Zahava Englard

Anglos, deal with it and move on!

After reading yet another diatribe on Israel and its inhabitants by a new immigrant I decided to take things into my own hands and get cracking on my keyboard.

Having made aliya just six years ago, the trials and tribulations that accompany aliya are still fresh in my mind. But let’s put things in perspective, shall we?

Life’s tough, no matter where you are, and, depending on where you are, the challenges will be unique to that geographical location. So get with the program, Anglos! Stop the whining. If there is something you don’t like, do something about it. Don’t just gripe.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that most Anglos who make aliya do so with a sense of idealism, a belief that Israel is our one and only homeland on this earth. Having said that, such a belief system does not preclude the realities of life here in Israel.

Is it difficult to pick up the language? Is banking in Israel a whole other world? Is the culture significantly different from the culture in our place of origin? Are the salaries lower in most job sectors? Is buying and maintaining a car ridiculously expensive? Corruption getting you down? Is getting through the mail a full time job in and of itself? Are the drivers for the most part insane? Are customer service and “good” manners lacking? Do hair stylists here ALWAYS cut too much off?


So, now what? You have a choice: Throw in the towel and get on the next plane out of here, or do something constructive to effect positive change. Will everything improve overnight? Hell no! But, hey, remember the days when one had to wait YEARS for a phone line in this country?

If you don’t like the rudeness, then shower those individuals with kindness. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results. I, for one, always give the right of way to the other guy on the road. IT DRIVES THEM CRAZY! They don’t know what to do with it. Their confused look never fails to bring a smile to my face, and a touch of amusement in this part of the world never hurts. I also tend to believe that acts of kindness become contagious after a while. Go ahead, prove me wrong.

If you don’t like the leftists, then get out to a hilltop in Yehuda or Shomron and start planting olive trees. If you don’t like the nationalist right-wingers, then… well, sitting quietly in your room with the door locked comes to mind. Have a grievance against the government, perhaps? Then pitch a tent at the Knesset. Bring along a BBQ and you’ll make new friends. Write letters to the responsible parties, and organize like-minded individuals to join your cause.

Don’t like the business ethics? Corruption at every turn? I’m no business maven but I’m pretty darn sure that blogging about it won’t get you anywhere.

Feel alienated by the native Israelis in your neighborhood/community? Then invite them over, go out for coffee, or go to a bar with them and let them correct your broken Hebrew, or let ’em laugh at it. Native Israelis need to work off some stress too.

Bottom line, every place has its good, bad and ugly. But if you’ve already made the move to Israel, chances are you see the big picture and understand just why we are here.

So deal with it and move on. What is life, if not full of challenges? If you’re going to ride out the storm, hang ten and do it with style. And, most of all, don’t lose the smile. You know what “they” say − If aliyah were easy then everybody would be doing it.

Most of all, remember we’re all in this together. I don’t know how comforting that’ll be when the nukes from Iran come raining down on us, but by then we’ll be vaporized so everything will be a non-issue anyway.

We all have to find our own way when navigating through life, and in Israel, well…there may be a few more bumps in the road, but it’s one hell of a ride. And, when you finally reach your destination, there ain’t nothing like it.

About the Author
Author of THE GILBOA IRIS (Gefen Publishing House) and SETTLING FOR MORE: FROM JERSEY TO JUDEA (Urim Publications).