The Israeli Future

Jerusalem

JERUSALEM–From the veranda of the King David Hotel here, it is possible to enjoy a drink while gazing appreciatively across a ravine at the impressive site of the Old City, an ancient enclosure of narrow cobbled streets that includes holy sites critical to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is also possible, in 2014, to stand up and walk there, should the spirit move you. The low ground (Jerusalem is a city of steep hills, built in the dusty mountains separating the coastal plane from the Jordan River—no one said pilgrimage should be easy) is bypassed by taking a detour through the sparkling new Mamilla mall, built as a Las Vegas-style nod to the architecture of the Old City. Within minutes the quarter-mile or so has been traversed, and you stand amidst various holies of holies.

Start Up Nation Goes Hollywood

AP

Here’s an interesting story you may not have heard: Since 2008, Israel has reworked its tax code, a la New York City and Vancouver, to encourage film studios to shoot movies there. As of 2011, the government is offering up to $400,000 in tax breaks per project, and Jerusalem is prepared to provide more than $12 million in additional subsidies.

Barkat recently visited Hollywood to promote Israel’s juicy film production incentives. Making films and television in Jerusalem is “not only good business, it’s good Zionism,” Barkat told The Hollywood Reporter.