Israel’s Diamond Trade Is Stuck Between Two Crises – by Joshua Freedman (Rapaport Magazine – February 8, 2024)


The global downturn is a bigger challenge for the market than the war is, says bourse president Boaz Moldawsky.

October 7 was supposed to be a joyous day for Boaz Moldawsky, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE). His daughter gave birth at 11 p.m. the night before. The Hamas attack on Israel started early the next morning.

Moldawsky was in Tel Aviv when it all kicked off. As many did, he brushed off the first rocket siren at 6:30 a.m. as an ordinary warning that happens from time to time. Within a few hours, it became clear that something more serious was happening. “At the beginning, nobody thought it was something so big,” Moldawsky says. “But after a few hours, we saw the catastrophe.”

While the rockets continued over Tel Aviv, deadly massacres were taking place in southern Israel, with 1,200 estimated to have been killed and around 250 taken hostage.One IDE member, Isaac Siton, manager of Grandview Klein Diamonds’ Namibia factory, was murdered, while several others lost relatives. The events kicked off a war that is still ongoing.

Business effects

The immediate impact on business was also considerable, Moldawsky notes. “In the beginning, since the war began, there were two or three weeks when the market in Israel was paralyzed, completely paralyzed,” he describes. “There [was] no…option to send goods into Israel and out of Israel. Only one airline, El Al, was operating, and [it was not] going to all our destinations [needed for shipments].”

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