Nov 20, 2006


Arkadi Gaydamak is an Israeli billionaire. he made his money in Russia and lives between Russia and Israel, most of the time I think in Israel.

Gaydamak has been a "player" for a number of years, since he came on the scene in Israel. He became very popular when he saved the Jerusalem basketball team from bankrupcy and bought them and the popular Beitar Yerushalayim soccer (football) team.

He has also been in and out of various investigations for taxes and whatever other stuff they are trying to catch him for.

During Lebanon War part 2 he was one of the main people/organizations who stepped up to the plate and saved the residents of northern Israel. He paid out of his own pockets millions of dollars to relocate hundreds of people to a tent city he built for them to get out of the war zone for a bit to calm their nerves.

He came under criticism after the war by the government. It looked bad that Olmert and Peretz did nothing to assist the residents in the war zone and were content with letting a million residents live in bomb shelters for a month. It looked worse when Gaydamak came along and filled their void and paid generously to give the residents some respite.

Gaydamak is under fire again. He responded to requests from residents of Sderot to give them some respite. As we all know, the residents of Sderot have been under fire from Kassams for 6 years now, but the past year has been extremely difficult for them as the amount of Kassams has increased tremendously.

The residents of Sderot felt abandoned by the government (similar to Lebanon II) and petitioned Gaydamak to relocate them temporarily, as they just could not deal with it anymore. The government refuses to put in a special protective measures (like fortifying the school building, for example), and has had no success in eradicating the actual problem or even minimizing it, so they turned to Gaydamak.

Gaydamak responded positively and paid for buses to take many residents to Eilat for the weekend. He paid for hundreds of rooms on hotels so the residents of Sderot could enjoy some respite from the pressures they have been living through. He has now agreed to do it again for more residents of Sderot and is paying for another 300 rooms for a few days.

The government (i,e, Olmert and Peretz) have been very critical of Gaydamak's latest philanthropic moves. They say that it looks bad to relocate the residents of Sderot and it looks like we are giving in, etc. They have a point.

However, I see nothing wrong with giving these people a well-deserved vacation for a couple of days after all they have bene through. I find it to be a bigger problem that the government is not living up to its responsibility and eradicating the problem, so they will not need to take advantage of such generosity.

It is supposed that the real issue is that Olmert and Peretz are worried that Gaydamak is planning to get into politics. Nobody knows if it is true or not but there are such rumors. They are worried he is becoming very popular because of his generosity and is, in effect, buying his way into power and will replace them. They feel him breathing down their necks.

I think they should say thank you to Gaydamak and get their own offices in order.

My question is: how the heck did Gaydamak get 300 rooms booked at the drop of the hat. Were all these hotel rooms empty until he picked up the phone?


  1. Gaydamak for Prime Minister!

    His personal secretary comes into my store once a week.


    And so does Yisrael Maimon's!

  2. really? Do you have any secret info to share with us?


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