October 24, 2004
HISTORY IS EVEN OVER WHERE IT BEGAN:
Netanyahu Gets Tough to Transform Israel's Economy (GREG MYRE, Oct. 24, 2004, NY Times)
As Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushes to reshape Israel's economy, he makes a similar warning to almost everyone: expect to feel some pain.
Mr. Netanyahu, a former prime minister and potentially a future one, has spared no one during his 19 months in his current post.
But he says an improving Israeli economy justifies his tough approach.
He considers it his duty to prod the poor to find jobs and to battle strike-prone unions that he says are dragging down the economy.
He tells middle-class Israelis they will have to live with reduced state benefits and warns the country's largest companies to brace themselves for a more competitive marketplace.
He is even calling for a modest cut in military spending despite the continuing struggle against the Palestinian uprising. [...]
[M]r. Netanyahu and his backers say his approach has contributed to an economic growth rate projected at 4 percent this year, compared with a growth rate of 1 percent in 2003 and declines of 1 percent in 2002 and 2001.
Supporters also give credit to Mr. Netanyahu for substantial tax cuts, a stable currency, a sustained effort to chip away at the large public sector and improved domestic and international confidence in the economy.
American Jews would oppose him. Posted by Orrin Judd at October 24, 2004 10:09 AM