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March 18, 2018 3:40 pm

Tel Aviv Ranked Ninth Most Expensive City in the World

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A view of the Tel Aviv skyline. Photo: LaMèreVeille via Wikimedia Commons. – Israel’s Tel Aviv has been ranked the ninth most expensive city in the world.

The White City’s cost of living skyrocketed from the 34th most expensive city, a distinction it held just five years ago, according to the Economist’s Intelligence Unit annual report.

Singapore was dubbed the world’s priciest city, followed by Paris, Zurich, Hong Kong and Oslo. Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the Middle East. Asia was home to four of the 10 most expensive cities in the ranking, with New York and Los Angeles falling to 13th and 14th respectively, due in part to the weakening of the US dollar.

The Israeli shekel’s appreciation has driven up consumer costs across the board, according to the 2018 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey published on Thursday.

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  • Samuel Fistel

    Jewish Israel and the high cost of living: Everything costs more in Israel, and this helps discourage aliyah from prosperous western countries. It is fundamental human nature that you don’t want to go from a comfortable standard of living, to one where the standard of living is lower (and when you throw in the language barrier and culture shock, then…) So why are prices in Israel so high? It is largely due to the lack of economy of scale. Israel is a small country, with just over six million Jews. The government always needs money, so taxes are high. And Israel still has a socialist background, as well as a shtetl mentality. In order to provide jobs for as many people as possible, Israel encourages small businesses. These small, not very profitable or efficient businesses involve large numbers of middlemen, all of whom want to take a cut, resulting in sky-high prices for everything. Israel could switch to a Walmart model, so that prices would be cheap, but then all the small businesses would go under. Thus, the high prices in Israel should be regarded as a form of tzedaka, and tzedaka is a mitzva.