First we boycotted cottage cheese because the producers where charging too much, then we sat in tents to demonstrate against the high cost of housing in Israel, and the complete inability of the average salaried worker to own a decent home.
Soaring food prices and outrageous housing costs are problems in many countries. It seems like Israelis are ignoring the elephant in the room to make a big deal over economic issues that are affecting consumers worldwide.
The Arab Spring showed all in our region, that when people are oppressed by a dictatorship they will risk it all to fight for change and relative freedom. Look at the Syrians, braving live fire to take to the streets, and getting killed for their desire for freedom.
It is telling that Israel translated that into consumer activism, which while noble on it’s own, seems ludicrous in a region where the daily news reports on war, missiles, armies and military preparedness. Clearly we need to learn to deal with the primary issue facing our nation, and that is the Palestinian issue. I believe that Israelis aren’t engaging in that discussion expressly because they are afraid to address the real issues. It’s much easier to demonstrate against the government than it will be for us to engage each other in the real issue of final borders, Jerusalem, and most importantly, how to deal with extremists, ours as well as theirs. Those are the real issues facing Israel. Affordable housing is important, but not existential.
Less than two weeks to go, but rather than excitement, DH is hugely pissed off. Turns out, we forgot to confirm that our new apartment has a solar water heater. They are ubiquitous in Israel. You see solar panels and water tanks on roofs across the country. With the amount of sun we receive, I haven’t had to heat water for a shower in months. The only other method regularly used to heat water for home use in Israel is an electric boiler that uses electrical power to heat the water in your tank if there wasn’t enough sun. We use it in the winter on the occasional rainy day.
So in a country where EVERYONE seems to have solar panels, we are moving into a hi rise that doesn’t. It means we have to remember to turn on the boiler at least 30 minutes before we want to shower. Plus, of course, our electric bill will balloon since all our hot water will be electrically heated.
I can’t believe in a country like this, where 90% or so of the buildings use solar panels, we’re moving into one of those that doesn’t. I really hope this is the last “surprise”. Of course, it’s our fault. We took it for granted that no reasonable builder would create a structure that isn’t intended to carry solar panels.
Follow up: we spoke to a neighbor who told us to just put a timer on the water heater and heat for 45 minutes in the morning and an hour in the evening to supply a household with a steady supply of hot water in any season. DH has moved on and is now consumed with a need to have every article in the house boxed up at least a week before the movers arrive. Good news is that we’re almost done.
We had a wonderful day. Don’t hate me because I live spitting distance to such stunning water. To even things up, it’s full of jelly fish right now.