Israeli family sails the world to protest 'govt that acts like mafia'

Israeli family left their home and jobs in Israel to say that, from a boat, it's clear how "nothing has changed since the slavery of Egypt."

February 24, 2019 16:46
2 minute read.
Israeli family sails the world to protest 'govt that acts like mafia'

The sun sets behind a yacht crossing through the Straits of Gibraltar, off the British overseas territory of Gibraltar December 6, 2018.. (photo credit: DARRIN ZAMMIT LUPI/REUTERS)


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The Dadon family decided to take their three children and spend a few years sailing outside Israel.

Writing from Italy, Yael Dadon said not only is she not wealthy but, “Our yacht costs a third of what a house in the West Bank costs.”

Regarding the high cost of living in Israel, she added that while the land of Israel is beautiful, the “State of Israel is led by greedy evil people and the government is acting like the Mafia.”

As she sees it, to dock in “the cleanest and most well-managed harbor I ever saw in my life” in Italy costs $230. In Israel, it would cost $830. “I fill my gas tank in the car for half the cost I’d pay in Israel,” Dadon said, and pay one-third of what she did in Israel to feed a family of five.

Laying out how she uses a wind-powered generator and a desalinator, she said the family budget for living on a yacht and sailing throughout Europe is one-third of what they spent while living in Israel.

The Facebook post was shared on Rothim, a Hebrew blog written by Hagit and Peter Roth, who use it to illustrate their own sailing around the world with their three children. 

Like the Dadon family, the Rothim family also lives on a yacht.

In an interview with Ynet, Rothims said they’ve been traveling the world for three years, after quitting their jobs, selling the house, and sailing from Israel all the way to the Caribbean.  

“We didn’t want to see our lives passing us by,” Hagit said, “without doing what we love.”

They educate their girls by combining home-schooling on the yacht and sending them to local schools when they reach land. The girls are taught in English.

Their journey is even more remarkable, as none of them had any previous seafaring experience. Peter did take a skipper’s course but claims, “It didn’t give me much more than a diploma.”

They bought the yacht in Croatia and picked a model that was “forgiving to beginners.”

“Eventually I realized you don’t need years of seafaring experience, or come from a family with background in sailing to do this,” he said. “All it takes is a little logic and basic responsibility.”

They added that their lives are far from luxurious. They use public transportation when on land, and don’t eat in restaurants or buy expensive items, opting instead to rely on their own labor. Their source of income comes from renting out two flats they own in Israel.

Lauded around the world as an innovative, hi-tech nation, Israel has also experienced in recent years calls for a return to a slower, more self-reliant lifestyle.

The issue has been the theme of publications, such as the 2004 In praise of Slow, by Carl Honore, as well as from the Hebrew blogger HaSolidit, who advocates radical saving and investment in order to retire at a young age and escape what the Dadon family calls “modern slavery.”

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