August 21, 2018 Print

Eli Cohen, Israel's Minister of the Economy and Industry, speaks at the Fifth Annual Freedom Conference in Tel Aviv.

In March 2018, The Israeli Freedom Movement and the Ayn Rand Center Israel presented the Fifth Annual Freedom Conference in Tel Aviv. This conference is hosted every year as a way to bring together all of the parts of the liberty movement in Israel and to communicate and educate one another on the best ways to advance free-market solutions in their country. This year’s conference featured 290 participants from twenty-five organizations.

"We see how each year additional organizations join the conference that has become an unprecedented freedom festival in Israel” explained Boaz Arad, CEO of the Ayn Rand Center in Israel and co-ounder of the Israeli Freedom Movement. “With the growth of activity and the improvement of specialization, we are leading a tangible change in Israel."

The success of the conference is evidenced by the attention it drew from those in government and in the media. The Freedom Conference received over 30 media mentions and included the participation of Eran Bar Tal, the economics editor for the largest Israeli daily paper Israel Hayom. An exciting addition to the conference came from several Israeli government officials who spoke and even debated with representatives of the participating organizations. Israel’s Minister of the Economy, Eli Cohen, spoke about the corruption inside government bureaucracies and the Deputy Treasury Minister debated the pros and cons of Bitcoin currency with Manny Rosenfeld, the head of the Israeli Bitcoin Society. A new component of the conference was the introduction of “LibTalks” where leaders from various think tanks gave presentations in a Ted-talk style on topics ranging from free trade to regulatory reforms.

Freedom Index award winner Member of the Knesset Sharren Haskell also greeted the participants and talked about the need for more market-driven solutions in Israel. The Freedom Index is an annual ranking of government officials in Israel based on their votes regarding issues of economic freedom. Another highlight of the conference was the ceremony for the bestowing of the “Hero of Freedom Award.” The winner was Mr. Daniel Doron — founder of the Israeli Center for Social and Economic Progress — for his dedication to promoting economic reforms. All of these presentations made the case for a freer Israel by exposing the ineffectiveness — and in many cases counter-effectiveness — of government intrusions and by telling the stories of human triumph in the marketplace.

Atlas Network supports events like the Israeli Freedom Conference to help facilitate global collaboration between organizations that work to promote liberty in their own countries and communities.