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Daniel Doron (born 1929) is an Israeli publicist and political activist. He is the founder and director of the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress (ICSEP). In this capacity, he has recommended economic changes to the Israeli government, some of which have successfully been implemented. He has written extensively on the advantages of free market economics in publications including the Wall Street Journal and the Jerusalem Post. For the latter, he serves as a regular columnist on economic matters. He has also translated into Hebrew texts about free market, as well as English prose - The Catcher in the Rye and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and wrote work of literary criticism.
Daniel Doron is a third-generation sabra. His grandfather, Zorach Barnett, was one of the first Jewish pioneers in Palestine, coming in 1872, prior to the First Aliyah. He moved to what was then Ottoman Turkish territory from England in 1872.
Doron served Air Force Intelligence during the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, and studied sociology and economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He then pursued a career in literature, journalism and government. He served under Teddy Kollek, then Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office. In 1957, Doron was delegated by the Prime Minister's Office to serve as special consultant to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv.
Becoming a public figure
In the 1960s, Daniel Doron resumed his studies as a Fellow of the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought, and then with Lionel Trilling and Jacques Barzuz as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. His exposure to economist Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek and other free market intellectual forces at the University of Chicago greatly influenced him. Later, the philosophies Doron acquired in the United States would lead him to push for free market changes in Israel's anti-competitive, socialist society and economy.
He also served on an economic advisory group for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and on the Israel Government Council for National and Economic Planning, was a member of the Board of the Entrepreneurial Center of Tel Aviv University, and is a member of the Mont-Pelerin Society. Doron was among the founders of The Herzliyah Conference, served on its Steering Committee and initiated its economic segment.
In 1983, Doron began devoting his time to the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress (ICSEP). A non-profit organization, it seeks to make recommendations to the Israeli government to increase the competitiveness of the Israeli economy. ICSEP conducts regular seminars for top Israeli university students to study free market economics, experiences that may otherwise not be available to them. ICSEP employs respected Israeli economic thinkers to examine Israeli markets in search of anti-competitive inefficiencies and works to make the public aware of such circumstances.
ICSEP and Daniel Doron succeeded in recommending to then Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israeli banks needed to be barred from the Israeli capital market in order for the capital markets to grow and mature. The Israeli Knesset later passed the Bachar Reforms codifying Daniel Doron's recommendations. While this government intervention in the economy may be viewed as contradicting the free market approach of ICSEP and Daniel Doron it has resulted in a far more competitive Israeli capital market.
Daniel Doron composes articles and op-ed pieces on behalf of ICSEP which have been published in major publications in the United States, Britain, and Israel.
Other activities and honors
Daniel Doron was sole representative of the internationally renowned artist Shalom of Safed, arranging his 15 museum exhibitions. Doron's film on Shalom won several important awards and was represented in the US at international festivals.