Business Scene


IS Israel cutting off its nose to spite its face? If air traffic is an indicator, the answer is yes. The numerous complaints from people who wanted to come to Israel for Pessah but were unable to do so because they couldn't get a flight is ample testimony to the stupidity of maintaining El Al's edge at the expense of tourism. Although one would expect Israel to adopt an open skies policy... (see full summary)


FORCED by economic constraints to cut its budget,, the Foreign Ministry in October 1999 decided to suspend publication of its cultural affairs magazine Ariel, which had been distributed worldwide in six languages. The magazine was subsequently given a reprieve, but in July 2003, the axe fell with murderous finality. After more than 40 years, Ariel was being consigned to history. Asher Weill, who had edited Ariel for close to quarter of a century, was devastated by the thought that Israel's only face shown to the world would be the Arab-Israel conflict, devoid of cultural content. Moreover he contended, with the stroke of a pen, the Foreign Ministry had destroyed a bridge to the Arab world. The last issue of Ariel was published in April 2003. Fortunately, Weill is well connected to a variety of Anglo organizations, one of which happens to be the Anglo-Israel Association, that has appointed him to edit a quarterly magazine of a similar genre to Ariel. The publication is called The Anglo-Israel Quarterly. The Anglo- Association is made up of Jewish and non-Jewish friends of Israel.

THE store at the Bible Lands Museum is under new management. Ruth Abileyah, who has run it since its inception, is retiring after 13 fruitful years, and is handing over the reins to Barbara Shaw, who after a few years' flirtation with hi-tech is returning to her greater love: arts and crafts. Several years ago, Shaw ran a successful arts and crafts enterprise that employed new immigrants, primarily from the former Soviet Union. Shaw plans to develop the store to serve an ever-widening clientele. She will introduce new products featuring the museum's themes as well as unique art works. The store is having a special sale during the intermediate days of Pessah.

TIMING is everything. Gourmet chef Hila Solomon, who has been gravitating between Israel, Australia, Europe and the US for several years, is making yet another stab at aliya and building up her business. Her most recent arrival just under a month ago coincided with the visit of American actress Tovah Feldshuh, in Israel to shoot a movie. A mutual acquaintance asked Solomon to cook for Feldshuh, and the two hit it off famously, with the probable result that other Hollywood personalities coming to Jerusalem will look up Spoons, which is Solomon's trade name. Although she does occasionally cook for people in their homes, the raison d'etre for Spoons is to entertain in her own charming and elegant Yemin Moshe apartment, where patrons...

To continue reading