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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tel Aviv's ingrate mayor

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, the man who managed to open the bars in his city on Tisha b'Av (our day of national mourning) and to bring out hundreds of demonstrators against Chabad, is a man who was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. By his own admission, Huldai had nothing to do with Tel Aviv's emergence as a high tech hub, and the home to some 600 start-up companies. But nevertheless, he takes the opportunity of being interviewed for a profile of his city's high tech industry to take a swipe at the government that made him a household name.
Mr. Huldai’s vision is to attract more foreign investment, and more international students and workers. He is pressuring the government to change visa requirements. There are significant obstacles. The city’s own report, commissioned to look into furthering the city’s tech ambitions, highlights the size of the local market and talent pool, the high cost of living, language, increasing competition, bureaucracy and location as obstacles.

But, says Mr. Huldai, “The main issue is the perception of the situation and the perception of the state of Israel.”

And this is getting worse, not better.

“The whole attitude of the people around the world to Israel is different to what it was 30 years ago,” he said.
And people like Huldai are making our image abroad worse.

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