Forum of business leaders urges government to focus on helping economy during war

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

File - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) speaks with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich during a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 18, 2023. (Amit Shabi/Pool)
File - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) speaks with Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich during a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 18, 2023. (Amit Shabi/Pool)

A forum of 200 leading businesses is urging the government to stop the transfer of coalition funds and instead put into effect an economic wartime aid plan.

In a public plea to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, the business forum, which consists of the heads of about 200 of the largest companies in the Israeli economy, calls for the government to take immediate steps to ensure the economic resilience of the home front.

“Although we are already a month into the war, a substantial economic plan has not yet been launched to support the economy in general, and affected businesses and households in particular,” the business forum writes in a statement. “Most of the statements have not yet become actions, and in the meantime hundreds of businesses are collapsing and so are households.”

“It’s time to stop talking and start taking action!” the forum insists.
In addition, the forum demands that the government fundamentally change the order of priorities in the state budget to prevent a long-term economic disaster.

“All coalition budgets and any other budget that is not related to the management of the war or supporting the economy must be diverted solely for the purposes of financing the war and economic strengthening of the home front – businesses and households – while focusing on creating long-term growth,” the forum declares.

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