Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Friday’s decision by the Moody’s global credit rating agency to downgrade Israel’s credit rating had nothing to do with the state of Israel’s economy.
“The Israeli economy is strong. The rating downgrade is not connected to the economy, it is entirely due to the fact that we are in a war,” Netanyahu said. “The rating will rise back at the moment we win the war — and we will win the war,” he said.
Moody’s downgraded Israel’s credit rating to A2, which is still five notches above investment grade, but kept the nation’s credit outlook at “negative”, meaning a further downgrade is possible.
The global credit rating agency cited material political and fiscal risks for the country from its war with Gaza’s Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization, and said the impact of the conflict raises political risk and weakens Israel’s executive and legislative institutions, and its fiscal strength for the foreseeable future.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said in a statement Saturday night the Israeli economy is strong “by all measures” and can support “all the war efforts, on the front and in the rear, until the victory that will be achieved with the help of God and the bravery of the warriors, and to return to an accelerated growth path.”
Smotrich called the announcement by Moody’s “a political manifesto based on a pessimistic and unfounded geopolitical worldview.” The minister noted that the credit rating agency “is not even able to define Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations” and said the announcement implied the agency would have avoided the downgrade “if only Israel had accepted the suicide plan offered to it by elements in the international community to stop the war and establish an Arab terrorist state in Gaza and Judea and Samaria.”
The Finance Minister emphasized that the State of Israel does not derive its national, security, social and/or economic strength from how the Jewish State is judged in the world, but rather from a deep belief in the righteousness of Israel’s path, which is “based on a glorious past of thousands of years and a commitment to an even more glorious future.”
Smotrich vowed that the credit agency’s announcement will not weaken Israel “in the war for our independence and sovereignty in our homeland.” He thanked the Accountant General, the Governor of the Bank of Israel and the other professionals in the Israeli economy for their efforts with the rating company.
“Together we will win and continue to lead the Israeli economy with responsibility and discretion and steer it to a safe shore,” he said.