Israel's Wealth and Its Impact on the Conflict with Palestine
- In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, Israel's financial resources have come under scrutiny. Reports suggest that Israel has allocated a staggering $51 billion, or approximately Rp795 trillion (assuming an exchange rate of Rp15,589 per US dollar), for its operations against Hamas. 

This significant funding is drawn from various sectors, including high technology and manufacturing industries. Israel's financial might extends to its diamond trade, real estate, and a growing list of billionaires.

The Economic Powerhouse: Israel's Diamond Trade

Israel is a global hub for diamond manufacturing and trade, with the Israel Diamond Exchange serving as one of the world's top four diamond trading centers, boasting over 3,200 members. The exchange is known for its impeccable reputation and contributions to Israel's economic prosperity. Diamonds cut and polished in Israel are distributed worldwide, including in Indonesia.

The Billionaires of Israel

The wealth of Israel is also vividly reflected in the fortunes of its wealthiest citizens. According to Forbes' Real-Time Billionaires list, here are the top five richest individuals in Israel:

1. Eyal Ofer ($19.8 billion)

Eyal Ofer, the head of Ofer Global, oversees a diverse portfolio of businesses, including shipping, real estate, technology, banking, energy, and various investments. He is the son of the late shipping magnate Sammy Ofer, who bequeathed his wealth upon his passing in 2011. Through his subsidiary, Zodiac Group, Eyal operates nearly 190 vessels worldwide.

In addition to his shipping ventures, Eyal holds extensive real estate assets, encompassing more than 120 properties globally, including prestigious locations like 15 Central Park West, 1250 Broadway, and 50 United Nations Plaza in Manhattan. His assets also include OG. Venture Partners and shares in publicly-traded companies like Mizrahi Tefahot Bank and Royal Caribbean Cruises.

2. Idan Ofer ($13.9 billion)

Idan Ofer, the sibling of Eyal, leads Eastern Pacific Shipping, which manages a fleet comprising 210 bulk carriers, container ships, and crude oil tankers. Beyond this, Idan holds shares in two other shipping companies, XT Shipping and Ace Tankers.

Idan also possesses a substantial ownership stake of 32 percent in the Spanish football club Atletico de Madrid and an 85 percent share in the Portuguese football club FC Famalicao.

3. Dmitri Bukhman ($6.9 billion)

Dmitri Bukhman is the owner of the online gaming company Playrix, renowned for mobile app games like Homescapes and Fishdom. Dmitri, alongside his brother Igor, began their journey in online gaming while still in high school. Today, Playrix records annual revenues exceeding $2.5 billion.

The Bukhman brothers have also invested in shares of video game and social networking developers, including Nexters Global.

4. Igor Bukhman ($6.9 billion)

Igor Bukhman's wealth similarly stems from Playrix, the online gaming giant. Despite both brothers being born and raised in northern Russia, Playrix shuttered its Russian offices in 2022, relocating almost all of its 1,500 employees.

5. Yuri Milner ($6.8 billion)

Yuri Milner, originally from Russia, is a technology investor. He was an early supporter of prominent companies like Facebook and Twitter through his venture capital fund, DST Global. However, Milner later sold his shares in these companies and shifted his investments towards Spotify and Airbnb.

Milner also holds shares in Chinese technology companies, including Alibaba, JD.Com, and Xiaomi.

The Impact of Wealth on the Conflict

The concentration of immense wealth among a select few in Israel raises questions about the socio-economic disparities within the country. While some have amassed enormous fortunes, the ongoing conflict with Palestine has resulted in significant humanitarian challenges and devastation in Gaza.

Critics argue that the vast resources of these billionaires could be channeled towards initiatives that promote peace and humanitarian assistance in the region. Advocates, on the other hand, contend that private individuals have the right to manage their wealth as they see fit.

In conclusion, Israel's remarkable wealth, spanning industries from diamonds to technology and gaming, has generated immense affluence for a select group of individuals. However, as the conflict with Palestine persists, questions about the ethical and moral responsibilities of these billionaires and the impact of their wealth on the region's stability continue to be debated.

The situation in Israel and Palestine remains fluid, and the economic and geopolitical factors at play are complex. The path towards resolution and peace in the region remains uncertain, but the role of Israel's wealth in this ongoing conflict cannot be ignored.


Jurnalis bisnis dan ekonomi di salah satu media nasional. Saya menulis soal kewirausahaan, finansial, saham, hukum bisnis,dan hal-hal menarik lainnya. Meraih gelar MBA dari SBM ITB.

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