Israel Outrage Over Berlin Exodus Campaign

A group of young expats from Israel has caused great controversy back home after encouraging other Israelis to move to Berlin as they did. The comments touched on two subjects that are likely the most sensitive in Israel: the high cost of living and the tortured history of the Jews with Germany.

While Israelis have become upset after learning the price of food is much lower across Germany, they have become outraged that the form of protest of the youngsters has been to abandon the Zionist dream through leaving Israel and relocating in the birthplace of the Nazis.

It upsets many as the society once considered emigration equal to treason, during a time when many in the country want to stick together following a war over the summer in Gaza that underscored greater security and political woes in the country.

A number of weeks ago the uproar was started when a former army officer in Israel, who is 25, showed photos of grocery receipts, including those of a German pudding that is very popular for only a third of the price that it costs in Israel.

He also spoke highly about having a good life in Germany’s capital.

Now referred to as the Milky protest due to the Israeli name of the pudding, the campaign on Facebook has been given 17,000 likes and images of Israelis holding up signs requesting a visa from Angela Merkel the German Chancellor have gone viral.

Television channels in Israel have sent their reporters to Germany to cover the increasingly thriving expat community from Israel that is living there.

The political backlash has and continues to be strong. As less than 70 years ago, the Holocaust ended after 6 million Jews had lost their lives and memories remain fresh, especially amongst the large community in Israel of survivors. Some still will not visit Germany and not purchase its products.

Yair Lapid the Finance Minister, whose Yesh Atid centrist party rode the protests in 2011 to become an important player in politics in Israel, said he was sympathetic to the burden of the protesters of today, but not the method they use.

He called them anti-Zionists as he says he is a Zionist and that Jews should remain in Israel.

The former officer in the army behind the latest protest said he loves Israel, defends it in Europe when it is slandered and would prefer a life in Tel Aviv but he cannot afford it.

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