German Soldier Versus 9,300 'Israelis for Berlin'

Jew who immigrated to Israel to join combat brigade can't understand campaign asking for thousands of work visas to Germany.

Ari Yashar,

Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany (file)
Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany (file)
Flash 90

As the storm rages around the Facebook protest calling for Israelis to migrate to Berlin for supposed lower costs of living, organizers say they have received 9,300 Israeli requests to move to Germany - and one German IDF soldier can't understand why.

Cpl. Anshel Holzapfel, a 19-year-old Jewish lone soldier from Germany who left his family in Dusseldorf at the age of 18, finished his training this week with the Golani Brigade.

Speaking to Channel 2, Holzapfel, who now lives in the western Galilee kibbutz of Yehiam with other immigrants, acknowledged that "life in Germany is very good."

However, speaking about the protest to migrate he stated "I think they're wrong. Our country is more beautiful than Germany, this is the land of the Jews."

"In their place I wouldn't go, particularly now with all that's going on in Europe with the negative treatment of Jews. There were many weekends with clashes between Muslims and Jews when I lived there," said Holzapfel, referring to skyrocketing anti-Semitism in Europe.

The soldier continued "maybe the quality of life in Germany is better, but I would tell them (the Israelis) not to leave. It will be hard for them in Germany because of the mentality. ...Other than that, we are supposed to be here, not there. This is our land. Leave Berlin and come to Golani."

Speaking about his satisfaction over having made the choice to leave Germany and fight for the Jewish state, Holzapfel added "before I immigrated I think in my daily life I didn't do anything really meaningful. In the IDF we do something meaningful."

9,300 Israelis leaving for Berlin?

According to those organizing the Facebook protest that currently has 11,313 likes, they have received 9,300 requests from Israelis wanting to leave for Berlin.

The organizers say they have turned to German chancellor Angela Merkel in a request for thousands of visas, with one initiator of the protest telling Channel 2 "I asked for 25,000 temporary work visas for three years, under the conditions of the Germany government."

"Additionally I turned to free German financial experts to help me come up with a plan to improve the housing and food market in Israel," continued the organizer.

He added that he plans to ask Spain to also speed up the granting of citizenship for three million Jews in Israel whose ancestors were expelled from the country in the middle ages - despite the rampant anti-Semitism ratcheting up there as in Germany.

The organizer added that in the future the protest intends to set its sights on New York, London, Washington, Miami, Los Angeles, Prague, Costa Rice and Rome, opening groups urging Israelis to leave the Jewish state for supposed economic benefit.

"People who can't buy a home even after working 35 years, people who save more than 15 years only for an initial investment to buy an apartment...turn to us and ask us not to reveal their names, but that they are dying to get out of (Israel) to a place where they can buy a home," claimed the organizer.

While Israel is currently gripped by a housing crisis, many have noted that situation is primarily caused by 70% of the population living in the coastal area, arguing that Judea and Samaria which reportedly is over 90% unpopulated holds the key to solving the issue.

The crisis has only deepened as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continues to institute a covert Jewish construction freeze in the areas, as well as in eastern Jerusalem.

On Tuesday Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) criticized the Berlin movement, saying "there have always been post-Zionists and anti-Zionists; these people are anti-Zionists." The same day Lapid pledged to lower prices so as to prevent the economic draw bringing Israelis to Berlin.

Meanwhile Avichai Shikli, head of the Tavor Mechina (pre-university school) in Nazereth Illit, told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday the Facebook campaign chose Berlin precisely out of spite, saying "there are still Holocaust survivors living among us, and this trend is a knife in their hearts."




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