Dear David,
Everybody is protesting, why is not helping? I want to shop in Israel, but I cannot afford it. Where should I go shopping?
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Advice as given by David Kilimnick:
Dear Friend who also doesn’t have a steady paying job,

If shopping is an activity which you cannot afford anymore, then you can spend your time protesting. Many bored people enjoy this free evening out.

Everybody has been complaining about the hi prices in Israel over the past year. There have been protests and even conversations at Shabbat dinner tables. I heard somebody say they are getting better prices in France. I am guessing they are talking about non-kosher food. I do not want to pay low prices for food, because I am a Jew and my religious sensibilities tell me that kosher food must be expensive. I am also guessing that they didn’t rent a car in France. Try renting a hatchback in Europe for less than 250nis a day (reading this in other countries? use one of the online currency changers to work out what a shekel is to you- another piece of advice, free).

The protests aren’t helping because their message isn’t clear. Do they want deals or do they want to stop parking on Shabbat? I do not know. The protesters must unify for there to be change.
I thought the tent protests of last summer, were because parents didn’t want to pay to send their children to camp. That was made clear when they stopped the protest once school began. There were fringe groups that didn’t stop. One guy was sleeping on the Ben Yehuda promenade of Jerusalem, on a cardboard box, in September. I reprimanded him, ‘Labor Day has passed. You don’t have to sleep outside anymore, the protest is over.’ I did not know what he was trying to prove. Now I respect him and understand; they are still charging 30nis for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and the protest must continue.

To answer your question. The protest is not helping and is quite pointless. If there is a protest that should be happening in Israel, it is the ‘you should be smiling while you are serving me’ protest. The ‘show me appreciation for ripping me off’ protest. The ‘I am not making money, my monthly salary is 4,000nis and I have 5 kids’ protest. The ‘stuff is so small, why do you only sell me a liter and a half of Coke, for 8nis’ Protest. Why are they not protesting ‘the sizes’?

If you want to save money, shop in America. People may call me a cheap Jew, but as an Israeli, I do the same thing everybody else in the civilized world does. When I want to get a deal, I fly to America. By the time you have flown to the US, paid for your flight, picked up your IPad and enjoyed a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, you have saved $25.

If you are stuck in Israel, buy in small quantities. You would think to buy in bulk. That should be a good way to save money. But they raise the price when you buy more. Again, the only place they sell cheaper in bulk is America. In any other country, you pay more for bigger packages. It gets confusing. I recently found a deal: One Klik chocolate bag for 4nis and two Klik chocolate bags for 10nis. I wanted more than one, so I had them ring them up as separate purchases. I got my two for 8nis deal. Who is ripping who off? It may cost more, but it is a fun mathematical game you can play when at your local bodega/makolet.

Not to toot my own horn, but I joined the people last week and activisted myself. I was pulled into the protest, because I saw some cute women. My ability to care about what is going on is secondary to my sense of excitement. They pulled me in because of women and a loud speaker. The guy was chanting something that rhymed and it was rhythmic.
The protest began with a ‘Democracy now. Democracy now.’ They repeated it. Saying ‘Democracy now’ twice gave it more of a ring, even if they said it in Hebrew. I was involved. I like democracy. Then they started chanting, ‘Stop racism.’ Yeah, I like racism. We can stop that. Then they went on, ‘Cheaper prices.’ I started going crazy, screaming, I became the center of the protest. That is a cause that we need to fight for. I want deals. More sales NOW. My emotions were in a frenzy; they had just mixed every protest into one, and they won me over. Then they started chanting ‘People should give up their homes in Rehavia.’ At that point they lost me and I went back to my fine home right off of Ramban street in the Rehavia area of Jerusalem, without a date.

That was when I realized that protesting doesn’t help. No protest will stop a capitalist from selling for a profit, and no protest will stop a government from raising taxes to a point where it is pointless to work. If you want to make a change, and bring down the prices, stop purchasing all this crazy expensive stuff. Buy houses in the unrecognized settlements and let Jerusalem be the little Paris they want to make it, and raise the prices on car rentals.

Everything is cheaper in America. Cheaper to the point of wrong. Osem is cheaper in New York. This is an issue, because it is an Israeli product. It should be cheaper where they make it, before they ship it. This problem dawned on me when I was thinking, ‘To make a living, I should be shipping Bamba into Israel. It is a great Israeli product, Israelis love it. I will give it to them for cheaper. Israelis also like deals.’
This issue of hi prices doesn’t bother our prime minister, because he is in the US all of the time. Meeting Obama? No. He is going shopping. Our prime minister is a smuggler. He goes to America to smuggle in laptops through customs. Bibi is flying to pick up his Bissli Falafel snacks.

If you want to have fun, go and protest. If you want to go price shopping, go to America. Do not blame Israel for its no supply and couple person demand. Do not abandon your country for a sale; but vacation so that you can enjoy your Israeli products in the US.

**For questions you would like David to answer, please send and email to david@israelcomedy.com

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