Worsening Economy Sparks Layoffs at Israeli Dailies and at Airport

Growing numbers of Israelis are being laid off their jobs as a declining economy and fears for safety are causing many enterprises to cut back.

Newspapers seem to be especially hard hit, with job losses and reduced editions reported at the Jerusalem Post and Hadashot.

The Post, Israel’s only English-language daily, will lay off 60 employees because of advertising and circulation losses, Israel Radio reported Wednesday.

The cuts will come from the editorial, administrative and press departments.

More than 60 Post employees were fired last year for economic reasons after the paper was placed under new management following its acquisition by a foreign chain. An additional 30 editorial staffers quit in protest against new editorial and managerial policies.

Now the Post may drop the weekly regional magazines distributed with its weekend editions in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They may be incorporated into the Friday supplement.

Hadashot, an independent Hebrew daily owned by the family that publishes Ha’aretz, has dismissed an undisclosed number of employees and reduced the number of special editions.

The severe slump in tourism has caused the Airport Authority to let go some 300 employees at Ben-Gurion Airport, where passenger traffic has been down sharply in recent months.

The money-losing airport has postponed development work, including the installation of new lighting and air-conditioning systems.

The prestigious Israel Museum has also been forced to cut back, because of a drop in visitors.

Israelis and foreigners alike are staying away from Jerusalem because of the recent wave of knife assaults on Jews by Arabs.

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