Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer addressed the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (CoP) on Wednesday, assuring them that Israel's strong economy has what it takes to withstand adversity.
He confirmed that the economy had quickly rebounded following the worldwide economic crisis. "Israel's economy is robust despite global recession thanks to the strong, conservative banking system," he told attendees, according to a press release by the CoP.
Regarding the crisis, Fischer said that the high rate at which Israel purchased dollars while they were low has now earned Israel a tidy profit. "For Israel, it is a significant amount," Fisher said. "This was the most important move in the dynamics of the crisis."
He said Israel has withstood challenges very well, including wars, international calls for boycotts of Israeli goods, internal political turmoil such as the stroke of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and elections.
Israel's economy has some problems, too, Fischer said. He warned that educational standards have declined, a cause for concern in a nation so reliant on its intellectual capabilities. He also said the government bureaucracy is inefficient, physical infrastructure is insufficient, and Hareidi and Arab poverty rates tax the economy.
Yet he said Israel's economy will "remain relatively safe".
The Conference of Presidents was established in 1956 at the request of US President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It aims to present the interests of the Jewish community and their opinions about Israel to the US executive branch, much like AIPAC advocates for Israel to Congress.