Billionaire James Packer's Israeli trophy home suburb

Billionaire James Packer's Israeli trophy home suburb
Billionaire James Packer's Israeli trophy home suburb

The movie-making casino billionaire James Packer has bought a house in Israel, following his friendship with one of Hollywood’s high profile independent film producers Arnon Milchan.

Packer told The Daily Telegraph in early March that he had bought a house in Tel Aviv.

The Australian media diarist Sharri Markson pinpointed it yesterday as in Caesarea, halfway between Haifa and Tel Aviv. But its purchase price and other details have yet to emerge.

It has emerged Packer has also befriended Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who lives in the suburb, dining with him several times.

“Spending time with Arnon and Prime Minister Netanyahu has been an amazing eye-opener for me and it reinforces how lucky we all are in Australia,’’ he told The Daily Telegraph columnist John Lehmann in the must read, Lehmann at Large column.

James Packer now divides his time between Israel, the United States, Asia and Australia where his Bondi Beach pad was withdrawn from recent marketing. 

Sotheby's International have listings in the suburb of up to US$12.5 million (A$16.45 million). One of the offerings was the onetime home of the painter Reuven Rubin and his wife Esther designed by the architect Arie Elhanani together with Rubin in 1967.

James Packer is believed to have been introduced to the Netanyahu family through Milchan, who the casino tycoon has described to confidants as his “best friend”. 

Arnon Milchan produced Pretty Woman, Natural Born Killers and L.A. Confidential.

Caesarea has the country's only full-size golf course, which originated after James de Rothschild was reminded by the dunes surrounding Caesarea of Scotland's sandy links golf courses.

On his death, the James de Rothschild Foundation established the course in the late 1950s with American professional golfer Herman Barron, the first Jewish golfer to win a PGA Tour event, helping develop the course.

Wikipedia noted: "Modern Caesarea had a population of 4,500 people, the only Israeli locality managed by a private organization, the Caesarea Development Corporation.

"The town was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BCE as the port city Caesarea Maritima. It served as an administrative center of Judaea Province of the Roman Empire, and later the capital of the Byzantine Palaestina Prima province during the classic period.

"Following the Muslim conquest in the 7th century, the city had an Arab majority until Crusader renovation, but was again abandoned after the Mamluk conquest.

"It was populated in 1884 by Bosniak immigrants, who settled in a small fishing village.

"In 1940, kibbutz Sdot Yam was established next to the village.

"In February 1948 the village was conquered by a Palmachunit commanded by Yitzhak Rabin, its people already having fled following an attack by the Stern Gang.

"In 1952, a Jewish town of Caesarea was established near the ruins of the old city, which were made into the national park of Caesarea Maritima."

"The Phoenicians discovered it, Herod fell in love with it and dedicated it to the Roman Caesar," the local leading agent website said. 

"Augustus gazed upon it and said, ‘‘hasten slowly‘‘.

"He was followed by Tiberius and Marcus Aurelius, Caesars from the West and Caesars from the East, Arabs and Crusaders, the Seljuk and Turks, Genefal Allen by, Hanna Senesh and Yehuda Amihai... everyone wanted it, settled here and left behind their own mark of love. The antiquities, the sea, the serene bay -nature‘s very own offering of beauty," agent Chana Kristal said on here website.

"Caesarea was purchased by Baron Edmond de Rothschild during the 19th century and donated to the Caesarea Edmond Bengamin de Rothschild Foundation upon the establishment of the State of Israel, with the aim of developing Caesarea into a unique and qualitative neighborhood, to become one of the finest residential, tourist and industrial areas in the world," she said.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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