There's no place like home - Part II
Often, after hearing why I chose to live in Israel, these Israelis walk away (I think) feeling better about the country they call home, while others just think that I am crazy and would give anything to be able to move to NY.
Yet, I am often tempted, although I rarely indulge myself, to turn to my questioner (or to other secular Israelis) and ask them, what is it about this place that keeps you here? What's keeping you from leaving for "greener pastures"?
Israeli celebrity, Yair Lapid, shares his answer with us.
Better than we thought
Here’s a trivia question: What is the second largest Greek city in the world?
Don’t run to the atlas. The second largest Greek city in the world is Melbourne, Australia. Only Athens has a larger Greek population. The reason that so many Greeks migrated to Australia is because they were unhappy in Greece and looked for a different place to call "home."
The second largest Israeli city is Tel Aviv; followed by Haifa, Beer Sheva, Holon, etc. New York would be somewhere on the list, but pretty far down. In the final analysis, the majority of Israelis prefer to live in Israel...
It’s not that there are no alternatives... But most of us don’t leave and that’s not something to sniff at...
The big question is why? What is this country giving them that does not show up in the statistics?
...The prime minister is wasting his time and ours when he promises us that in another four years this will be a wonderful place to live. We have chosen this place. We have chosen 30 days (at least) of IDF reserve duty a year, income tax, religious - secular tensions, the Palestinian threat. We have chosen and we continue to choose every day. This makes us better people because we matter and that allows us to feel that between our birth and our death, something vital and real is happening to us.
There aren’t many countries that give their citizens that kind of feeling.