Right now, there is a raging debate in Israel about the fact that Israel’s former President Shimon Peres is actively pursuing commercial contracts. Since leaving after more than 60 years in politics, the former Nobel Peace Prize winner canceled a key contract with Bank HaPoalim, one of Israel's largest banks last week following a public uproar at the fact that he had secured a $30,000 contract.
Now, according to Israel's business media, his recently formed company, Peres & Associates, has been hired to perform consulting services at the rate of $10,000 per month to Teva, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Peres will work strictly in the international marketplace — and the man has the right to earn a living, no matter how outsized some feel his fees may be.
Peres has tremendous international contacts, which can be used to benefit Israeli companies all over the world. Peres’ son, Chemi, is co-founder of the Pitango hedge fund, which manages more than $1.6 billion. This year, Peres received the Spirit of Davos award, and it is said that “Peres has the soul of an entrepreneur. His very essence is that of a man of vision. He spoke about nanotechnology 15 years ago. He identified the potential of high tech 20 years ago.”
As one of the few Israelis recognized around the world, Peres' efforts can help Israeli businesses in a major way and it should be encouraged. Under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's government must remember that the forefather of the Likud Party, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, was a firm supporter of economic freedom and capitalism.
Jabotinsky believed “every individual is a king,” and the state must not impair mans’ freedom. Practically, Jabotinsky advocated an end to the Histadrut’s monopoly over labor in Eretz Israel — and Jabotinsky reminded us that the Bible is full of social protest, but not socialism. Its economic and social policy is one of freedom; rather than forbid or control economic activity, it deals with any negative results by means of institutions such as the Sabbath, tithing, the gleanings and corners of the field that were left for the poor, and the Jubilee.
Israel's economy must be a free market, “Start-up Nation” has received tremendous accolades, and Shimon Peres' efforts should be supported despite political differences. Free markets are best for the State of Israel, and the government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu should vocally support and advocate a free-market economy. That includes supporting the efforts of Shimon Peres.
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.
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