Lapid attack on emigrants draws scorn

Facebook response: We would all return to Israel like a shot if its government did not disparage its people.

Minister of Finance Yair Lapid has attacked emigrants who left Israel for Berlin because of Israel's high cost of living. Lapid was responding to a Channel 10 report about young Israelis who left Israel for Berlin or the US to obtain cheaper housing and food and to lower their cost of living.

"A word for all of those who are 'fed up' and are 'leaving for Europe'," wrote Lapid on his Facebook page. "As it happens, I am in Budapest. I came here to speak before parliament about anti-Semitism and to remind them how they tried to murder my father here just because Jews did not have a country of their own, how they killed my grandfather in a concentration camp, how they starved my uncles, how my grandmother was saved at the last moment from a death march. So forgive me if I am a bit intolerant of people who are prepared to throw into the garbage the only country that the Jews have because Berlin is more comfortable."

Lapid's post won many responses. One person said, "We would all return to Israel like a shot if its government did not disparage its people. Graduates who work themselves to the bone working and studying and afterwards must still struggle to make ends meet? For what and why? When you fix that, we'll come back; I reject this emotionalism that you're trying to do to everyone here. I am in the US, not in Europe, along with a lot of Israelis."

Another person explained to Lapid the logic behind young people's decision to emigrate from Israel. "My family are Holocaust survivors just like yours! I have a son in the Navy and children who have graduated from the Technion. With great regret, I suggest that they flee and try their luck abroad, while seeking a European passport. Don’t waste my time with cheap demagoguery. I returned from an evening out paying NIS 100 for two beers. Someone who stays in Israel is a fool who finances MKs with such salaries and benefits."

Commenting on the high cost of living, a third person wrote, "Bamba made in Israel, is shipped to Germany, pays taxes there (not itself) and is cheaper than the Bamba made and sold in Israel. The same is true for the products of Elite, Tnuva, and all the other monopolies. Rent is cheap for a spacious apartment in Berlin. A rundown apartment in Ashdod is more expensive. Berlin's public transport is so efficient that many Berliners not only do not have a car, they haven’t bothered to get a driver's license.

"Israel? Remind me when your impotent friend will launch the Tel Aviv light rail? In 2030? Not sure? Let me remind you of the real estate bubble, or have you finally bothered to read the OECD report backed by Central Bureau of Statistics data? These things too, Lapid, are your responsibility."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 1, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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