Weekly Commentary: Issues for March Elections - Economy and Area C
2 January 2021
When we go to the polls on 23 March there is a good chance that enough of us
will have been already vaccinated against COVID-19 that the ongoing handling
of the virus won't be a major concern. That's not to make light of the risk
that a strain may evolve which the current vaccinations cannot handle. Just
that until such a strain emerges it is not going to be something voters are
going to spend much time thinking about.
A top concern may be how to jump start the economy which brings us to thorny
Cutting red tape for new companies and training programs and hiring
incentives geared to get Israelis back to work can make a critical
difference. But is that enough? Can we afford to continue to facilitate
the choice of able bodied adult Israelis to permanently decline to be
gainfully employed and/or acquire the basic abilities needed to be able to
train to work in an advanced economy?
These are issues in which coalition partners could play a critical role as
left-leaning parties may oppose reducing government controls while religious
parties stand steadfastly for the right for able bodied men to choose not to
be gainfully employed and live in poverty.
There is a very real danger that four years of placating a Biden
Administration may result in our essentially forfeiting almost all of Area C
to illegal Palestinian construction.
Unfortunately, the odds are good that the situation in Area C doesn't get
much attention in the elections beyond the announcement last week that NIS
20 million will be budgeted for a program to identify illegal construction.
For years the Regavim organization has been identifying such illegal
construction and the Government has dragged its feet to do anything about
it. It is not clear if having similar reports issued by teams from the
Regional Councils will lead to a more active response.
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