When the first Hanukka candle burns bright this Thursday, Jews around the world
will commemorate the Maccabees’ struggle against assimilation into the dominant
cultural and economic power of the time.
In modern-day Israel, however,
the influence of the current economic hegemon is inescapable. Increasingly,
Israelis are adopting American holiday shopping habits, flocking to the Internet
to cash in on the Thanksgiving deals that have defined American retail for
In the US, the Friday after Thanksgiving is known as Black
Friday, because the massive commercial activity that kicks off the Christmas
shopping season pushes many retailers into the black – profitable – after being
in the red all year.
However, since online shopping has become popular,
websites such as Amazon.com have offered shoppers a chance to skip the
crowds and shop from home on “Cyber Monday.”
But online retail knows no
bounds, so Israeli deal-seekers have started paying attention to Cyber Monday.
Taking note, Israeli chains have begun to compete, offering their own special
deals around Thanksgiving.
“Cyber Monday started in America, but Israeli
consumers see the opportunity and want to participate in shopping holidays, so
they were looking for great deals online,” said Elad Goldenberg, the Israel
manager for ebay, which offers special shipping rates and discounts.
rates of purchasing are doubling year after year.”
Services such as TNT
Worldshop and Buy2USA, which provide international shipping for online products
from around the world, provide special discounts around Thanksgiving to help
Israelis take advantage of the deals abroad.
Israeli business newspapers
have taken to compiling top 10 lists outlining the Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Though Israel is not alone in its Cyber Monday madness, it is one
of the strongest adopters. According to Business News Daily, in 2012 Israelis
spent seven times their average daily purchases over Black Friday weekend, tied
with Ireland, and behind Colombia, where shopping ballooned to 11 times normal
spending. Mexico, South Korea, Russia and China all showed inflated spending as
well. All in all, international sales from US retailers tripled from the
But in Israel the sales are not limited to shopping from
BUG, Israel’s largest computers and IT product retailer, is
running a nine-day Black Friday sale. Because electronics are the most popular
category on Cyber Monday, it is no coincidence the electronics stores would try
Tellingly, its sale ends on Cyber Monday, three days before
the end of Hanukka.