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A Wave of Price Hikes in Israel – Useful Vocabulary Posted by on Jan 7, 2019 in Real World, Today's Israel

Cost of living = יֹוקֶר הַמִּחְיָה

Israeli Agorot, photo by Ayana

Israel’s high cost of living (יֹוקֶר הַמִּחְיָה) has been a major concern in recent decades. It sparked several large scale protests (מְחָאוֹת) over the years, drove Israelis to leave the country and try their luck abroad, and became a top issue during every government election. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem be getting better any time soon.

יֹוקֶר הַמִּחְיָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל גָּבוֹהַּ.

The cost of living in Israel is high.

Wave of Price Hike = גַּל הִתְיַקְּרוּיוֺת  

In early December, the Israel Electric Corporation announced a rate hike of 6%, starting in January 2019. The Corporation explained the raise is due to a global increase of fuel, natural gas and coal prices (מְחִירׅים). Soon after, the Israel Water Authority, the largest electricity consumer (צַרְכָן) by itself, updated its rates for 2019 as well, and announced an increase of 4.5%.

Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper cover from 12/12/2018

The upcoming electricity and water price hikes in 2019, compelled other companies to adjust their prices as well. Osem, one of the largest food manufacturers and distributors in Israel, proclaimed price increases (עֲלׅייַּת מְחִירׅים) for one-third of its products (מוּצָרׅים). That includes ketchup, flour, soups and salty snacks (with the exception of Bamba).

צַרְכָן נָבוֹן בּוֹדֵק אֶת הַמְּחִיר לִפְנֵי שֶׁהוּא קוֺנֶה.

A wise consumer checks the price before buying.

עֲלׅייַּת מְחׅירֵי הָאוֺרֶז הָיְיתָה מַשְׁמָעוּתִית – עַד 30% לְזַנּׅים מְסוּיָּימׅים.

The increase in rice prices was significant – up to 30% for certain species.

Osem’s price raise follows other food and household goods producers and distributors who already declared price hikes (הִתְיַקְּרוּת) on previous months. Since May 2018, the prices of salt, tea, rice, tuna, milk products, toilet paper, soft drinks, etc. were raised. בְּכָל מַדָּף מוּצָר שֶׁהׅתְיָיקֵּר  (price increased product on every shelf), describes the reporter in the video:

Protest = מְחָאָה

With cost of living rising steeply, social media networks swelled with calls for protests. Minister of Finance, Moshe Kahlon, established a committee (וַעֲדָה) to lower the cost of living, but it didn’t satisfy the Israeli consumers. Inspired by the French movement, hundreds donned yellow vests (אֲפוֺדׅים צְהוּבּׅים) and went to demonstrate in Tel Aviv. The protesters’ (מַפְגּׅינׅים) signs read אֲפוֺדׅים צְהוּבּׅים נֶגֶד יֹוקֶר הַמִּחְיָה (yellow vests against the cost of living).

מֵאוֺת יָצְאוּ לָרְחוֺבוֺת לׅמְחוֺת עַל יֹוקֶר הַמִּחְיָה.

Hundreds took to the streets to protest against the cost of living.

עֲשָׂרָה עָצוּרׅים בַּהַפְגָּנָה נֶגֶד יֹוקֶר הַמִּחְיָה בְּתֵּל אָבִיב.

Ten detainees at a demonstration against the cost of living in Tel Aviv.

Several demonstrations (הַפְגָּנוֺת) and calls for a consumer boycott (חֵרֶם צַרְכָנׅים) of Osem, along with the fact that Israel is approaching elections in three months, triggered a quick reaction from the finance minister.  He waived the tax increase on coal that was planned for 2019 in order to reduce the planned increase in electric prices to only 2.9%, and convinced Osem to postpone its price raise.

Text vocabulary

Cost of living = יֹוקֶר הַמִּחְיָה

Rate = תַּעֲרִיף

Price = מְחִיר

Price increase = עֲלׅייַּת מְחִירׅים

Price hike = הִתְיַקְּרוּת

Wave of Price Hike = גַּל הִתְיַקְּרוּיוֺת

Product = מוּצָר

Consumer = צַרְכָן

Consumer boycott = חֵרֶם צַרְכָנׅים

Protest = מְחָאָה

Protester = מַפְגִּין

Demonstration = הַפְגָּנָה

Yellow vests = אֲפוֺדׅים צְהוּבּׅים

Against = נֶגֶד

Committee = וַעֲדָה

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