Two years ago when Lail Arad released this video, her observation that “everyone is moving to Berlin” reflected an edgy trend. We’re not talking about legions of Russian and Ukrainian Jews who overwhelmed the native Jewish Community in Berlin, or what was left, thanks to Germany’s lax immigration laws and healthy social welfare benefits. Rather we’re talking about Jewish hipsters and artists attracted to an affordable and urban European destination. Two years later, what was once hip has become clichéd – whenever Israelis of a certain ideological bent get together to complain about how the occupation prevents them from finding parking on Rothschild Blvd., or how Israel’s intransigence toward its Palestinian population was at fault for the recent unwanted breakup with their significant other, what you hear over and over is “I should move to Berlin.”
Historically moving to or being in Berlin has never been good for the Jews. Remember when Reform Jews in the 19th Century demonstrated their staunch German Nationalism by calling their synagogues “Temples” and declaring that Berlin is the New Jerusalem? They have since changed their tune for obvious reasons. But whatever. I feel the pain of my Israeli Brothers and Sisters – no doubt also occasioned by the occupation. I for one am willing to buck historical trends, and I sincerely hope that my Israeli hipster friends do indeed move to Berlin.
The sooner the better actually.