Eric Schmidt
Eric Schmidt in Tel Aviv. Photo by David Bachar
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Google chairman Eric Schmidt lauded not only Israel's engineers at a conference in Tel Aviv on Monday, but its salespeople as well.

Speaking at the "Big Tent" high tech conference, Schmidt attributed the quality of Israel's engineers to the country's universities and the training they acquire in the army. He also praised local salespeople as among the best in the world.

"We love Israel," Schmidt said, drawing applause from the crowd.

He described the company's development centers in Israel as among its most efficient. Despite its strong educational system and great universities, Israel needs to strengthen them further, Schmidt advised.

Speaking about the Arab Spring, Schmidt said "the dictators of the Arab world were censoring everything except for the Internet. They were too old and didn't know about [it]."

He added: "If the government shuts down the Internet, it's a sign that the government is scared."

Schmidt also spoke about innovation, saying, "If you don't try, you don't know. We tried. I and you don't even remember the names of the products that failed - that's the secret of innovation."

Asked by Haaretz if Google intends to buy a newspaper or expand its content production, Schmidt said no.

"We considered many times buying a newspaper, but decided not to. Producing content is difficult. We prefer linking to the content that you are doing," he said.