Showing posts from July, 2013

A comparison of discrimination in Israel, the UK, Sweden and USA

I thought it might be interesting to compare treatment of African-Americans, British Moslems and Israeli Palestinian-Arabs.  Note that I have excluded the occupied territories.  In some cases the situation in Israel is good enough that factoring in the occupied territories would still leave it comparable with other countries. I did not include economic data because of time constraints.

Discrimination varies between countries and is affected by particular local conditions. It is important to note differences: Not all Israeli Arabs are Moslem while I focussed on Swedish and British Moslems. African Americans are not a religious group but a skin-colour group.  Israeli Arabs and African Americans are local minorities while in Britain and Sweden most Moslems are relatively recent immigrants.

In the course of looking for sources I found Moslem sites discussing some of these problems. One memorable quote said that there are more Phd's in France then in the entire Moslem world. Problems …

My basic training in the Israeli army: Part 1 - Going home at the weekend.

In 1991 I moved to Israel and took out Israeli citizenship.  In 1994, I was called up by the Israeli army to do four months military training, after which I was to join the reserves. I went through a brief selection process after which I was sent, along with about 120 other new immigrants to do 3 weeks basic training at an army base.
I moved to Israel at the same time as a million Soviet Jews, so nearly all the 120 immigrants came from the former USSR. The next biggest group (about 10-15 of us) were native English speakers divided evenly among Canadians, Americans, Australians and Brits.

We were issued with a load of gear, including one brand new uniform and shoes.  We were told that the new uniform was a special gesture to us as immigrants and that "regular" recruits weren't given them.

The showers were mostly cold, the toilets had a leak, we slept in tents and I had permanent diarrhea, probably caused by stress, but the food was good. I formed a brief friendship with a…

How Bank Mizrahi mislaid my mortgage money

I just read a funny story in the Financial Times about a man who tried paying in a fake check sent to him by a charity and was amazed to find that the money cleared:

Well this reminded me of how my bank nearly lost my mortgage money in 2008. I took out a 350,000 Shekel mortgage which at current prices is 60,000 pounds or about 95,000 dollars (the same amount the man had in his fake check).
The contract I had with the seller had the money enter his account in two installments, the first installment 100,000 shekels was paid in fairly early and the second, for 250,000 shekels was due to be the last payment on the flat.  The seller's lawyer faxed the bank name (" Bank HaPoalim" meaning The Workers' Bank), account number and branch to my bank ("Mizrahi" meaning Eastern) and they were supposed to pay the money in on a certain date.  Except the money never arrived. The bank insis…