INTEL / Con: Better Uses

Cutting the grant to Intel from $400 million to $200 million is a big achievement for the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry. But the question is really whether we are fighting yesterday's war in trying to keep Intel in Israel in return for enormous grants.

One possibility raised in negotiations was for Intel to build its plant in the Galilee, but Intel only said it would consider it. It also refused to commit itself to manufacture its most advanced technology here.

Intel was given over $1 billion between 1999 and 2005. It contributes a lot to the economy. But there are other - and better - uses for the money, which could help employ thousands and retrain workers. Or it could be invested in education, high tech or the space program. These would also contribute to the Israeli economy - and in the long term more than Intel.