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Blog Spot has a nice feature that allows me to see statistical information about my Blog readership. For example, I can find out which countries read the Blog. As expected, most of my audience comes from the United States and Germany. What's interesting is that I get more site visits from Israel, a country of about 7.7 million people, than I get from Canada (35 million) and Great Britain (62 million) combined.
Yesterday, an article in the Berliner Zeitung shed some light on this perplexing phenomena. According to Eshko Nevo, a prominent Israeli writer, Berlin is the "in" tourist destination for young Israelis. Young Israelis see Berlin as Europe's future. Berlin is a cosmopolitan city with a thriving arts and music scene, cheap rents, and an inviting atmosphere for foreigners. Moreover, obtaining a resident visa or German passport is relatively easy for Israelis who can show some ancestral connection to Germany. Finally, there's an established Israeli expat community in Berlin of about 10,000-15,000 residents making social connections easier to establish. For young Israelis who see Israel hopelessly mired in a cycle of fear and uncertainty, Berlin seems like a place to make a fresh start.
This influx of foreigners to Berlin isn't limited to Israelis. There's an increasing number of Spaniards, Russians, various Eastern Europeans, and even Americans making Berlin there home.