October 2023, Investment Thoughts - On October 7th, Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls Gaza, invaded Israel by air, land and sea. Israel's Defense Minister called the incursion the worst event for Jews since the Holocaust. Over 1,300 Israelis have died including hundreds of civilians. To put this number in context, given the relative size of Israel’s population, that would equate to roughly 40,000 Americans. In response to the attack, Israel cut off electricity and the flow of food, water and supplies to Gaza. Israel also launched an air strike and is preparing a ground invasion of Gaza to eradicate Hamas that will endanger additional civilians.
This war is a tragic development that is heartbreaking to watch. It is the latest of several geopolitical tensions to accumulate, including the Russia-Ukraine war and strained ties with China. Wars bring a significant amount of uncertainty and it is always challenging to forecast how they will impact the investment landscape. The purpose of this Investment Thoughts is to share some of our initial thoughts on the conflict. Our views are subject to change given the fluidity of the situation.