Prices Are Rising in Israel

Israel is already not a cheap country, but now everything is supposed to get even more expensive

Traffic jams are part of everyday life again. Photo: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Have you already gotten used to the new year 2022? Isn’t it crazy that the month of January is already behind us? For us this month has flown by. It was probably Omicron’s fault. For us personally one person after another was hit until the entire family had been infected. Every few days there was another positive test result, which gave us a few nice days at home just with the family. I was the only one who didn’t get infected. It almost made me feel invulnerable, like some kind of immune superhero.

Jokes aside, I didn’t understand why I continued to test negative when everyone else at home was infected. But no matter, now the whole family is healthy again, and we can finally get back to normal everyday life that we all love so much.

Even with continued high infection rates, Omicron and Corona have not been the most important topic in the media of late. Evening news broadcasts in Israel now begin with reports of further price increases in almost all areas of daily life. Everything is getting more expensive. As if it weren’t expensive enough here. Instead of graphs showing the number of new Corona cases, we are now shown charts with the percentages of the price increases. One corporation after the other announced price increases for their products. It started with the food giant Ossem, which announced a price increase at the end of last year. This was supposed to come into force at the beginning of February, but because of threats from consumer organizations to boycott Ossem’s products, the price increase was postponed until after Passover. “After the holidays,” as we always like to say.

Almost everything will become more expensive unless we resist. Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90

The problem is that a handful of corporations dominate the entire Israeli market. When one announces a price increase, it doesn’t take long for the others to follow suit, and we, the consumers, are left in the dark. In the meantime, however, at least one of these conglomerates has backed down, at least initially, and has actually lowered its prices a bit. The fear of a consumer boycott seems to be having an impact.

The problem with the Israeli consumer is that he has become accustomed to “his” products. Most buy their pasta from Ossem, frozen vegetables from Sunfrost, etc. And only a few actually bother to look at the price. Many think that cheaper products are worse, which of course is not true. But there are also price-conscious Israelis. I’m happy to buy a lesser known brand if it’s cheaper.

Unfortunately, in addition to the prices in the supermarket, electricity is also becoming more expensive. I still remember the promises made by politicians after natural gas was discovered off the coast of Israel that electricity prices could finally be reduced. And now? By the way, gasoline also became more expensive yesterday, a liter now costs almost 7 shekels! That’s the equivalent of about $8.35 per gallon for our American readers. This is the highest price in 7 years. I long for the time after the first Corona lockdown in 2020, when a liter of petrol only cost around 4.70 shekels. Ah, those were the days.

Traffic jams are also slowly returning to our daily lives now that we are increasingly ignoring Omicron. I felt that myself yesterday when I drove back to Modiin from Tel Aviv, it took me half an hour just to get out of town.

While we are on the topic of Corona, I can also report that from next Sunday Israel’s so-called “Green Passport” will almost be eliminated. From next week it will only have be shown at large gatherings and events where there is a particular risk of infection, whatever that means.

Another thing that bothers us is the cold that just won’t leave us. Every evening the temperatures drop down to 5 degrees Celsius, which is quite cold for us here in Israel. We’re waiting for spring, we’ve had enough of winter. Today the sun is finally shining again, but in the evening it will be return to being cold. The rain is supposed to come back on Friday, which the Sea of Galilee will of course be looking forward to.

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