Erel Margalit, a former MK and leading hi tech entrepreneur, on Wednesday published an urgent, open letter to Israel’s coronavirus cabinet, ahead of its debate over imposing another general closure, and warned that “Another general lockdown will lead to mass layoffs and business closures.”
Margalit is the chairman and founder of the JVP Fund, one of the oldest and leading venture capital funds in Israel, which has invested more than $ 1.4 billion in building 140 companies since its inception.
Margalit wrote, “Another general lockdown will lead to mass layoffs, and the collapse of many businesses across the country. Out of responsibility for the fate of hundreds of thousands of families in Israel, small and medium businesses, and hundreds of thousands of unemployed, I call on you, as members of the Coronavirus Cabinet, to oppose the imposition of a closure and to allow the Israeli economy to continue to remain open even during this challenging period, while implementing the necessary adjustments to stop the spread of contagion.”
He called on cabinet members to be proactive in taking steps aimed at helping the economy: “Support for small, medium, and large businesses, and for hundreds of thousands of families in Israel – this is the urgent order of the day. This support requires – among other things – running programs to integrate minority ultra-Orthodox and Arab sectors into the labor market, providing incentives, developing new creative business models, reducing regulation, lowering taxation rates, recruiting experts and mentors to stem the financial collapse of families and businesses alike, and build long-term plans to emerge from the crisis.”
In 2017, Margalit ran for the chairmanship of the Labor Party, but was knocked out in the first round of voting. He subsequently resigned from the Knesset in October 2017.