Q&A with the man behind the Berlin protest

Anonymous Israeli ex-pat living in Germany tells the 'Post' why he is leading a campaign to help young Israelis 'make aliya' away from Israel.

Berlin grocery list (photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Berlin grocery list
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Thousands of people were expected to attend a protest against the high cost of living in Tel Aviv on Tuesday night, following a Facebook post made by an Israeli of a grocery bill from his local Berlin supermarket, highlighting the difference between expenses in Germany and Israel.
The 25-year-old Israeli behind this viral post and the subsequent Facebook event set for Tuesday -- entitled "Israeli citizens say enough and bye to the high cost of living: A meeting for information about making aliya from Israel to a foreign country" -- will not reveal his identity. He agreed, however, to an anonymous email correspondence with The Jerusalem Post, about this campaign for young Israelis to move abroad.
What did you aim to do with your original Facebook post comparing prices in Germany and Berlin?
Revolutionize Israel.
Did you expect your post  to gain so much attention?
Do you really think that mass "yerida" (emigration) is the answer to the high cost of living in Israel?
People who need to buy an apartment don't have time to wait. [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has been in office for five years, and nothing has changed. We just want to survive. The government of Israel understands only numbers. Once we leave, they will chase after us to Berlin with great offers for us to stay. [Finance Minister] Yair Lapid called me "anti-Zionist". I am wondering what [Israel's first prime minister] David Ben-Gurion, who lived in the desert, would have said concerning him and Netanyahu (who has three houses) who caused a situation where young Jews who want to found their home in Israel can't, because it's too expensive. Who is the real anti-Zionist?
There was a report in
Yisrael Hayom that you have ties to the real-estate sector in Berlin and this push for people to move to the city is self-serving. What is your response to this?
I think it's time for the public to deal with an issue and not with a 25-year-old person. I deny any personal profit from this. The public understands today that it's time to question who benefits from astronomical real estate prices in Israel.
What do you say to people who say this is an insult to Holocaust survivors, putting the price of pudding above Jewish history?
I am aware of their feelings and understand them. In a normal society, the people should send failed leaders to exile; but in reality it's failed leaders who send the young generation to exile. I love Israel and I would prefer to live in Tel Aviv and not in Berlin. But it's just too expensive. I'm doing what I'm doing for Israel.
What do you think can be done to better the economic situation in Israel?
I am a 25-year-old guy and at this point I don’t want to tell the government how to change things. It is they who should find solutions. I am now helping Israelis get visa permits in the EU. I addressed [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel this week concerning this issue through Spiegel. We have no choice.
Do you see yourself staying in Berlin long-term? If there was a change in the economic situation in Israel would you come back?
I love Israel. I'll be back once we will change it for the better. And we will do it. when I say "we" I mean the Israeli public that has woken up and just can't take it anymore.