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Israel is a Safe Bet

It wasn’t so long ago, that Israel was seen as a charity case by most of world Jewry.

The Shekel had hyper-inflation and the prices of essential goods were exorbitant. I was a student in Israel in the late 1980’s. Every time, I came I brought coffee, tea, deodorant, stereo players and even a Kenwood mixer, for family and friends who couldn’t get hold of them here.

Whenever I needed shekels, I would change a small amount of pounds each time, as the value of Israel’s currency dropped every week because of hyperinflation.

Diaspora Jews gave generously to Israel out of a mixture of love, pity and admiration, but never saw Israel as the centre of Jewish life, as a safe place for Jews and certainly not as investment opportunity.

All this has now changed.

More Jews (around 40%) live in Israel than in any other country and world Jewry now look to Israel for leadership more than ever before.

With the increase in anti-Semitism through the world, many Jews are beginning to feel unsafe, while Israel, where terrorism is mostly are under control, is considered to be safe. This impression has grown during CoVid. Israel’s strong leadership at the beginning of the crisis and very low death rate, has meant that the safest place to be for a Jew is Israel.

And probably, most incredibly, Israel is now seen as a good investment. Incredibly, an article published last week said how Israeli Jews believed that Israel should start financially supporting Diaspora Jews. That’s a complete turnaround.

Apart from the human damage, CoVid is a big financial knock for the world, but Israel has a major advantage in recovering:

1. Israelis are very used to crises. They are quick to recover and get back on their feet

2. The major economies such as the US and Britain, went into this crisis already burdened with heavy debt. They are being forced to borrow more. Israel went into the crisis with a healthy balance of payments.

Therefore, Israel’s economy is likely to bounce back much quicker. In fact, it has already begun to. We can expect the shekel to grow even more powerful.

Even if house prices in Israel do go down, the spending power of Diaspora Jews in Israel may not improve.

My advice, therefore, is that if you want to invest and buy a home in Israel, do it now, even in the middle of CoVid.

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