Israeli News: A Daily Analysis

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

March 5, 2009--Lone Terror Attack in Jerusalem

Today the leading news story from Israel was the attack by a Palestinian driving a bulldozer on a police car in Jerusalem. The news footage was dramatic, as the full attack was captured on video by a traffic camera. The attacker ran his bulldozer into a police car, turning it over and pushing it into a bus. When he backed out, two policemen who happened to be in the intersection left their cars and approached the terrorist. They were joined by a civilian passer by. All three fired their pistols at the terrorist. He was killed on the spot. Defense sources reiterate the fact that there is no way to stop an attack like this. This terrorist came from East Jerusalem.

The economy was a major story in the news today in Israel as well, as news of additional layoffs filter out. So far this year 10,000 Israelis in high-tech have lost there jobs, with another 10,000 on the way. That is out of a total of 70,000. Since high tech workers and their companies have been the key engine of Israel’s economic growth in the last few years, the lost of high paying jobs in the tech sector is the major reason for Israel’s economic difficulties at the moment. Making this situation more difficult is that many of the Israeli high-tech companies have sold out to American companies over the last few years. Those companies seem more willing to lay off workers than Israeli owned companies who are more reluctant to fire their workers. To the American companies, the Israeli is just another number; to local companies they are real people.

An item that made news today was the insistence by incoming Prime Minister Netanyahu that he is going to reduce taxes on the higher income workers. Both the Governor General of the Bank of Israel and most economists have opposed the move, saying that Israel cannot afford it.

Netanyahu says that he is pushing to lower the highest tax bracket to 32% in Israel. That is lower than that of the United States, especially when considering there are no state and local income taxes in Israel.