Don’t ask America who holds the purse strings

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 20, 2008

Nearly one in five Americans think that Jews control the world's financial institutions, although only seven per cent think they have too much power and are to blame for the current financial crisis.

The findings by international pollster Stanley Greenberg also indicated that Israel continues to enjoy a high degree of public support in the United States with 66 per cent saying America should support Israel while only six per cent support the Palestinians.


Bank governor bullish about Israel’s ‘solid’ economy

By Bernard Josephs, November 20, 2008

The governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer, has described the state of Israel's financial institutions, including its banks, as "so far, solid and well capitalised".

Speaking at an Oxford conference on Sunday, Dr Fischer, now in his third year as head of Israel's national bank, said that Israel was in a "very fortunate position," compared with many other industrialised nations, including the UK and America.


Shekel rate adds to strain on charities

By Jay Grenby, November 6, 2008

Charities raising funds for Israeli causes have more than the credit crunch to contend with. Around a 25 per cent fall in exchange rates means that funds generated are worth considerably less in Israeli currency.

"We are presently getting a lot fewer shekels for our pounds than hitherto," reported Alison Rosen, executive director of Wizo UK, which supports welfare and educational projects in Israel. "This effectively reduces the amount of money we can send and we therefore need to raise more than ever to maintain even the same level of support."


Expert view: The depression isn’t so depressing

By David Pearl, August 14, 2008

So the property market isn't great. But you know what? We had a pretty good run. Unlike others, I didn't stop buying two or three years back because I didn't want to miss out on a rising market. I might have regrets about one or two buildings we bought at the end of the run, but I did so well on the way up, it doesn't really matter. It's no good being greedy.

Things are horribly quiet at the moment. You can tell that times are bad when people spend more time hanging around at receptions. They are not itching to get back to the office because there's not much to do.


The HBOS man who still sees opportunity

By Candice Krieger, June 19, 2008

Confidence in the world’s financial markets continues to evaporate as property prices plunge, share prices slide and jobs are being lost. Yet investment banker Gershon Cohen is not too concerned. In fact, he says, he is excited.


Bibi plans ‘comeback book’ on the economy

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 29, 2008

Likud Leader Binyamin Netanyahu is preparing to bring out an autobiographical book on his term as Israel’s Finance Minister as part of his plan to rehabilitate his image and sweep back to power in the next elections.

The new book, expected to come out towards the end of summer, deals with the reasons that Israel’s economy is booming, despite a lack of natural resources and devoting a significant portion of its GDP to security costs.


Peace talks no comfort for jaded Golan Druze

By Paula Slier, May 29, 2008

As Israel and Syria start talks, a community mulls its divided loyalties

In the central square of Majdal Shams, the largest of the four Druze villages in the Golan Heights, towers a large statue of Sultan Basha El-Atrash.

Engraved below the Syrian resistance hero who fought French colonialism are two lines in Arabic by the Tunisian poet Abu El-Qassem El-Shabi: “If one day the people desire freedom and life, then inevitably destiny will comply — and inevitably darkness will melt away, and inevitably the chains will be broken.”


PA economy is a 'coiled spring'

By Ben Lynfield, May 29, 2008

A festival for Jericho celebrating it as the world’s oldest city; call centres providing jobs in the West Bank; a water desalination project for Gaza.

These and visions of new towns in the Judean hills were on offer last week at the Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem, hosted by Tony Blair and the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salaam Fayyad.

“The Palestinian economy is like a coiled spring. It has been put down and down and down and it is ready to bounce back,” Sir Ronald Cohen, head of the Portland Trust, told the conference.


Kickstarting the economy with a new £150m town

By Ben Lynfield, May 22, 2008

On the computer screens in the offices of the Bayti Real Estate and Investment Company, on a quiet Ramallah Street, a potentially historic attempt to create the first-ever planned Palestinian town is well under way.

The effort could be a major Palestinian milestone, or a fiasco, depending on Israel’s stance and the ability of Bayti to deliver in the West Bank — a more volatile setting than Morocco, the venue for its previous projects. 


Israel faces economic downturn

April 3, 2008

After a period in which experts predicted that Israel would be unaffected by the international financial crisis, Bank of Israel chiefs have said that the country also faces an economic turndown.

Deputy bank governor Zvi Eckstein predicted that the Israeli economy — which grew in 2007 by 5.3 per cent — might grow this year by only two per cent.