(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/GAL BEN DOR)
Dan Ben-David, executive director of The Taub Center for Social Policy, will be stepping down from his position at the end of February after six years in the job.
Ben-David, who ran on Ariel Sharon’s Kadima list in 2006, flatly denied rumors that he was leaving in order to join Moshe Kahlon’s Koolanu party.
“I’m not going into politics,” he told The Jerusalem Post
. “It’s purely coincidental that I’m leaving the [Taub] Center during an election. It was when we finished our latest report.”
Ben-David said he was even still undecided as to which party would get his vote in the March elections.
“I think that most of the debates right now are very much on the superficial issues, not on the primary ones,” he said. “I would hope and expect that our leaders put a plan in front of us for what the country will look like in 20 to 30 years and then how do we get there.
Not what fix do you want to make tomorrow. I don’t see anyone raising that flag and running with it. If someone does, then I’ll support them.”
The issues the Taub Center has highlighted during his tenure as executive director, he said, were “existential” issues that Israeli policy needs to address, including education, demographic issues and low productivity – an issue he said Taub research helped put on the map. On education, he said, Israel will have trouble maintaining a world-class army if half of its children are getting a “thirdworld education.”
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“I think that we managed to have a major impact on the social economic discourse in Israel,” said Ben-David, adding that he will continue to explore policy issues at Tel Aviv University, where he is a senior faculty member of the Department of Public Policy.
Last week, a report by think tank State of the Nation made headlines and worked its way into the electoral discourse with a study that claimed 80 percent of Israelis “could not make ends meet,” though the Finance Ministry argued that figure was overblown and mischaracterized.
In 2010, Calcalist
named Ben-David its “Person of the Year,” and TheMarker
cited him among Israel’s 100 most influential people in Israel in 2010 and 2012.
The Taub Center has already begun a search for a new executive director, according to its spokeswoman.
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