How Tel Aviv Became the Most Expensive City on Earth

According to a ranking recently issued by the Economist, Tel Aviv is the world’s most expensive city, ahead of New York, Paris, and Berlin. There are many reasons for this, writes Gad Lior, but the most important is also the simplest:

Tel Aviv was not planned to be the heart of a metropolis, numbering almost five million people, from Netanya to Gedera. Tel Aviv itself is actually a small city, with only 400,000 inhabitants, whose land reserves are running out. So it is no wonder that a three-room apartment in Tel Aviv is rented out for 8,000 shekels, [about $2,500], and in Berlin, a similar apartment will be rented out for 600 euros [about $680]—and rent cannot be hiked up beyond a limited rate stipulated by law, while no such law exists in Israel.

Most of all, the most expensive city in the world suffers from an inaccessibility problem. There are no trains from some of the nearby cities, no subway, not even a light rail. So almost everyone commutes from morning to night in private vehicles to . . . Tel Aviv. And fuel costs money, and traffic jams too.

And since this is the leading city in Israel, the owner of a clothing store admitted that “in Tel Aviv, they will pay me for a suit exactly three times more than in Afula.” . . . For a larger selection, with more prestigious products, in a store that pays much more in property taxes than in Afula—the price will be much greater.

The huge tax burden that falls on the business sector causes some of the costs and it’s not going to get any better in the foreseeable future. Add to this the strengthening of the shekel against the dollar as it has become the world’s hottest currency in recent months.

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Read more at Ynet

More about: Israeli economy, Tel Aviv

Iran’s Responsibility for West Bank Terror

On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer and was then shot by another officer after trying to grab his rifle. Commenting on the many similar instances of West Bank-based terror during the past several months, Amit Saar, a senior IDF intelligence officer, predicted that the violence will likely grow worse in the coming year. Yoni Ben Menachem explains the Islamic Republic’s role in fueling this wave of terrorism:

The escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison in September 2021 was the catalyst for the establishment of new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank, according to senior Islamic Jihad officials. The initiative to establish new armed groups was undertaken by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in coordination with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, implementing the strategy of Qassem Suleimani—the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated in Iraq by the U.S.—of using proxies to achieve the goals of expansion of the Iranian regime.

After arming Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iran moved in the last year to support the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups under the name of “Battalions,” which also include terrorists from other organizations such as Fatah, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. First, the “Jenin Battalion” was established in the city of Jenin, followed the “Nablus Battalion.”

Despite large-scale arrest operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad continues to form new terrorist groups, including the “Tulkarem Battalion,” the “Tubas Battalion,” and the “Balata Battalion” in the Balata refugee camp.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank