Getting Back on Track: A Working Program for a New Era in Israel

On the Author of the Work Plan

Excerpts from the Press


·       “... Dan Ben-David, one of the most original economists in Israel. Kadima's economic platform is based largely on the ideas that he put forth over the past few years. ... Over the past five years, his analyses of trends in education, employment, poverty and economic growth have been among the most influential factors in this country’s public economic debate.”

– “We Need Dan Ben-David” by Guy Rolnik

Editor-in-Chief Ha’aretz business section and TheMarker

the complete article (April 26, 2006)


·       “For many policy analysts, public servants and journalists, Dan Ben-David is one of the central figures in the country's current public policy debates.”

– “The Rising Star” by Haviv Rettig, Jerusalem Post


·       “Over the past four years Ben-David has become a serial producer of working papers, recommendations and proposals intended to solve some of the fundamental problems of the Israeli economy and to restore it to the path of healthy growth. … In many respects Ben-David is among today’s prominent academic voices in the field of economics, and perhaps the most prominent among them.”

– Sammy Peretz, deputy editor of Ha’aretz business section


·        “Several years ago Ben-David published an article that documents the disintegration of Israel’s society and economy … a recession that actually began many years before anyone spoke about it. … since then this article has become the Bible of critics of the Treasury’s economic policy.”

– Ronit Vardi, Globes


·       “In contrast to many academics, Ben-David dares to propose down-to-earth solutions …this is a text [“A Blueprint for Improving the Employment Situation in Israel”] that presents a clear world view.  Anyone who considers himself a Social-Democrat must become familiar with it.  Maybe, in Ben-David’s wake, people in the Labor party will begin to think that it is possible to formulate socio-economic policy ... They should read.  Let them labor a little.”

– Avirama Golan, Ha’aretz


·       “This afternoon Ben-David presented his new research … this is the first time that someone has investigated what exactly lies behind the usual grumbling about channeling money to the settlers.”

– Ronit Purian, Globes Ha’erev editor


·       “Together with other economists and sociologists from the university, he [Ben-David] was a member of a team headed by Haim Ben-Shachar that was asked by prime minister Ehud Barak to prepare an agenda for national priorities … the picture that emerges [from ‘Ben-David’s numerous data’] is one of a nation that has completely gone to pieces … but in a country awash for the past 35 years with the obsessive debate on territories and terror, who has the time to internalize this? … and for anyone who still believes that we are dealing here with luxuries and that the main issue is security, here is the line below the bottom line – this is a security threat far greater than all the Tanzim gangs, far more existential than the Islamic Jihad.”

– Ofer Shelach, Yedioth Achronot

·       “Four years ago a simple plastic-covered booklet of diagrams ‘National Priorities in the Socio-Economic Sphere’ was placed on the desk of the government, Ehud Barak’s government. … one of the document’s authors who has not despaired of public activity and has not relented from pressuring decision makers is Dan Ben-David.  He broadened and deepened the findings, prepared working papers, published articles, lectured, fought. … Until recently, Ben-David appeared to be the Don Quixote of the economists, a lone warrier against the windmills of successive thickheaded Israeli governments.”

– Sever Plotsker, Editor-in-Chief of Yedioth Achronot business section


·       “Meir Shani, a businessman and friend of Dovrat, was the main intermediary in the contact that developed with [education minister] Livnat. … Shani relates a interesting account of the story behind the creation of the [Dovrat] commission: ‘We are three friends, Erez Vigodman, CEO of the Strauss-Elite group, Shlomo and I.  Following our exposure to findings, mainly those from the research of Dani Ben-David, on Israel’s socio-economic situation, we prepared a presentation showing how Israel has deteriorated over the past thirty years and is on the way to becoming a third-world country, and we appeared with this presentation in various forums.  Limor Livnat heard of the presentation and asked us to show it to the Education Ministry’s top management.’ ”

– Aviva Lurie, Ha’aretz


·       “Over the past year Ben-David, a Tel-Aviv University economist, has become a star.  Sustained and serious research work has accorded him this status, and much more than this.”

– “The New Economics Star” by Meirav Arlozorov

editor of Ha’aretz business section