A Decade After the Social Protests and Now What?

in Life, Culture & Sports

A decade after the 2011 social protests, largely surrounding exorbitant rental and food costs, some effects can still be felt – some better, some worse. In what can be considered good news, the OECD shows that Israel’s food prices have only increased by 1.8% over the last ten years, which is comparatively low to the average increase of 16%.

While Israeli food costs have always been priced high, the protests were ignited when the price of cottage cheese almost doubled, tipping off a frustrated generation struggling dangerously close to the poverty line given the low average salaries and the high costs of living. But cottage cheese was only the spark.

The true touchpoint of pain is the real estate industry. In 2011, tens of thousands of tents were raised along Rothschild Boulevard and throughout the city in protest against the inflated and unregulated rental costs of apartments, specifically in Tel Aviv. With no mercy and high demand, real estate prices have jumped up by 52% over the last decade, which is more than double the average of 22% increase in Europe.

While the food industry has maintained its basic prices in taking precaution with public backlash, the real estate circumstances in Israel are creating a generation who will never be able to afford an apartment, without working in hi-tech, getting parental support, or winning the lottery.

Image: KHC.

While the Israeli economy seems to have bounced back post-corona, even vacations in Israel have increased in price, making it nearly impossible for families to get away. Hotel prices in Eilat and the Dead Sea are up to 30% more expensive than they were in the summer of 2019. For the many desperate for vacation, it could be less expensive to travel abroad, despite the recent uptick in local coronavirus cases, mostly of the Delta variant.

A decade after the social protest, and now what? Costs of living in Israel are still high, food prices are just getting by, the coronavirus is still in effect, the core of people are still feeling the impact of the pandemic. It might be a good time for another social protest; if only people weren’t just trying to survive.