Dr Yossie Bachar, Director General, Ministry of Finance, put it thus: “I feel honor-bound to stress that your engagement in our efforts was based on purely professional considerations, and was done without any reward, without any fear and with total devotion. You are indeed a unique phenomenon that can serve as a model and a symbol of what acting in the public interest can be… Together we have managed to introduce very significant changes in the Israeli economy.”
When ICSEP began its work, market economics were either unknown, ignored or derided in this country. Today, as a result of ICSEP’s continuing efforts and the growing international momentum toward market economies, public opinion has dramatically changed.
Israeli policy-makers no longer ask whether Israel should reduce government interference in the economy, rather, they ask where and at what speed, and how to overcome resistance to change. ICSEP’s conferences and seminars have attracted extensive media coverage and participants from the highest echelons of Israeli government, legal, media, business, industrial and academic circles, including then-President Chaim Herzog, Shimon Peres, Supreme Court justices, government ministers, members of Knesset, and other leaders. ICSEP’s work has served as a major catalyst for reforms in the Israeli economy, including:
- financial market de-monopolization and deregulation
- a major drive for privatization
- the successful battle against inflation
- banking sector reform
- tax reform
- the release of large tracts of government-owned land
- deregulation of the building industry and break-up of building materials monopolies
- dimplification and abbreviation of construction and planning procedures
- movement towards privatization of municipal services
- substantial reduction of government interference in the agricultural sector
- privatization of the immigrant absorption process
Intensely engaged in public debate—participating in forums, sending hundreds pieces of mail on a variety of issues to public figures, influencing like-minded economics professors in the public eye—ICSEP has gained a prominent reputation as an advocate of free markets.
ICSEP has scored notable successes in generating reform despite a culture that resists them, a strong and politically well-connected oligarchy and media determined to perpetuate the monopoly-dominated system.
ICSEP is at the forefront of the struggle to educate Israelis and inspire them with market thinking. It is a leader in the effort to enable Israel to enter a future of growth and prosperity.
Helping ICSEP helps Israel meet it’s social and security challenges and secure a future of prosperity and growth.