I found the incredible negativity of this article in yesterday's online Jpost and today's print version a real downer. I can't help but feel that Noga Martin's response to "Why I am making Aliya" by Calev Bender, a British almost-Oleh (and former Bnei Akiva Chanich of mine), totally misses the point.
The gripes presented; bank opening hours, being ignored by clerks, people shouting, dog shit on the pavement etc, suggest to me that this is one oldish immigrant for whom America is being seen very much through warped rose coloured glasses. Yes this country is far from perfect, but if you think that its far worse than the rest of the world then you need a severe reality check. Yes this country has crime - and other places don't? Yes sometimes the waiter gets your order wrong - but does this happen every time - and does it not also happen occasionally in London, New York and Paris? Come on lady - get real.
"Insanely overpriced appliances" - last time I looked, the costs had dropped drastically and were very comparable to pretty much what I'd pay in the UK - if not cheaper - maybe things cost less in the consumer paradise that is the USA but don't get confused into thinking that the USA is the same as everywhere else in the world - it's like bemoaning the fact that petrol is expensive here - well it might be - but no more expensive than anywhere else in the world - apart from the States where an irresponsible energy / environmental policy keeps the prices down.
If you were living in the States by the way, you'd be paying at least $10,000 per year per child for a Jewish education - so where does that leave your fat wages? Forget I asked - as a secular humanist you probably wouldn't bother, just leaving your kids to marry out by the next generation like your friend with the Druse boyfriend / husband - who clearly has very different ideas to myself about what Aliyah and being Jewish is all about.
I have no clue what on earth could have possessed a non-observant secular humanist who never attended Hebrew school or had a bat mitzva, to pick up and move to Israel at age 19 - but if you think that you represent the majority of Olim then you clearly haven't checked the demographics.
The vast majority of Olim are well connected to their roots and come here out of a love for the country, have done their research and have a pretty good idea of where it is that they are coming to. They are choosing to live in a country where they are surrounded by Jews; where they can wear outwould symbols of their religion without fear; where the Supermarkets stock kosher meat and the policeman wishes you "Chag Sameach" whilst he's handing over your speeding ticket.
It's tough - many don't make it but the number of Olim from the US, Canada, Britain, Australia, France and many other strong Western democracies, has been steadily rising and recent polls suggest that a very significant percentage are happy with the decision that they have made.
So stop griping about the small shit, your glass may be half empty but no need to put the rest of us on a downer - you've clearly found enough reason to stay here for 11 1/2 years so cut the negative crap and get some perspective.