In spite of her neighbours with their ongoing lies and continuous attacks, paradoxically, Israel IS Noah’s Arc for Jews according to the Almighty. They began to return home in the 1880’s. No nation wanted Jews. If you doubt this, do a little checking, (Canada included!) The situation only grew worse during WWII. Poor Jews returned to Biblical Zion with weeping weakened by disease and malnutrition just as the Prophets perceived and faithfully penned. This is what makes Israel absolutely unique! Oh, how we love to work to encourage any we meet, to come and take their rightful place here in history…this has always been an underlying goal of our original call, which sent us to Jewish Communities world wide.
Anyone who has lived in Israel can attest to the fact that the rents and cost of living are extremely high, and wages are low. Compared to the USA, we pay 23% more in our “cost of living index”. At the same time, the wages are disgracefully low…so low in fact that a large sector of society can barely afford to rent the meanest of places. The idea of owning an apartment is now, “pie in the sky”, to say nothing of ever owning a house.
To buy a very small apartment will cost about 1.5 to 2 million shekels (between 4-5 hundred thousand dollars). The banks do not give mortgages easily. You must have at least 25% down, and an income of about 20,000 shekels per month, (US 6,000). The long and short of it is: most ordinary people barely earn above minimum wage of 5,000 shekels or US 1,500 dollars per month.
As for rentals, if you live around Jerusalem you will be lucky to find something for under 5,000 shekels (about $1,500)per month. In Israel you must also add property taxes (yes, the renter pays the taxes), building upkeep, and Insurance in addition to the on going monthly expenses of electricity, water, gas and phone/internet/cable. All this for a tiny place with no closets, cupboards, appliances and in most cases no light fixtures. Of course, there are always “good deals”but they are few and far in between and there will be dozens of people wanting them. No wonder people are up in arms. We are a hungry country with 1 in 3 children in Israel living in poverty. Can you believe that? Its a shocker!
So…in frustration and desperation people set up tents and protest. Today, almost seven years on we must ask, “are things any better?” To be honest, there have been improvements for the disabled which everyone is happy about, but the high cost of living~as in most countries~continues and more and more Israelis are falling through the cracks.