Photo Credit: GPO / YouTube screengrab
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 1, 2023

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Saturday night that his government will take steps to protect Israel-based high tech companies affected by the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) this weekend.

The second-largest bank failure in US history, the collapse of SVB as well as that of Silvergate Capital, which catered to crypto companies, sent shock waves through the tech and finance worlds. Following the failure of the two banks, cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum also began to crash, as a market-wide selloff began to take hold.


Silicon Valley Bank Tanked, Dragging Down 500 Israeli Startups

Netanyahu issued his statement prior to flying back to Israel late Saturday night after a three-day visit to Rome, during which he met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Chigi Palace and with Jewish community leaders in the Spanish Synagogue at the Jewish Museum of Rome.

Some 500 Israeli startups are reportedly affected by the crash, including a number of those who self-righteously pulled their funds from Israel to protest the government’s planned judicial reforms.

“I am closely following the fall of the American investment bank SVB which is producing a deep crisis in the high-tech world,” Netanyahu said in his statement.

“I held talks from Rome with high-tech officials in Israel, and upon my return to Israel I will discuss the extent of the crisis with the Ministers of Finance and Economy and the Governor of the Bank of Israel,” he said.

“If necessary, out of responsibility for hi-tech companies and employees in Israel, we will take steps that will help Israeli companies, whose operations are centered in Israel, to overcome the liquidity crisis created for them due to the upheaval,” Netanyahu promised.

“Israel’s economy is strong and stable, and this is again reflected in this crisis as well,” the prime minister added.

The question of course is whether the government will help those high-tech firms who were involved in the weeks-long anti-government protests– and whether Israel will help those companies that chose to withdraw their money from the Jewish State in a fit of leftist hate.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich released a statement:

The Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Israel, the Securities Authority and the Innovation Authority are establishing a dedicated team to examine the consequences of the collapse of SVB Bank.

Following the collapse of the SVB bank in the United States and its possible impact on Israeli high-tech companies, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich ordered the establishment of a dedicated team to monitor the issue.

The team, led by the director general of the Ministry of Finance, Shlomi Heizler, will be composed of representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Israel, the Securities Authority and the Innovation Authority. The team will be in contact with the local high-tech industry, funds and financial institutions in Israel and the US for the purpose of receiving data and analyzing the possible impact on the Israeli economy and, as necessary, for formulating a response to Israeli companies.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.