If Shari Arison got a dollar for every version of her reasons for leaving the country or her reasons for returning, she would be a billionairess. What wasn't in the mix?
Nine months ago she left because of Histadrut labor federation chief Amir Peretz. Because of Shelly Yachimovich. Because of the press, because she owed taxes, because of the investigation into husband, because of the 800 Bank Hapoalim pink slips, because of the cattiness, because Rani Rahav overexposed her, because she is unknown in Miami, because the managers of her trust threatened her, because of the kids.
Now she's back for her love of Israel, because of the kid, because of Rani and her friends, because of her sense of mission, because the trustees are letting her come back, because the tax thing is settled, because school is out.
However, it's probably a good bet the personal issues were the greater motivators.
For instance, it is hard to find any real financial aspect to Arison's departure, if we ignore for the moment the cost of relocating from Israel to the U.S. and back. And it is hard to believe a nine-month trip to the States resolves tax issues that cannot be resolved in Israel, especially for a family with infinite resources to employ professionals to solve the problems.
The Israeli public cannot complain. Since Shari Arison decided to go public after the layoffs at Hapoalim, she has given us the daily goings on of a billionaire heiress and the soap opera that is her life. The layoffs, the wedding, the criminal investigation against her husband for sexual harassment, the quickie abandonment, the custody battle with her ex-husband, the happy return to the Holy Land.
From a business perspective, Arison's presence in Israel is insignificant, but from a social perspective, her presence is very weighty indeed. Her philanthropy, influence on other tycoons, sensitivity to human suffering are a boon. The question is whether the behavior of those around her contributes to her.
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