1. Wall Street Is More Important Than Gaza Strip. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is higher today than it was upon the launching of the Gaza War. It is substantially higher than the ebb of November. Once again, Israel’s economy is impacted by economic fundamentals (budget deficit, interest and inflation rates, debt to GDP ratio, trade balance, overseas investments, etc.) and by Wall Street much more than by Palestinian terrorism and other “bumps” on the path to economic growth, such as the 1948/9 War of Independence, 1956 Sinai War, 1967 Six Days War, 1969/70 War of Attrition, 1973 Yom Kippur War, 1982 War in Lebanon, 1990/1991 First Gulf War, 1993-2009 Palestinian terrorism. In each such case (“bump”), a very short-term decline was succeeded by an impressive economic growth.
2. Vector Capital, the US private equity fund, has acquired Israel’s Aladdin for $160MN (Globes, Jan. 13, 2009).
3. Microsoft led a $24MN round of private placement by Israel’s N-Trig (Globes, Jan. 13).
4. 25% of investments made – in the Europe/Israel region – by the $6BN London/Silicon Valley-based Accel Partners target Israeli companies. $1BN was raised by Accel during recent weeks, of which $525MN are dedicated to Europe and Israel. Since 2002, Accel has invested in 19 Israeli companies (Globes, Jan. 2).
5. Joseph Wolf, Head of Research Division at Barclays, Israel: Since the eruption of the Gaza War, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has risen faster than Wall Street… The February 2009 election in Israel will not have an impact on the Israeli market. We trust that the Gaza War shall not have a long-term effect either… Israel’s economy performs better – than other emerging markets – during economic slowdown… Irrespective of the security and political clouds, a foreign investor should consider positively investments in Israel” (Globes, Jan. 14).