel.
Cohen criticized the economic policies of Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, saying his policies regarding self-employed and business owners have not changed from those of the previous government.
“The previous Israeli government was caught with its pants down when it came to the self-employed and business owners,” he said. “As we are at the beginning of a fifth corona wave, the government is making the same mistakes. The very same business which had restrictions imposed upon it during previous waves must continue to pay property taxes and salaries.”
Cohen said further that the government does not compensate the self-employed when they have to go into isolation.
“When the child of someone who runs her own clinic must go into isolation, she must stay at home and continue to pay for everything. An employee of a health fund or a private hospital, on the other hand, will receive compensation from the state, and the business will receive compensation. Everything will continue as usual. Who is left behind? The self-employed.”
Cohen added that the self-employed are afraid to get sick because they are fearful of what will happen to their business.
“It is time,” said Cohen, “for the Israeli government to correct the historical injustice and apologize to the independent business owners.”
This article was written in cooperation with Noy HaSade and Lahav-Chamber of Independent and Business Organizations in Israel.