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June 11, 2012 12:29 pm

Israeli Billionaire May Leave Country to Avoid High Taxes

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Benny Steinmetz. Photo: Israel Sun via Forbes.

Benny Steinmetz, the Israeli billionaire whose family amassed their wealth in the diamond industry, is reportedly considering a move to Europe following a dispute with the Israel Tax Authority.

Steinmetz, the founder of BSG Investments – which owns real estate, diamond mines and metal ore mines, mainly in Africa and in Russia – has stated that he would like to move to Switzerland, while Israeli authorities claim he owes taxes as a resident of Israel.

Globes reports that Steinmetz’s family has objected to his desire to move from Netanya, which is just north of Tel Aviv.

Steinmetz’s mother was born in Switzerland, while his father immigrated to Israel from Poland following World War II.

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  • Sabra C

    I believe that it would be money better spent to bring all the Jews back into their homeland, the promised land of Israel. Their are many who so desire to return to Israel, yet do not have the funds or other means to make it home.

    How sad that a billionaire from Israel has inherited these billions of dollars, and chooses to give the queen a diamond ring. She doesn’t need it. It’s all about man’s desire for power and their greed is the driving force.

    The Holy One of Israel will have the final word!

    • Michael Winkler

      Hi Sabra,

      Well I certainly can see your point of view however Steinmetz is not the only Jewish Billionaire leaving Israel these days, in fact there are too many to mention if you include the millionaire class.

      This article only points out the reasons being related to a tax dispute, however one of the driving forces of our people leaving the country is the increasing instability of the region and I personally believe this is one of the major driving factors but certainly not the only one.

      There is also an influx of Jewish people returning back to Russia from Israel and many of these are NOT rich. They are simply seeking better opportunities to support their families and I can fully understand and respect this decision. If you cannot make ends meet in Israel or any other country for that matter, then sometimes it makes better sense to search for “Greener Pastures” and have a life worth living in which you can provide for your family.

      The right to leave Israel or any other country for that matter is not always based upon greed as you state, but also quality of life issues. I know this from personal experience as I live in Denmark and although I love Israel, I would never move there until I had a sense of security for me and my family. This does not mean we are against our homeland.

      Simplifying this issue into a “black and white” issue is sometimes the easy way for media to contextualize it so that it is easily digestible by the mainstream Jewish Community. Many of my relatives have also decided to leave Israel over the past decade, and it was a very difficult and sometimes painful decision for them. However they were unable to survive on the income they were making and had opportunities abroad and took it. I say good for them and the rest of the people that have left Israel under these circumstances. Lastly, many of my family members are Orthodox Jews and some have done very positive things in their new countries that actually help support Israel.

      Keep an open mind buddy, sounds like you are a rightwing nut case, I pray you recover.