The Israeli way
Meir Shalev
Published: 14.12.07, 13:57
Comment Comment
Print comment Print comment
Back to article
43 Talkbacks for this article
1. U right-we never return-take care of last hope 4 existence..
Bob ,   Moscow   (12.14.07)
2. yeridah
peter ,   amsterdam   (12.14.07)
It reminds of a saying: "Israëlis love Aliyah but they don't care about the Olim once they have arrived". So it certainly won't work for people who moved chutz le aretz because they know how the situation in Israël is firsthand-that's why they left.
3. I made Aliyah 4 years ago at age 58 and
redmiike ,   tel aviv and london   (12.14.07)
I have no complaints about how I have been treated. I came with very little money after getting divorced in California. I did 18 months of Ulpan 5 hours a day! How? I got the sal ha klita (monthly grant of $400) and taught English in the evenings. I now save around $800 per month and have plenty of work. Many Olehs (immigrants) want to collapse on the State and that's not what it's all about Mike
4. why do people who stayed here not worth anything??
JL ,   israel   (12.14.07)
5. Israelis abroad
Abir ,   Chicago, IL   (12.14.07)
Having spent 25 years in Israel, I realize how difficult it is living there. For young professionals, that look for career advancement, the choices are limited. After all, it is a small country and the opportunities are limited. In addition, nepotism & "protekzia" are rampant. The burden is never distributed evenly. One that does not belong to some interest group would find it hard to meet one's goals. Similarly, the reserve duty (miluim) becomes an additional burden that lies on the shoulders of a relativelly small number of people. Back in the days of the Lebanon war, we used to do up to 90 days a year and upon release from each stint we would get our mobilization orders for the next time. And even throughout the 90s, doing upwards of 50 days a year became the norm. We quicly learned to dread the brown (& later white) envelopes in the mail. The Government is quick to impose & claim taxes and raise them at will. However, they are slow to give you your dues, which you normally have to fight for. In addition, lack of law & order, an unstable political/security situation, deteriorating education & health systems, are certainly not conducive to retaining people that can succeed elsewhere. Those who made a conscious decision and left the country, probably had good cause to do so. Attempting to bring them back, IMHO is an exercise in futility.
6. I am ready to come back
Jess ,   NZ   (12.14.07)
I am not interested in your fridge /oven package! or your $400 bucks charity! I want to be able to ship my Porsche 911 without paying any taxes. I paid for it already and I drive it here anyway. Why should I pay import taxes all over again? I want to buy my own house and a couple of investment properties. There should be no stamp duty and obscene conveyance fees for returning residents. Why in NZ it cost only $700 , all up to register title ,but in Israel it is such a big deal. I agree to pay tax on the rental income as anyone else, but duty / taxes to buy the properties? Has anyone paid duty for buying a small business? Until these issues are fixed, I am here to stay. Shabbat Shalom all
7. What Exactly is Behind This New Push
Adina Kutnicki   (12.14.07)
Many people do not think past their noses. At the same time that the gov't is seeking to entice back yordim, they are ACTIVELY seeking to thwart religious aliyah. The very fact that Sheetrit is trying to change the face of aliyah by constricting Jewish immigration based on the right of return, the gov't is seeking to subsidize many others, most of who are not religious zionists. They are playing a cynical, manipulative & deadly game to create the new 'Israeli'. Most of the yordim left for economic reasons, and most of them are not from the religous sector. By enticing them back they are attempting to strenghten the secular hold. It ain't gonna work.
8. #3
mark ,   ca   (12.14.07)
I hope you paying taxes from your extra income :-).
9. The Israeli way
Carolyn ,   Israel   (12.14.07)
Why pay Israelis to move back here ,when the gov. can't take care of those already living here? Wouldn't the money be better spent on improving education,health care,higher wages,and making sure everyone living here has a home to live in and food to eat every day then to spend it on attracting more people to come who will just add to the burden? I see many elderly people and middle aged dumpster diving behind the local supermarket for food, or begging for money on the street corners, we read about the increase ing number of people relying on charitable food donations and even people sleeping on the streets, should the gov. give money to get Israelis to move back here when they don't help those already here? I think NOT!
10. Ex Pat Israelis
ussishkin ,   Tel Aviv Israel   (12.14.07)
One certain way to help in maintaining links with ex Pat Israelis is to do what so many other civilized countries do who do not see their ex-Pats as traitors and that is to give them a postal ballot in elections - that way at least there would be a counter balance to all the datiim who charter planes for elections.
11. #3 Redmike T.A. & London - Very commendable.
Terry ,   Eilat, Israel   (12.14.07)
But it doesn't change the basic truth of the article. Many people have left, many are in the process, & many more thinking of leaving. Our political system is a disaster - and it's effect on the economy leaves us far from realizing our potential as a country. Without major reforms of our political system, nothing will change & the country will continue to under-perform. And many talented people will leave & few yordim will return.
12. #3: I agree 100%
Israel, formerly USA   (12.14.07)
I have had the same experience, and know others who share it. No country is perfect, but Israel does OK for being so small and having to walk the line between Islamist hatred and Western "issues." As for the naysayers - I'm not mentioning any names, but anyone who would choose Moscow over Israel has too many screws loose for us to be anything but lucky he's not here.
13. i agree once again...
Ari ,   Bogota - Colombia   (12.15.07)
sure i agree with every word in this article, yet i can also add that i left for the very same reasons aforementioned and returned to my former fatherland, while i can´t wait to return to israel.
14. teachers represent middle Israel
Yored 2   (12.15.07)
They represent all those who are dedicated enough to stay, or who have no realistic alternative. The gov't basically shat on their heads for 2 months as they are continually doing to all of Israel. In the end they had to give in as they had no other choice. Poor leaders, they wasted 2 months of everyone's time for no reason except their own borderline personality problems.
15. To Kiwi Jess #6
G. in Wellington ,   Godzone   (12.15.07)
Hey Jess, on the other hand, I have heard that in NZ not only interest on savings but the capital itself is taxed, true? Whereas in the land of milk and honey I had to walk or take the bus, here I only have a humble Audi A4 so I hope you won't look down on me.
16. To #12
Yored Yonatan   (12.15.07)
Dear number 12: would be interested to know what you do for a living in Israel? Most people, no matter how experienced, are unable to find a decent job, that is why I was wondering as you speak in generalities - please put your money where your mouth is and explain to the readers how you are surviving. thanks & best regards.
17. It's About Doing What's Best Overall
Dave Levy ,   Burbank. CaUSA   (12.15.07)
I have met many former Israelis here in California. I find them very Zionist, with everything good to say about Israel. Yet, they are still opportunists. Most have chosen to remain in the US., their English improving with time, and learning the "American way of doing things". Israel is Israel, and should never be compared to US (300m people and growing). I think considering the pressure, Israel, with it's 120b dollar GDP, has done well. It' easy to look for faults, heck we even have some in California. (We have budget, traffic, employment, housing and welfare problems). Our health system leaves millions without insurance or benefits. It costs a fortune to live here, and many people leave for greener pastures. Israel should try to balance out it's desire for more people, with internal problems. Taxing people to death for extra revenue can be counter-productive, whether native born, immigrants, or returning folk. But Israel is still a haven for Jews worldwide. And that is what counts.
andy ,   orlando,u.s   (12.15.07)
The Israelis are at the worst unfriendly towards olim and at the best apathetical.I made Aliyah and was met by brick walls of bureaucracy and no support.I even volunteered to serve in the IDF and underwent all the medicals,which I passed.However they showed no interest in drafting me.The Jewish Agency is inept and should be dissolved.Israel has lost true Zionists like myself.
19. Shalev, Creating a Disease To Cure It
Dan Friedman ,   NYC, NY   (12.15.07)
The perverse policies of elite leftists like Shalev dominate Israel and that accounts for total emigration exceeding total immigration. Ironically, the only Jews making aliyah today are the religious/nationalists Shalev and his ilk despise. And even more ironically, it's Shalev's skinhead post-Zionist pals who are leaving in droves and will never return to Shalev's confused, capitulationist country after living in the US.
20. #6 - I doubt you'd survive in Israel after living in NZ
redmiike ,   tel aviv and london   (12.15.07)
and I mean that in the nicest possible way. I lived in LA for 14 years and saw Israelis make a lot of money and then return 'home' after 4-5 years. They lost all their money the first year and went back to the States to make it again. How and why did they lose it? They got soft in LA and lost the edge. Perhaps you know what is written in Hebrew in many places? "How to make small fortune in Israel? Come with a big one!". :-) You'd probably get eaten a live here. Mike
21. returning citizens
sas ,   israel   (12.15.07)
too too true. and very sad what is happening here.
22. #7: Have you sat through an ulpan
Israel, formerly USA   (12.15.07)
with ex-Soviets recently? Take a look at what has been coming here in the past few years, and you will understand. It will make you miss the Palestinians.
23. Red Mike, it's about locals; not olim
russel ,   tlv   (12.15.07)
You know, the locals who complain about being Israeli; as if it were a curse. The locals who complain about the dati'm. The locals who complain about the corruption - and do nothing about it. And that's just it; ever been to Turkey? Perhaps you have and if so you will have noticed what a proud, patriotic nation they are with a strong currency. That stands in strong contrast to many Israelis.
24. Even Moscow wages may be more attractive than TA's
Damir ,   Russia   (12.15.07)
I'd like to see the comparison but I think now it is so. In Moscow region only, not in the remainder of Russia.
25. #23 - yes I have been to Turkey x4 - but not as a Tourist!
redmiike ,   tel aviv and london   (12.15.07)
I have lived in the UK, the US, France, Germany, Brazil and Israel for over two years and traveled extensively. When I'm asked about my experiences I always say that I'm happy to say that more than 98% were good and that I'd found people kind and helpful and that only Turkey provided probably all the exceptions. I drove a car from Istanbul to Iran and from Tabriz to Mersin in southern Turkey and had the worst experiences of my life. Violence, stealing and lawlessness! Obviously the protected tourist places are different. Mike P.S. Kingston, Jamaica was also terrible and Sao Paulo is violent but has a lot of good people too.
26. 24 -wages are not the only yardstick- soul is more important
redmiike ,   tel aviv   (12.15.07)
I have a lot of Russian and Ukraninan students and they describe the violent lifestyle and the mentality in not just Russia but the former Soviet Union. From what I hear I wouldn't want to live there for more than five minutes. I have 3 passports, American, British and Israeli and am happy living in Tel Aviv. I was a top film editor in the US and earned a lot of money in LA for 15 years and would have left after a few months if not for my ex-wife. A visiting Israel once said to me, "you have everything here but soul", and I have never forgotten it. I have major problems with the present government (like Terry, Eilat has) but that doesn't change my overall opinion of life here. Mike
27. Returning Israelis
Millie ,   Israel   (12.15.07)
Gotta be nuts to come back here if you are making it abroad! The educational system here is in shambles, the taxes eat you alive, the salaries are horrid,while the cost of living here goes up every week! Theere is a consatnt threat of Terror and the Threat of War from Hezbollah, Iran ,Syria in the near future why on earth would anyone want to come back here? Spend the money instead on those of us already here, fix the educational system, lower taxes, raise minimum wage, draft a Constitution!, and put in a Gov with the balls to do what needs to be done for the good of all the people living here, not just the good of those who are in the Gov, and their families, or the few rich people living here!
28. To #16
No. 12 ,   Israel, formerly USA   (12.15.07)
I work in healthcare, and I asked and explored and verified options while I was still in ulpan, including how to prepare an Israeli resume and how to approach employers here - all stuff that's available on the web and through word-of-mouth. I played by the Israeli rules, learned and used the language (even before coming, just to be a little ready), and am flexible and respectful of existing Israeli institutions. I was never without work in my field, was patient for a couple of years until my lifestyle here matched what I had in the US (which also took time to build), and was openly grateful for every little "crumb." General tips for olim? 1. Don't over-specialize professionally, especially in something that few people really, truly need. Come to work, not to manage. 2. Don't fudge your education or experience 3. Speak the language as much as humanly possible 4. Function within regulations, and approach everything and everyone with respect, even if not reciprocated right away. 5. Accept that you are starting a new life (read: "starting over") - you might be the awkward "new guy" and without six-figure salary for a little while, and that's OK. Supposedly you're here for a higher reason. 6. Come prepared not to rely too much on the government, and approach everything you receive as what it is - a gift, not an entitlement. 7. Don't fall victim to the rose-colored 20/20 hindsight - no country is perfect, and things can always be worse.
29. #23 - Apples and oranges
Global Citizen ,   Israel & USA   (12.15.07)
How old is Turkey as a formal nation? By how many enemies is Turkey surrounded? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU TODAY? You're usually not this blind.
30. #27 - we see what you don't like - where would you suggest?
redmiike ,   tel aviv and london   (12.15.07)
France, no. Belgium, no. Holland, no - well nowhere in Europe really! Not only does Europe have a huge and worsening and looming Islamic problem but as in all the major US cities you can't leave your children in the street or in a shopping mall like you can here. And try the taxes in the UK .. Los Angeles perhaps? A three bedroom house made of plywood and stucco that costs a million dollars and drive by shootings at your local schools sounds damn good. Oh and there's nice big earthquakes too. The world is in pretty bad shape right now and that has to be faced. Of course there are problems here and there are places that might sound better but they are culturally so different that living in them is very difficult which is why I left Belem in northern Brazil after a year. Mike
Next talkbacks
Back to article