Friday, October 17, 2014

In Exodus From Israel to Germany, a Young Nation’s Fissures Show


TEL AVIV — Ori Haber’s father escaped Germany during the height of the Holocaust for what would become the State of Israel. Now Mr. Haber, a 35-year-old computer technician, is part of a cadre of frustrated young Israelis clamoring to move to Berlin in what has become a contentious campaign revealing economic fissures and identity struggles in Israel’s still-adolescent society.

“I cannot see the future here,” he said, without a touch of irony at the idea that an Israeli Jew was looking for a better life in Germany. “The middle class in Israel is going down. We feel it in our flesh.”

Even his father seemed to understand, Mr. Haber said: “He has bad memories from Germany, but still he is like, ‘If you have the opportunity, go, try your luck.’ ”

Israelis have for years been drawn to Berlin’s cosmopolitan flair, vibrant arts scene and advanced public transportation. There are already several places in the city where one can have authentic hummus, and there is a bimonthly Hebrew-language magazine. But a Facebook post that went viral this month, a photograph of a supermarket receipt showcasing the low price in Berlin of a beloved chocolate-pudding snack, has revived a raw debate over the meaning of out-migration.

(More here.)


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