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Thursday, July 18, 2013

It starts: Israel threatens to hit Europe in its pocket

Europe thought that they had Israel over the barrel and that Israel would have no choice but to comply with their dictats regarding the 'territories.' They were wrong. According to Thursday's Maariv Hebrew paper, Israel is threatening to withdraw from the European Union's Horizons 2020 program, a move that would hit Europe's prestige and its pocketbook.
Israel is the only non-European full partner in the project, and is supposed to invest 600 million Euro (785 million US dollars) in the project over 7 years.
Besides the financial hit the EU project would take as a result, the move would be a serious blow to the project’s prestige and success. Israel is a central partner in the projects that Horizon 2020 undertakes, and part of these project’s successes are dependent on Israeli human resources and research.
I saw a report about this on Wednesday, but that report made it sound like we were going to get 600 million Euros of inbound investments from Horizon 2020 which we would now lose. Neither report is completely accurate. The original Hebrew report is here and according to that report, Israel is scheduled to invest 600 million of the 80 billion Euros in the project (about three quarters of 1%,  but that's obviously not the only thing Israel is scheduled to contribute), but expected to get back about 900 million Euro in inbound investments. The government is apparently willing to pay that price, but the still Leftist-dominated foreign ministry is calling it a major blow to Israeli high tech.

Do we really have a choice?

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