Eli Hurvitz’s funeral - Daniel Bar-On - 25112011
Eli Hurvitz’s funeral on Thursday at Kibbutz Givat Hashlosha. Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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Former Teva Pharmaceutical Industries CEO and chairman Eli Hurvitz was laid to rest on Thursday in the cemetery at Kibbutz Givat Hashlosha, near Petah Tikva. "We have come to bow our heads to a giant of achievement, industry and vision," said Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in a eulogy for Hurvitz, who died on Monday at age 79 after a long struggle with cancer.

Among those attending the funeral were Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and the governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer. Many of those at the funeral said Hurvitz's staunch refusal to enter politics may have cost the country an outstanding prime minister, but instead we gained an industrialist who contributed so much.

"Eli said that if it is possible to create revenues of NIS 200 million, then it is possible to reach a billion. Mr. Teva was also Mr. Strategy, but above all else, he was optimistic," said his friend and Teva director, Dan Ziskind.

Former president of the Manufacturers Association Dov Lautman said they had been friends for 40 years. "The greatest of Israeli industrialists, the first to understand that the world is big and broad, and it is possible to exploit Israel as a great manufacturing industry. He gave all of us the confidence that it is possible to make difficult decisions that committed th entire business world. We loved you and will continue to love you and I will not stop thinking about you," said Lautman.

Hurvitz's daughter, Vered Lev Hurvitz, praised her father but then spoke of the medical treatment he received: "In your final waking hours, I saw the ugly side of the country you loved so much, and that has haunted me. For long hours we waited for a doctor to come to the ward where you were and your condition deteriorated. You suffered insults and threats from a hard-hearted nurse, but where was the only doctor that was supposed to be there for you at those same critical hours?" she said.

Sources at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, where Hurvitz was treated and died, said they were shocked by the comments, saying "Hurvitz chose to have his treatments at Sheba and over the years, with his family at his side, he received professional and humane treatment, skilled and loving from the medical staff at the hospital."