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Encyclopedia > Austerity in Israel
Main article: History of Israel

Austerity in Israel: From 1949 to 1959, the state of Israel was, to a varying extent, under a regime of austerity (צנע tsena), during which rationing and similar measures were enforced. This article discusses the history of the modern State of Israel, from its independence proclamation in 1948 to the present. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday. ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Austerity is a term from economics that describes a policy where nations reduce living standards, curtail development projects, and generally shift the revenue stream out of the physical economy, in order to satisfy the demands of creditors. ... Rationing is the controlled distribution of resources and scarce goods or services: it restricts how much people are allowed to buy or consume. ...

A tent city for the Jewish refugees in Israel. The last such maabarah was dismantled in 1958.
A tent city for the Jewish refugees in Israel. The last such maabarah was dismantled in 1958.


Huge numbers of Jewish refugees were temporary settled in cities of tents called Maabarot (pl. ... Huge numbers of Jewish refugees were temporary settled in cities of tents called Maabarot (pl. ... In the course of history, Jewish populations have been expelled or ostracised by various local authorities and have sought asylum from Anti-Semitism numerous times. ... 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Shortly after its establishment in 1948, the young state of Israel found itself lacking in both food and foreign currency. In three and a half years, the Jewish population of Israel had doubled, inflated by nearly 700,000 immigrants. At the same time, the Arab villages, once major suppliers of food to the Jews of the land, were mostly abandoned. The government of Israel decided that in order to ensure ample rations for all Israeli citizens, it would assume control of resources and distribute them equally. Aside from the provision of food, austerity was also required because the state was lacking in foreign currency reserves. Export revenues covered less than a third of the cost of imports, and less than half of the consequent deficit was covered by Jewish loans — magbiyot (מגביות). Most financing was obtained from foreign banks and gas companies, which, as 1951 drew to an end, refused to enlarge the credit given to the state. In order to supervise austerity, the prime minister of the time, David Ben-Gurion, ordered the establishment of the Ministry of Supply and Rationing (משרד האספקה והקיצוב), headed by Dov Yosef. The Arabs (Arabic: عرب ) are a large and heterogeneous ethnic group found throughout the Middle East and North Africa, originating in the Arabian Peninsula of southwest Asia. ... A bank is an institution that provides financial service, particularly taking deposits and extending credit. ... Credit as a financial term, used in such terms as credit card, refers to the granting of a loan and the creation of debt. ... Israeli postal stamp commemorating Ben-Gurion (help· info) (October 16, 1886 – December 1, 1973; Hebrew: דָּוִד בֶּן גּוּרִיּוֹן) was the first Prime Minister of Israel. ...

Life under austerity

At first this rationing was set for staple foods alone — oil, sugar and margarine, for instance — but it was later expanded to furniture and footwear. Each month, each citizen would get food coupons worth 6 Israeli pounds (a currency no longer in use), and each family was alloted a given amount of foodstuffs. The diet chosen, fashioned after that used in the United Kingdom during World War II, allowed 2,800 calories a day for Israeli citizens, with additional calories for children, the elderly, and pregnant women. The enforcement of austerity required the establishment of a bureaucracy of quite some proportions, which nonetheless proved inefficient in preventing the emergence of a black market in which rationed products — often smuggled from the countryside — were sold at prices far higher than their worth. To counter this, the government established in September 1950 the Headquarters for Fighting the Black Market (מטה למלחמה בשוק השחור), whose goal it was to combat the forming of such a market. Yet despite the increased supervision, and the specially summoned courts, all such repression proved inefficient. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with vegetable oil. ... Magnified view of refined sugar crystals. ... Margarine, as a generic term, can indicate any of a wide range of butter-substitutes. ... Furniture is the collective term for the movable objects which support the human body (seating furniture and beds), provide storage, and hold objects on horizontal surfaces above the ground. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... 1 lira coin (1971–9) from World Coin Gallery. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead:17 million Civilian dead:33 million Total dead:50 million Military dead:8 million Civilian dead:4 million Total dead:12 million World War II... A calorie is a unit of measurement for energy. ... The black market or underground market is the part of economic activity involving illegal dealings, typically the buying and selling of merchandise or services (for example sexual services in many countries) illegally. ...

1952 Improvements

In 1952 an agreement was signed with Germany, compensating Israel for confiscation of Jewish property during the Holocaust. The resulting influx of foreign capital, a godsend to the state's struggling economy, led to the cancellation of most restrictions in 1953. In 1958 the list of rationed goods was narrowed to 11 goods in all, and in 1959 rationing of all goods save jam, sugar and coffee, was abolished altogether. Concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust The Holocaust was Nazi Germanys systematic genocide (ethnic cleansing) of various ethnic, religious, national, and secular groups during World War II. Early elements include the Kristallnacht pogrom and the T-4 Euthanasia Program established by Hitler that killed some 200,000 people. ... Jam from berries Jam is a type of fruit preserve made by boiling fruit with sugar to make an unfiltered jelly. ... Coffee in beverage form. ...


Economically, austerity proved a failure, mostly due to the enormous government deficit, covered by bank loans, creating an increase in the amount of money using. Throughout austerity unemployment remained high, and inflation grew as of 1951. Yet austerity did have its merits – none remained hungry, and shelter was found for all immigrants, shabby though it may have been. A budget deficit occurs when an entity (often a government) spends more money than it takes in. ... In economics, a person who is able and willing to work at prevailing wage rate yet is unable to find a paying job is considered unemployed. ...

See also

  • The Special Period in Cuba was another time of austerity because of lack of foreign trade.

  Results from FactBites:
EH.Net Encyclopedia: A Brief Economic History of Modern Israel (2929 words)
Israel was fortunate in receiving large sums of capital inflows: U.S. aid in the forms of unilateral transfers and loans, German reparations and restitutions to individuals, sale of State of Israel Bonds abroad, and unilateral transfers to public institutions, mainly the Jewish Agency, which retained responsibility for immigration absorption and agricultural settlement.
Thus, while employment in Israel was a major contributor to the economy of the Palestinians, its effects on the Israeli economy, except for the sectors of construction and agriculture, were not large.
Economic fluctuations in Israel have usually been associated with waves of immigration: a large flow of immigrants which abruptly increases the population requires an adjustment period until it is absorbed productively, with the investments for its absorption in employment and housing stimulating economic activity.
Israel: Map, History and Much More from Answers.com (7239 words)
Israel can be divided into four major regions: the Mediterranean coastal plain in the west; a hill region extending from the northern border into central Israel; the Great Rift Valley, containing the Jordan River, in the east; and the arid Negev, occupying nearly the entire southern half of the country.
Israel eventually yielded to strong pressure from the United States, the USSR, and the United Nations and removed its troops from Sinai in Nov., 1956, and from Gaza by Mar., 1957, as UN forces were sent to the Sinai and Gaza to keep peace between Egypt and Israel.
Israel is bordered by Lebanon to the north, Syria and Jordan to the east, the Gulf of Aqaba (an arm of the Red Sea) to the south, Egypt to the southwest, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.
  More results at FactBites »



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