InsurTech Amplified and David Gritz spoke with Kobi Bendelak, an Israeli entrepreneur and founder of InsurTech Israel to get unique insights into the current situation in Israel, the history of the country, and the impact on the InsurTech industry.
Here are some of the insights we learned from the conversation:
1. Shock and Horror: Bendelak described the initial shock and horror that Israelis experienced when rockets and missiles were launched from Gaza into Tel Aviv and other parts of the country. The suddenness and brutality of the attacks were unprecedented, leaving the Israeli population in disbelief.
2. Unprecedented Violence: Bendelak expressed his disbelief at the level of violence perpetrated by Hamas during the conflict. The kidnappings, killings, and targeting of innocent civilians, including babies and mothers, were unimaginable acts of brutality.
3. Spirit of Resilience: Despite the ongoing conflict, Bendelak highlighted the resilience and unity of the Israeli people. The Israeli spirit, he explained, transcends religious and cultural differences, bringing people together in times of crisis.
4. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Bendelak provided a historical overview of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, starting from the British Mandate after the Ottoman Empire and leading to the establishment of Israel as a state in 1948. He emphasized the complexity of the conflict and the challenges faced by both Israelis and Palestinians.
5. Misunderstandings and Media Bias: Bendelak acknowledged that media bias exists when it comes to reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He attributed this bias to various factors, including lack of firsthand experience and past mistakes made by Israel in handling the communications around the ongoing conflict.
6. Gaza’s Economic Potential: Bendelak highlighted the economic potential of Gaza, comparing it to Singapore in terms of population density and the opportunity for economic development. He stressed the importance of providing economic opportunities to the people of Gaza to prevent radicalization and foster a better future.
7. Support for Israeli Insurtech: Bendelak expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support received from the global insurtech community, despite the ongoing conflict. He emphasized the importance of maintaining relationships and supporting Israeli startups in the industry.
8. Resilience in the Face of Adversity: Bendelak noted that Israel has a history of resilience and innovation, with past conflicts leading to the development of groundbreaking technologies and solutions. He expressed confidence that the current situation would only strengthen the Israeli InsurTech ecosystem.
9. Importance of Balanced Reporting: Bendelak encouraged readers to seek out balanced reporting and diverse perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He suggested reading Israeli newspapers in English and following reputable sources for a more nuanced understanding of the situation.
10. Looking Toward the Future: Bendelak expressed optimism for the future, despite the current challenges. He emphasized the need for continued collaboration and support within the InsurTech industry to foster growth and innovation in Israel.