War and the Israeli economy

M.J. Rosenberg has this assessment on his blog of the cost to the Israeli economy if Netanyahu chooses to go to war with Iran:"According to a report issued by BDI, the largest business information consulting group in Israel, the cost to the Israeli economy would be $41.75 billion, a fifth of the countrys total GDP. BDI extrapolates that estimate from the cost of the 2006 Lebanon war, which cost Israel 1.8 % of GDP."Rosenberg's conclusion: "Simply put, the idea of Israel bombing Iran, rather than permitting (given political constraints, Israels permission is necessary) the United States to initiate unconditional and comprehensive negotiations with Iran is insane. What kind of leadership would risk one-fifth of its GDP (not to mention its people) rather than negotiate? That is especially true when there is absolutely no consensus in Israel favoring war."No doubt the deficit hawks in the U.S. Congress will be happy to supply the missing $41.75 billion!

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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