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Opinion Shooting inside the bubble: we probably won't see a real strike - one that will harm the current work and productivity | Israel today


The current protest may drown parts of Israeli high-tech along with all of us • Other voices from the field are also needed here

This is how a political protest engineered in public relations offices threatens to turn into a storm that could drown parts of Israeli high-tech along with the rest of us. for democracy on paper"), the Torah affair came as part of the "high-tech protest".

Yesterday it was the announcement of Einat Gaz, the CEO of Papaya, one of the prominent startups in Israeli high-tech. Gaz tweeted that she intends to spend the company's funds held in Israel, and sparked a stormy discussion - relative to an industry that, compared to general politics, is considered sleepy. Gaz's tweet was viewed by no less than 200 thousand surfers.

Amit Segal wondered if Gaz intends to also spend the company's funds held in other countries, which are not considered the glory of democracy.

Tweeters and journalists questioned what the financial significance of the announcement actually was, in real life, but most supported it.

Apparently they saw the contempt and rejection the Phoenix CEO received following his words to "Globes", according to which no foreign investor asked him about the legal reform - and understood the hint. Sitting on the fence behind the scenes, many entrepreneurs wanted to jump on the bandwagon with similar announcements.

The high-tech protest, photo: Yehoshua Yosef

Among those who were willing to talk to the media, there was almost unanimity regarding the danger that the reform seems to pose, centered on a genuine fear of investors leaving.

The tweet continued to make waves, and shortly after Gaz's announcement, she was joined by another well-known figure in the local scene - venture capital investor Tal Baranach, who manages the money of wealthy families (Family Office) and veteran entrepreneurs, such as Mellanox founder Eyal Waldman, and the entrepreneurs of Wix, Iron Sources and others.

Baranach announced that following the steps the government intends to take as part of the legal reform, he was asked by the investors to prepare for the possibility of transferring funds from Israel.

But even if the things are true - it must be remembered that a large part of high-tech is still sitting on the fence and is silent.

We have not seen, and probably will not see, a real strike, one that would harm the current work and productivity.

A great many of the protesting high-tech people who speak in the media are CEOs of companies and venture capital investors, and fewer are ordinary workers. Workers do use the work's printers to make signs, but we have not seen a significant mass take to the streets and protest. 

The high-tech protest, this week, photo: no credit

High-tech is not of one piece, even if there is an outflow of investors, it is very doubtful if it will be widespread and its impact will be significant.

Israeli high-tech is not of one piece.

It includes sufficiently established industries that are not all dependent on foreign investors, who may very well also be driven by a non-business agenda.

Alongside start-up companies and foundations, which are currently suffering from other difficulties due to macro-global conditions, companies are thriving in Israel, some of which are traded on the stock exchange and do not need investments.

These are defense companies, chip companies and development centers of the technology giants - who will not be in a hurry to take their operations out of Israel.

The high-tech protest, photo: Yehoshua Yosef

And the government should be told: it is not always advisable to respond with force to forceful measures, especially since there is a lot of it on the side of the protesters.

It is possible that under the conditions created, the government should not fortify its position, but rather perhaps expand the public debate around the reform.

If the right-wing government claims that it is right, it would be useful to present its arguments to the public as a whole, and not just to the public that elected it, and to mobilize its support.

For years the right claims to the left that it manages the public debate with slogans and not through persuasion.

Creating real damage, the protesters claim that the Levin reform will harm the rights of women, minorities or LGBT people. But on the other hand, it offers the business sector a huge candy - strengthening legal certainty.

The high-text protest,

Senior businessmen have been accepting the lack of so-called "legal certainty" for many years.

It is the one that has been keeping investments away from Israel for years, without which the economy has difficulty both increasing the pie and distributing it more equally and decently.

Thus, instead of supporting measures that would actually increase legal certainty and make it easier to do business in Israel, powerful elements in the high-tech and investment scene created a media storm that broadcasts to the world that the Israelis are at odds with each other, and that the paradise of innovation they have created in the Middle East suffers not only from uncertainty, but also from instability.

This is not a threat of harm.

This is real damage that local high-tech actors are now creating with their own hands.

It remains to be hoped that this discussion will soon be joined by other voices, who certainly exist in Israeli high-tech and academia, and who, at this stage, it seems, are still afraid to swim against the current.

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Source: israelhayom

All tech articles on 2023-01-26

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