Israel’s Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, has criticized the decision of international rating agency Moody’s to lower Israel’s sovereign credit rating for the first time in history. In his official statement, Smotrich emphasized that the Israeli economy is strong and has the resources to support the war effort and return to rapid economic growth.
Smotrich argued that Moody’s decision was based on a pessimistic and unfounded worldview and reflected a lack of faith in the sustainability and viability of Israel. He also criticized the agency for not recognizing terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and for hinting that it would not have lowered the rating if Israel had accepted a proposal to stop hostilities and create a Palestinian state.
The report from Moody’s expressed concern about the consequences of the ongoing War of Iron Swords, military escalation on the Lebanese-Israeli border, and instability within Israel’s government. The report also noted that civil society in Israel is strong, but there is a negative outlook on its credit rating, implying a possible downgrade in the future.
Smotrich thanked the Ministry of Finance’s auditor general, Bank of Israel chairman, Israeli economists working with rating agencies for their efforts. However, he made additional attacks on Moody’s questioning some economists in New York who assessed situations outside their field of expertise.