Yair Lapid
Yair LapidFlash 90

Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) fired criticism at a Facebook page urging Israelis to move to Berlin, saying that the issue is not just a matter of prices, but a matter of national loyalties. 

"This is a discussion on the identity, history, and purpose of our country," Lapid stated, in an interview on IDF Radio's "Good Morning Israel" program Tuesday. 

Lapid noted that protests like these - rooted in the 2011 "social justice" campaign - prompted his own shift from journalism to politics, and that he remains focused on lowering the cost of living in Israel. 

"The Israelis who look and ask why Berlin is so much cheaper need to see the current budget, which includes changes on food inspection," he said, referring to new budgetary plans released earlier this week. "I will not tolerate it [high prices - ed.] and we will put more and more products under government supervision, without asking the food chains and manufacturers."

"We will not allow these high prices to continue," he added.

Some 11,000 Israelis are estimated to be living in Berlin alone, according to Germany‘s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees - and unofficial estimates put the tally up to 18,000. 

Lapid has been particularly vocal about the trend, decrying "all the people who are fed up and leaving for Europe" in a post on the subject last year. 

"I have little patience for people who are willing to throw into the garbage the only country the Jews have, because it's more comfortable in
Berlin," he protested.