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Will Israeli Hi-tech protests become a real-life Handmaid's Tale?

Israeli hi-tech start-up companies and unicorns are truly an Israeli success story. And now, some of those start-ups and unicorn companies are making headlines as they lead the charge against Israel’s judicial reform bills as Israel’s hi-tech social justice warriors.

But what if there was a darker side to this story, and it wasn’t about justice but rather maximizing profits and employee productivity?


The first hi-tech company to make the news was Papaya Global when they announced they were pulling their money out of the country to protest the judicial reform bills.

Soon after, a number of other Israeli hi-tech firms followed suit and announced they too were doing the same.

However, it turns out that Papaya Global’s business is international payroll services for companies with workers and money in different countries. So, hypothetically speaking, by convincing as many Israeli companies they are in contact with to pull their money out of Israel for protest reasons, Papaya Global could only stand to gain potential clients.

And then this week, a small group of some 10 Israeli unicorn companies (we’ll call them the Unicorn group) reportedly announced that they want to set up a hi-tech hub in another country in protest of the judicial reforms. They are considering setting up in Cyprus or Greece, maybe even Spain or Portugal.

Their pampered Israeli employees would work there during the week and fly home to Israel for the weekends.

Not only do the hi-tech companies and their workers get to protest judicial reform by leaving Israel, but the companies could save on taxes too (perhaps the employees too) and no time-off needed for annoying distractions like IDF reserve duty. It’s certainly great for the investors and their bottom line.

Let’s imagine life in the Unicorn hub. It would be a corporate utopia!

The Israeli foreign workers would have all their needs and infrastructure taken care of in their large overseas corporate village.

The Israeli workers could live for free in corporate housing provided by the Unicorn group. Obviously, the more seniority they have, the bigger their domicile will be, and the fewer flatmates they’ll have, which is just an incentive to work harder.

They’ll be able to buy the best food in the Unicorn-owned supermarkets. They’ll have the fastest internet on the Unicorn-owned networks. At night, they’ll party at the Unicorn-owned clubs, and if they get sick, they’ll be treated by Unicorn’s doctor-employees at the Unicorn-run clinics.

And if your spouse isn’t a hi-tech person, he’ll also be able to work for Unicorn too in one of their service companies, such as clean-up or the cafeteria. Eventually, there will be Unicorn-run schools where their children will learn all about how their parents saved Israeli democracy.

And best of all, there would be no distractions to prevent them from working late every night. Milluim? Family emergencies or simchas? “Sorry, I’m in another country, protesting against judicial reform.”

And while as foreign workers, the Israeli hi-tech programmers probably won’t have as much in the way of rights in the country where they’ll spend the majority of their time, they would get to go home every weekend, unless obviously, there was a deadline on Monday or a weekend team-building activity. Though, on Israeli election Day they’ll definitely be flown back in to vote (correctly).

Here’s the twist in the latest hi-tech social justice battle.

While the unicorns are now reportedly saying they want to create this hi-tech investor’s paradise to protest the judicial reforms, the reports also say they wanted to create these foreign hubs for Israelis long before the current elections.

Why didn’t they implement it yet? We can assume they couldn’t figure out how they would get Israeli hi-tech workers to be so stupid to agree to become serfs, slaves, foreign workers and handmaids.

Luckily, there’s nothing in the world like Israeli hi-tech ingenuity to come up with some powerful social engineering techniques to convince Israelis to protest against legislation that would be good for them, and simultaneously convince them to exit their wonderful country to truly become foreign workers and corporate slaves while feeling good about themselves.

Good luck overseas.


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JoeSettler blogs at The and occasionally on his own blog at