(Waldorf Astoria, New York.) "I'm a coward, I'm afraid to come to Israel today," tycoon George Soros said yesterday in response to questions from Israeli journalists at the World Economic Forum in New York. Soros noted he still has investments in Israel and that he profited from his investment in Indigo (Nasdaq: INDG), recently sold to Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HWP).
Israel in general is receiving less attention than at previous World Economic Forums, and there is relatively little interest in investing in Israel. This year's delegation was also relatively small including prominent businessmen Yossi Vardi, Benny Steinmetz, Idan Ofer and Danny Gillerman.
Even the Arab-Israeli conflict, usually a source of great interest, isn¿t making headlines. Yasir Arafat was not invited to the event, and other Palestinian officials have been largely ignored. Much debate has centered on tensions between the West and Islam, but not to Israel relations with the Palestinian Authority. Even Prime Minister Ariel Sharon¿s wish that Israel had killed Arafat twenty years ago did not garner much attention.