Hamas’s War Is a Dangerous Threat to Israel’s Economy Too

By Published on April 8, 2024

The October 7 terror attacks wiped out entire families, and left many children orphans and others permanently injured by both visible and invisible trauma. As the war between Israel and Hamas continues in the wake of that tragic and bloody day, it is important to remember that its costs are felt not only by soldiers, but by average Israeli citizens.

Moms and dads, small business owners, and many of my own friends are paying a hefty price for this war that Hamas unleashed.

The Price of War

Few things destroy economies as quickly or as much as war does. Israeli families are certainly no exception. We are feeling it every day.

With many called up for military service, including myself, that means their regular jobs are going undone. Whole regions of the country are under constant terror threat, and normal economic activity is restricted. As the war continues, the supply chains that depend on workers and struggle.

Defeat is not an option, as we have nowhere else to go. This is our ancestral, eternal homeland.

I personally know the toll that war takes as well. I was on the front lines in the immediate aftermath of the October 7 terror attacks near the Gaza border. My own life is currently in danger, both as an IDF soldier and a civilian.

I am all too familiar with the effects of war, and the toll it exacts on people’s financial, emotional, and mental health.

A Post-October 7 World

The war has also resulted in a drastic decline in tourism, which is one of Israel’s biggest industries. That means all the families who rely on tourism for their livelihood are now struggling to make ends meet.

I know these families well. During the pandemic, my team helped find a way to get artisanal goods and gifts from Israel to the doorsteps of Americans, items that normally would have been purchased by tourists. Many of the small family-owned businesses — run by Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike — were kept afloat with creative strategies like this.

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Now, we face a similar challenge. Due to both Hamas’s terror attacks and Israel’s ongoing defensive war, tourism has witnessed a rapid decline.

I am in regular contact with families who worry about how they’ll pay rent, how they’ll put food on the table. This is a daily reality in a post-October 7 world.

Israel Will Prevail

Israel and the families that call this place home face many serious threats. Nevertheless, we will prevail. We are resilient people. We will overcome this hurdle because we must. Defeat is not an option, as we have nowhere else to go. This is our ancestral, eternal homeland.

To help us prevail, I pray Americans and the rest of the world recognize the existential threat we face, as well as the threat to our basic, daily livelihood. Our economy is at risk, with supply chains and entire industries hanging in the balance.

For those who want to be just a small part of our redemption story, or counter the hateful boycotts of Jewish businesses taking place worldwide, consider what steps can be taken to be a part of the solution.

Buy goods made in Israel.

Choose to invest in Israel — like those who’ve done so before — even in times of crisis.

Support my Jewish friends elsewhere in the world who deal with bigotry and boycotts as well.

Justice after October 7 requires not only defending ourselves against the threat of death and destruction, but acknowledging that we have a right to establish order and carry on with our daily lives — just as any other peaceful citizen in any other land deserves to do.

 

Itai Schimmel immigrated to Israel 10 years ago and is a cofounder of Artza, a direct-to-consumer company delivering a taste of the Holy Land to homes across America. He was recently deployed with the IDF in southern Israel.

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