Showing posts with label Law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Law. Show all posts

Monday, November 25, 2013

Israel's Bell Curve Spread: Between Populism and Elitism

If you follow the economic and lifestyle stories on Israel's main media outlets, you get a mix of split personality opinions. I say "opinions" because some media stories are not really objective reporting as much as opinion of one expert or another. Sometimes the media outlets are simply a propaganda channel to one politician or another. Which seems to be just fine in the eyes of most Israelis. Lately, besides Bibi's harping about the Americans not taking the Iranians seriously enough (with the supposedly "just around the corner nuclear bomb making drill") most politicians, from proper ministers all the way to Ron Huldai (Tel Aviv's mayor), is the wide economic gaps everywhere. It seems like the Israeli economy is one big Swiss cheese of a system. The mix of socially based and merit driven realities clash each other. Then there is the old school cronyism in friction with simple family centered oligarchy. Some going back a century (Teva pharmaceutical) some just a few decades (Tshuva family / oil and gas). Then there is the continuous scratching between organized labor and private management. This goes on in the private sector as well as in public service (physicians, nurses, school teachers).


Monday, February 28, 2011

Israeli Legal Structure: Uphold Laws of the Land: Ottoman & British Legacy

Shlomo Cramer in the uniform of British police 1938. Israelis served in British police and armies during World War II in the hope of stopping the German forces
I am still thinking about how to explain to the average Libyan citizen daily democratic life.  US president Obama said recently "Democracy does not end with free elections". That might seem like an obvious statement, yet in many places this idea is not completely clear. How do you actually explain democracy? Israel is probably one of the best examples of democratic success. A country started completely unplanned by a few immigrants from around the world, mostly from non-democratic countries (Russia, Yemen, Poland). Now it is one of the best examples of democratic government. Democracy in Israel is complex and sometimes not exactly what you would think (a more direct description would be "a mess" and definitely "frustrating"). Still, Israeli democracy is free and usually fair for the average citizen. Democracy in Israel also support a strange legal system. A system made up of Jewish, Ottoman (Turkish), British and international legal roots all at once. The Israeli legal system resembles other democratic areas in the society. There is acceptance and compromise across the board. In government, business, culture, religion, economy and lifestyle, very different democratic ideas make up the landscape. People live with differences and usually try to accept them. Religious live with secular, nationalists live with free traders, business with labor. This acceptance is what makes for real democracy: living with differences and allowing others to have their own lives. Israel's legal system is a good example of democracy in this country. 


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Israel's Business Moral Weakness: Are We Learning ?

Reading the business papers the last few months in Israel and there are disproportionate number of articles reporting immoral executive behavior. I am worried about two moral issues: greed and fraud. Greed is a new accusation in Israeli business circles. Until this generation the country's businesses had a small fraction of the money we see today. Greed without the ability to "get the money" simply does not work. Fraud is also related to the amount of money involved but goes even deeper into the psyche and moral history of Israel. Let's look at greed in this article and cover fraud later.

Israel's incredible economic growth has brought a whole new class of problems. The first noticeable trend is a concentration of the money in a small group of people. Like the proverbial south America banana republic, Israel is made up of a few individuals and families who own a majority stake in companies and Real Estate. This is the first nouveau riche group in our long history as people. This new group now wants to live like the rich in the US and Europe. With life of luxury comes desire for more. As few succeed, many want to follow them. A race for more and to beat the "guy next door" results. Greed is the driving emotion to other forms of financial corruption.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Law and the City - Labor Law in Tel Aviv

In Israel unlike the United States all employees are either covered under a collective bargaaining agreement or a private contract. In both cases they are protected under Israel labor laws and enforced by the various labor courts.

The National Labor Relations Board that enforces the labor laws of the United States only has juristiction to enforce collective bargaining agreements that involve wages, hours, and conditions of employment. If you have a private contract you are left to file your complain in a regular civil court. These cases usually take a longer time to resolve and you have judges who are not expert in labor law.

In Israel your right are protected whether your coutract is negotiated by a labor union or a personal contract. These cases are resolved in a relativly short period of time. Also unlike the U.S> failure to pay wages may be a crime in Israel. Consult your lawyer, you may have a better case than you think. It's safe to work in Israel where the rights are protected.

Enjoy your life and work in Israel -- sam-D-man @ TLV Read More...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

State Your Case! Legal writings for everyone

Today we begin a new series of articles on our blog. State your case is a place where you may ask us what is on your mind. We will research and write about these issues in general without offering legal advice.

People want to know what are the legal ramifications concerning the release of Gilad Shalit (kidnapped Israeli soldier being held by Hamas in Gaza). How far should the government go? From a legal and political viewpoints Israel, a sovereign country, can not make decisions which affect the entire country to satisfy the desires of the very few. As much as we all hope for the safe return of Gilad, we can not sacrifice 7 million for 1. Note also that political actions are not controlled byt the courts or the legal system. Courts do not have jurisdiction over the political world.
We got an e-Mail question from 'merav' who wants to know what she can do about a landlord who is letting her apartment fall into disrepair. She writes that the electric goes on and off and when you plug something in you get a shock. Her landlord told her to "live with it". Merav, you have a number of things you can do. First write a letter to your landlord giving him/her 48 hours to begin taking steps to solve the situation. If the landlord does not respond positively call the electric company and have them send out a technician to check and document the problem. Make sure you write the technician's name and phone number and get a written report. If this does not convince the landlord (usually this is enough to get people to solve the problem). Than call the city building inspection department and have them send an inspector to check for building code violations. If the problem you are having is a building code violation that will be reported to the landlord and should definitely fix the problem. IF YOU ARE STILL HAVING PROBLEMS! Find a good lawyer and sue your landlord. Now your landlord will have to live with code violation and a lawyer. -- Remember the law is not arbitrary and "QUICK" - take the steps and get things done on time, you will have a safe apartment and the landlord will respect you even more! Read More...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Dollar is OUT! (the door) ~ should you panic now?

The use of the dollar is making a quiet exit in Tel Aviv. The main US and International accounting, management consulting, and law firms are dropping their use of the dollar for quoting and charging customers for services. They are shifting to the use of the new Israeli shekel (NIS). But there is a catch, they are re-pricing their services at the rate of 4.3 shekel to the dollar (today's rate is 3.65 NIS/$). Is this going to shake any one's trust in the "mighty dollar"? Not likely, not even in Israel. The reliance on using the dollar as a quoting and billing for services in Israel goes back to the hyper-inflation years. That was so long ago that most people will tell you stories about the Israeli economy by the light of a campfire somewhere in the woods. In other words, the weak Israeli shekel (now it's a 'new' shekel, it was a 'regular' shekel before and a lira before that) has been making a steady progress in strength and stability for over two decades now. Mostly because of the steady and wide range economy. The depency on a single market or a single sector is long gone. Also, the economic impact of the wars with Palestinians is also much less than ever before. In the second Lebanon war of 2006 the Israeli economy barely registered a blip. Stock market and NIS prices actually moved up rather than down. The strength of the NIS is simply a consequence of both trends.

KPMG Israel, moving rates of billing from dollars to shekels -- finally?

So Why do American and European companies move from billing in dollars to shekels? Simply because the dollar versus the shekel has declined by 20% in just a few months. Accountants and management consultants are not about to take 20% cut in pay, no matter where they work and who's company name they have on their business card. So the final result is a small discount if you signed a dollar contract in the last six months. The firms probably have price adjustment clause somewhere in their contracts anyway. But if they didn't, don't worry, they will make it up in the next billing cycle. Overall, the Israeli economy is on an upswing. It's about time, since the the second Lebanon war, second intifada, and the dot-com collapse before that. There are other good trends in terms of trade with new regions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The relative political stability in Africa is also helpful to Israeli companies. Finally, Israelis are much better off politically and militarily than ever before. There are less promises of "final peace" with the Palestinians, but the separation of Israel from the Palestinian territories seem to be holding. If you have any comments or insights into these trends, please drop us a line and we will address your comments. All the best, with a few more shekels in our pocket, AmiV from Tel Aviv ;8~)' Read More...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Life in the City - Working in the City

Looking for a job in Israel, make sure you protect your rights. Every employee is protected under the National Labor Law. If your rights are violated or your employer doesn't pay you on time, the various labor courts located in most cities will step in at your request and enforce your rights. I suggest you hire a lawyer to go to court. The telephone company prints an English yellow pages, let your fingers "do the walking". Otherwise call information, get the phone of the local Bar Association and they will get you a lawyer. It would be smart if you check with a lawyer and find out all the benefits you are entitled. Just like in America, there are two methods. One is if your employer is covered by a collective bargaining agreement. If that is the case, this will cover your wages, hours, and conditions of employment.

Tech jobs listing in English on

If your employment is not covered by an agreement, it will be covered by a private contract between you and your employer. Negotiate your own contract with the aid of a lawyer. Get it in writing and take your employer to Labor Court. In Israel people's rights are protected legally. Remember Is classified as a first world country. Here you have rights, sam-d-man // life-and-the-city [sm]

Editor's note: This blog or article does not advocate or advise on legal matters. We do understand that employees sometimes find themselves in a difficult situation with regard to pay, working conditions, and other situations. Therefore, we strongly advocate standing up for your rights. Tel Aviv is a good place to enjoy strong labor laws and their enforcement. Best of luck in finding a job and contributing to the Israeli work force! Read More...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Life in the City - Beuty is skin deep... and cheap

Last week I was watching Fox TV. There was a program about women going to third world countries for cosmetic surgery. Then a doctor from the US came on the screen and gave a speech. You can pretty much guess what a doctor from the US is going to say about any doctor from anywhere, specially on Fox TV! He said even though these women could get their Liposuction, breast implant and nose 'job' for 50% to 70% less money, they should not be going to third world countries, like Thailand, China or Mexico for these operations. He questioned the doctors and pointed out that if there is a problem with your operation in the US, there are plenty of lawyers to help you recoup your expenses and get some sort of "fix".

Proportzia is Israel's most advertised chain of plastic surgery clinics
      To some degree I agree with US doctors. Why go to a third world country when you can go to a first world country. You can also go to a "first rate city" like Tel Aviv and save the same money. Tel Aviv has world class doctors and world class hospitals. There are also world lawyers and lots of them.
      Israel health care system is mostly socialized. I say mostly because plastic and many surgical procedures have been privatized or semi-privatized for years. Patients with means to afford better care and more attention from doctors have funded a small and highly prized "parallel" medical system. Doctors who can and desire to offer more care and in better facilities have also elected to open their own private clinics and to band together and run high quality clinics and even surgical services. For the most part, the actual surgery is done in the state run hospitals. This is specially true in the bigger operations. But, when it comes to patient care, diagnosis, and follow up, private doctors offer services on par with any western private medical system. That is why patients from all over the world end up on Israeli operating tables. This is specially true for NONE plastic operations. From Eye surgery for acute cornea conditions to heart conditions. From Russia to Malaysia and most of African countries. Israeli medical professionals and organizations are open to most patients.
Starmed doctor and specialist referral site, a place to check experience and qualification
      When it comes to elective plastic surgery, Israeli's have been flocking to have their eyes, breasts and fat refocused, enlarged and reduced. This is partly a sign of prosperity in the country and partly a sign of influence from the US and Europe. It is also a sign of the aging population, eye surgery is mostly to people in their 40's to their 60's. Breast and other plastic procedures are also for these from age 35 and up. So if you look at Israel from an outside perspective, you will be delighted by the capability, experience and service here.
Dr. Marcus Harel advertises breast implant services for patients outside Israel
      So, if you want to have cosmetic surgery, call your travel agent and make your plans to come to world class medical city Tel Aviv. Have your surgery and enjoy your recovery in the city by the sea, in a world class hotel with world class service. No need to save money going to a third world city when first class is here for you. See you in Tel Aviv sam-d-man... in the city Read More...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lawyer in the city - a short introduction

Need a lawyer in Tel Aviv? If you are a tourists or you live in Tel Aviv getting good legal advice is no problem. Tel Aviv University has a world class law school. There are also many other good law schools across the country. Weather your legal problem is big or small, lawyers are available to help. If you have a claim against someone don't be afraid to call the Israel Bar association and get a referral. You may also contact us at the blog and we will try to find you someone that can help with finding a lawyer.

Israel Bar Association English page
The lawyers and judges follow generally the same kind of remedies as they do in the United States and Canada. This country has a first world legal system. If you plan on doing business in Israel, hire or consult a lawyer. Some of the laws are very similar to what United State and European business are expecting, but some are not exactly in every detail. Israel has many laws to protect consumers, but in some cases you need to be proactive.
A law firm's Hebrew site
Come to Tel Aviv, relax and enjoy but remember if someone violates your rights or is negligent toward you, get a lawyer... sam-e-man ~ in Tel Aviv, the city Read More...