2014-05-09

Feeling more comfortable in Israel than in any other country in spite of sociocultural problems

It's rather funny to realize that after all is said and done, I nevertheless seem to feel more comfortable in Israel than in any other country on earth in spite of many complaints I have and have made agaist a number of sociocultural problems I have encountered here in Israel.

I never felt comfortable socioculturally back in Japan, where I was born and brought up. I seem to have been to naive to think that since I felt so comfortable living in Israel as a student, I would feel equally comfortable back here even as a full-fledged citizen. Little by little I came to realize that I was too naive. I kept encountering anew many culture shocks back in Israel one after another. To tell the truth, I felt so disgusted with Israeli society that I even thought of leaving this country, if not back to Japan. But I also realized that I might be a kind of person who would never cease to complain wherever he might be.

Having been planning a long awaited trip recently to a country I greatly admire, I've started to feel quite uneasy, which has made me realize that after all I can manage better in Israel than anywhere else. This was quite a revelation and surprise for me. Then I continued to analyze this strange feeling of mine. I think I felt and am still feeling this way mainly because I do know how to cope with the sociocultural problems I have here and I feel it's totally acceptable to criticize them both publicly and privately, unlike, for example, in Japan.

The following is my personal (and totally irresponsible) list of things that might be able to make Israel a better place to live in both for its citizens and for new immigrants socioculturally:

  • To start being more pround and confident of their own language Hebrew, which is, after all, not such a difficult language, as many of them think erroneously
  • To start thinking that stealing someone else's time by being late for the appointnemt, etc. is the second worst kind of theft after killing, which is the theft of someone else's life, and behave accordingly
  • To start reexamining all the damages that Zionism has brought about socioculturally and stop discriminaing haredim, who still keep the good old Jewish values not contaminated by Zionism socioculturally (disclaimer: politically, I embrace Zionism wholeheartedly)

Unfortunately, however, the only viable option to make all the drastic sociocultural changes in Israel is not to try to educate the natives but to bring in more Jewish immigrants from those coutries, such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zeeland and South Africa, where such values seem to be part and parcel of their mentality.