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Where are the Jews? Why is Israel Missing from the G20?

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Am I the only person wondering why Israel isn't included in the G20? Could it be the extra cost of the Kosher food?

According to their own description, the G20 is composed of "systemically important industrialized and developing economies" that come together to "discuss key issues in the global economy."

Recognizing that emerging economies weren't adequately represented, the group was created as a mechanism to bring more voices and perspectives to conversations about global financial stability and governance.

Well, Israel is clearly an economic powerhouse, both in the region and globally. It has clearly moved from an emerging economy to an industrialized one, and that swift transformation gives it a unique and valuable perspective.

Israel is on fire with entrepreneurship. They have the second-highest number of startups in the world after the United States (with a tiny population of only 6,200,000.) It has the largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies outside of North America. It's the place Intel and Microsoft both chose to construct their first overseas R&D centers, and last year, Buffet's first non-U.S. acquisition was an Israel company called Iscar.

Then there's Israel's geopolitical significance, and the fact that it's got the nukes Ahmadinejad lusts after. In terms of being "systemically important" to the global economic architecture, how about the potential of an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, and the resulting impact on oil prices and the world economy?

So what gives? It's hard to argue that Israel doesn't deserve a seat next to Canada and Australia and Italy and Indonesia and South Africa. Sure, they're larger economies, but it's not like they exactly represent a model for the future.

The answer is obvious. It's the same double-standard of hypocrisy that routinely puts Israel on the losing end of one United Nations resolution after another, while brutal autocracies that murder their people and lack a semblance of a judicial system are continually enabled.

The world has no fondness for Israel (that's a polite way of putting it). In fact, every poll I've seen shows overwhelming global antipathy. The country is radioactive. And because the power brokers at the G20 don't want to deal with the controversy and consequences of inviting Israel in, they take the chicken-shit route of shutting them out.

Which is too bad. I think the G20 might actually learn more about healthy economics from a country that turned nothing into something, than from countries like the U.S., which are in rapidly turning something into nothing.

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