By Kristen Carpenter
A gallon of milk in Israel costs approximately $6 and eggs are priced at around $3.50. Meanwhile, the prices of milk and eggs in the United States cost consumers about half as much: $3.20 and $2.41, respectively. Israel’s high food costs can largely be attributed to the country’s arid and hilly landscape being adverse to large-scale agricultural production. As a result, Israelis heavily rely on food imports. While this already makes Israelis vulnerable to fluctuating international market rates, protectionist trade barriers imposed by the government to insulate the local agricultural industry from competition contribute to increased prices for food.
The Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies estimates that ending Israeli agricultural subsidies and protectionist market barriers would save Israeli consumers around 3 billion shekels a year, or just over $850 million in US dollars. Following a series of mass protests against high prices, the Israeli parliament moved…
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