December 13, 2018

Is America Really a Good Place for Jewish Startups?

As a Jewish-born American, I have always had this debate with others, including those who are not Jewish, that America is not our land – we don’t belong here, never did belong here, and never will belong here. As President Trump gets a firm grasp around the gullible necks of the ultra-right, I believe we are beginning to collectively understand and acknowledge that more and more as each day goes by.

For those who are not abreast to the political activities in Washington these days, let me share with you some evidence to support what I am about to share with you in this article.


China Has Opened Its Doors to Israel While America’s Is Half Shut


The Chinese market and its investors are playing an ever important role in Israel’s tech industry. China is one country that doesn’t really have any political agenda behind their relations with Israel or the Jewish people.

Before the end of 2017, we may witness the first Initial Public Offering (IPO) of an Israeli high-tech company on a Chinese stock exchange. In 2016 alone, Israel saw $1 billion in investments in its high-tech sector, the experts reported.

Eli Tidhar of Deloitte Israel had this to say, “The Chinese stock exchange market will become another very viable option for Israeli companies looking for public funding.” But this is only if the first IPO is a success.

Tidhar calls it the “Israel-China corridor,” and others are calling it “China’s New Silk Road.” While China is opening its doors, Israel is, too, laying out its proverbial welcoming mat to foreign Chinese investors. For Israelis, finding investment opportunities in China is easier since there are less troublesome regulations and scrutiny than elsewhere in the world.

As a matter of fact, China is projected to spend an estimated $900 billion on its new Silk Road, which happens to go right through Israel. This is big for the Jewish state, and something not to be ignored.


America Forgets the Contributions Made by the Jewish Community


Whether it is renewable energy technology in Silicon Valley or website design Toronto company, it is a well-known fact that many of the top contributors and innovators in the tech industry come from the Jewish community. But when it comes to Donald Trump’s new America, where the far ultra-right is on the rise, this may no longer matter.

While anti-Semitism is rearing its ugly head once again on an unprecedented scale, we have seen 67 bomb threats against Jewish Community Centres in 27 different states in the US. In St. Louis, Missouri, over 100 headstones were vandalized and overturned in a Jewish Cemetery.

The internet is awash with an increase of anti-Semitic hate speech and threats against the Jewish community. Even the diversity of New York City has been disrupted by numbers of Swastikas being spray painted in many places.

America has the second largest Jewish population in the world next to Israel. Once was considered a safe place to grow up Jewish is quickly turning into a country where our very presence is now being undermined by a group that is not exactly a minority in America. The ultra-right makes up a large portion of the lower to the middle class white American population. It only took a man like Donald Trump becoming president for their true faces to show.


The Invitation for All Jews to Migrate to Israel


There was an event that happened in 2015 that a lot of non-Jewish people weren’t aware of, or maybe it was they weren’t paying attention. I was paying attention, though. And this news story never left my mind. I remember it quite often.

It was the European leaders, most of whom are not Jewish, who were against Binyamin Netanyahu’s call for all Jews to migrate en masse to Israel, reminding us that Israel is indeed our home, and we can feel safe there – safe from attacks and prejudice.

Many people were against Netanyahu’s call for mass migration. They all had their reasons. Even the former Israeli president Shimon Peres called a “political move.” That is like the pot calling the kettle black, nevertheless.

Even through all this, Israel is still the number one country for start-ups these days. It’s my opinion that young Jews throughout the world should start taking a hard long look at their home country when thinking about launching a startup.