The wolves of Tel Aviv: A Times of Israel special investigation

April 13, 2016 by J-Wire
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When Dan Guralnek immigrated from Australia to Israel in 2012, he did not anticipate becoming involved in an international internet scam.

A special investigation by Simona Weinglass.

“I always wanted to move to Israel,” says Guralnek, who attended a Jewish day school in Sydney.

He was working in the administration of a factory in Australia when his boss died suddenly, and, at the age of 28, he realized it was a good time for him to move to Israel. “I thought, ‘I’m free, no strings attached, I can go.’”

Guralnek enrolled in Jerusalem’s Ulpan Etzion to learn Hebrew, then moved to the vibrant and bustling city of Tel Aviv, where he landed a series of minimum-wage jobs for NIS 25 (a little over $6) an hour: chopping vegetables in a restaurant, driving a disabled person, working the night shift at a hot-dog stand.

But in a city with sky-high rents and a cost of living relative to salaries (PDF) second only to Japan, Guralnek could not survive. He heard that jobs in an industry called binary options paid twice what he was earning, plus commission.

“As soon as I started looking for a job, I was getting calls from binary options companies every day,” he recalls. “They dominate the job advertisement space.”

Nor did Guralnek have any difficulty landing a job.

“You walk in and they make a big show like they’re assessing whether or not they want you. But they want you.”

On the day Guralnek stepped into the lavish offices of his new employer in the seaside town of Herzliya Pituah, he knew he had arrived.

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Comments

One Response to “The wolves of Tel Aviv: A Times of Israel special investigation”
  1. Gil Solomon says:

    What a disgrace.
    People betraying the naïve, the weak and the vulnerable.
    It is sickening to me how people can behave with such a lack of conscience and callous indifference to the plight of others.

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