Creating new perspectives since 2009

Ex-PM Bennett urges Israelis not to leave as economy struggles

June 27, 2024 at 12:21 pm

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem on 15 May 2022 [ABIR SULTAN/POOL/AFP/Getty Images]

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett yesterday called on Israelis not to leave Israel, “which is going through its most difficult times since 1948”.

“We are in the most difficult period since the War of Independence: Change in the war, international boycotts, damage to deterrence, 120 Israelis in captivity, thousands of bereaved families, a deserted Galilee, thousands of evacuees, ministers who only care about themselves, loss of control over the economy and the deficit,” he wrote in a post on X after saying that he was “very sad” to hear a software engineer he knew was moving to Europe.

“Talks about leaving the country. This must not happen,” he continued, adding: “We need all the talent and dedication of the people of Israel just to get out of the pit and relaunch Israel.”

He assured people: “But unequivocally we are capable—and we will get out—of this pit.”

While there is no official data on the number of Israelis who have left since the beginning of the war on the Gaza Strip in October 2023, the Hebrew news website the Times of Israel said on Sunday that more than half a million Israelis left and did not return in the first six months of the war.

Even before Israel launched its genocidal war on Gaza, business had begun transferring money out of the occupation state because of planned judicial reforms being floated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which many worried would bring an end to democracy in the country and leave companies unprotected.

READ: Intel stops $25bn investment in Israel — ‘Biggest victory yet,’ says BDS campaign