Berlin, Berlin: Leaving Israel for greater pastures

I’ve never really taken the time to post about moving from Israel to Germany in 2006, it’s always been a bit of a can of worms. The truth is, I moved to Germany for love and career opportunities, but I decided to stay in Germany after the financial, social and security situation in Israel deteriorated significantly in the last part of the previous decade. Living outside of Israel for an extended period of time, after spending most of my life in Israel, helped me build perspective: I didn’t have to live in constant stress and fear of war in a country with low wages, high cost of living and an inexcusable tolerance towards organized religion.

I’m not alone – over 7 million (!) Israelis live outside of Israel, that’s almost the entire population of Israel itself. Moving away from Israel suffers from a very nasty stigma – emigrants are often labeled “traitors” and, as most famously quoted by Israel’s former Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin, “fall-outs of weaklings“.

Without opening this can of worms more than it needs to be, the reason for this post is to put this music video out there, by Israeli band Shmemel. The song, called “Berlin”, deals with the reality of emigrating from Israel and serves as a reminder that wanting to seek out an a better quality of life is nothing to be ashamed of. the video includes clips of young Israelis and their families holding signs with the names of the countries they have emigrated to.

Israelis abroad: you are not alone. There is no shame in your decision.

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