No other country in the world had rivaled the spectacular economic growth of Israel.
The Jewish state was originally an impoverished country beset by war that had to cope with the enormous problems associated with mass immigration and rampant inflation. To survive, Israel needed extensive aid that was largely provided for by World Jewry. Over the years that followed the economy of Israel has blossomed to such an extent that it now ranks as one of the developed countries in the world with an enviable growth rate in its Gross National Product. This economic development came about inter alia through a huge expansion of the labor force, a high rate of investment in factories, power plants and other capital goods, and rising productivity. Israel is now a world leader in the high-tech industry and attracts many foreign investors to finance new projects. The classical Israeli exports of citrus fruit and diamonds have been surpassed in recent years by exports in other areas, particularly electronics, computer software and hardware, optics, chemicals, communications equipment, medical instruments and pharmaceuticals. Though Israel relies on the U.S. for the acquisition of highly advanced military fighter planes to defend itself from attack, it has created its own impressive military industry, exporting a variety of security products and advanced defense systems to many countries. Once a highly centralized and socialized economy that reflected the ideology of the governing Israel labor parties, Israel has steadily moved towards a free enterprise system adopting a liberal economic policy that promotes an expanding economy and the welfare of its population.
Israel's strong economic growth is symbolized by a much stronger currency, the shekel. It is now a recognized currency on world trading markets that can be easily exchanged, unlike the situation that existed in former years.