Existential threat

Landa speaks out on Israel-Gaza war

Benny Landa at LDP's Drupa showcase

Indigo and Landa Digital Printing founder Benny Landa has warned of the “existential threat” to the Israel economy because of the Israel-Gaza war.

In a wide-ranging interview with Israeli financial newspaper Globes, Landa said a potential customer at one of his non-printing ventures – a synthetic salt – had told him Israel was becoming a “pariah state” and the customer would not be able to distribute the product if it was made in Israel.

Landa told Globes: “If the economy collapses, if we lose our exports, if we don't have industry that can find investors and customers, the defence of the State of Israel will also collapse.”

He said the current situation was “an existential threat to Israel in economic terms”.

“The root of the problem is that we don’t see the conflict the way the rest of the world does. We are so traumatized, and they don't identify with that at all. Why? Because the whole world sees what we don't see, which are the women and children in Gaza, the corpses, and children being buried.”

Landa used to be active in Breaking the Impasse, an organisation that aimed to achieve a dialogue between the two peoples. He said he believed the only solution was for the Palestinians to have their own identity and be a free nation in their own land.

He also said he had given up trying to influence the government, and his focus was “increasing the employment rate in high-tech and Israeli industry”.

“My goal is to contribute 2% to Israel’s GDP, but the ability to grow has been damaged, so I don't know if we will reach that level in my lifetime,” he told the newspaper.

When Landa sold Indigo to HP in 2001 part of the deal included a commitment from HP to continuing to invest in R&D and employment in Israel.

Other printing industry manufacturers and tech companies headquartered or with substantial operations in Israel include EFI, Highcon, Kornit and Scodix.

Landa Digital Printing reported an "unprecedented" amount of orders for its inkjet presses at the recent Drupa expo.