Ynet: Gidi Grinstein at the 2008 Herzliya Conference – The Balance of Israel's National Security

Gidi Grinstein, the founder and CEO of the Reut Institute, gave a lecture at the opening panel of the 2008 Herzliya conference dealing with: "Assessing National Security – The Annual Update".

Grinstein presented the differences between growth and leapfrogging. The latter is crucial if Israel wishes to bridge the gap to the developed countries and become one of the world's leaders in terms of its citizens' quality of life.

"The economic growth we've experienced in the past few years is intoxicating, but Israel has not managed to achieve a leapfrog in quality of life."

Grinstein showed data indicating that between the years 1950 and 1970 Israel managed to bridge the gap to the developed countries. Since then, Israel has been lagging behind and has not been able to keep up with the growth rate of other countries that have caught up with the world's leaders such as: Singapore, South Korea, Ireland and Finland.

Grinstein argued that in order to leapfrog, Israel's GNP per capita must grow 6% for 8 years to be able to fulfill the vision of Israel 15: making Israel one of the world's 15 leading countries in terms of its citizens' Quality of Life.

When addressing Professor Barnea's words regarding the need to define clear goals, Grinstein stressed that even though there is no recipe for a leapfrog, it entails vision, leadership and collaboration. Moreover, a state must take reasonable economic, strategic and social bets. The key is making a discourse on leapfrog a 'national obsession'. Promoting the discourse of a leapfrog will allow Israel to find the right policy mixture to be able to compete on capital, human resources and technology in a globalized world.

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