What's life like for gay or black Israelis?

We have plenty of black people, they're mostly minority Ethiopians, and I don't know what protest you're talking about, but the general state of things is really not that bad. We have a sitcom starring a black guy about Ethiopian struggles in Israel, etc., there is Israeli awareness of the fact that people of other skin tones are human beings. I really don't think it's anywhere near as bad as you think it is, although I can't lie and say the situation is as good as it is in Canada. There are probably more racist people here than there, as a percentage of the population, but there are racist people everywhere and you can mostly avoid them by living in certain areas. There is a very strong and vibrant LGBT community, and if you stay in certain circles, you will be loved and accepted with no problem. Again, there are homophobic people everywhere, possibly more frequent in Israel due to a certain percentage of the people being deeply religious, but you don't ever have to interact with them, and you can build a fulfilling social life without ever running into someone who doesn't accept your identity.

But all of those things don't matter, because I'm going to be quite honest with you: I don't believe there is a single aspect of your life that's going to improve by moving to Israel.

I just don't see the point in giving up such a privileged life in Canada for Israel.

This is exactly how I see it.

Israel's main plus / positive aspect is that it's a country for Jews. You haven't said if you're Jewish or if you feel strong ties to Judaism, but if you do, that's a plus. Normally I tell people who come from the US that another arguable plus is universal healthcare, but you're coming from Canada, so even that isn't a plus. I literally cannot think of a single other advantage, maybe you'll end up liking Israeli people and the Israeli mentality more than Canadians? I don't know, that's all up to chance, though.

Here are some negatives:

  1. You don't speak the language. Virtually everyone in Israel speaks English to some degree, certainly enough to help you out if you're lost or whatever, but living your life with a language barrier is not fun. You're always going to feel like a tourist until Hebrew is a native-level language for you, and this is going to take a very long time.

  2. Economically, there is almost nothing positive to say about Israel.

  3. In terms of availability of things, there is almost nothing positive to say about Israel. Canada is close to the US, and there is no significant cultural/language barrier between Canada/US, so you generally get to enjoy lots of US products, entertainers, musicians, etc. The situation is much shittier in Israel, for instance if you like smaller indie bands, you're going to have much fewer opportunities to see them live, because a band has to be very big and successful to warrant a visit to Israel, and they are few and rare in between.

  4. Everything is shittier. Sometimes it's slightly shittier, and sometimes it's significantly shittier, but it is always shittier. The sidewalks are shittier, the cities are shittier, the roads are shittier. Because everything is more expensive, even if better stuff is available you're going to go down in your quality of life, your new car is going to be shittier than the car you had in Canada, your new apartment is going to be shittier than the place you lived in Canada, your new refrigerator is going to be shittier, everything is going to be shittier. The views are shittier, the mountains are shittier, the lakes are shittier, even the deserts are shittier. Wildlife is shittier. City life is shittier.

  5. Religious extremism is shittier. Israel is the Jewish state, which means there is literally no separation between church and state in Israel. Unlike many western countries where gay marriage isn't legalized but it seems like it will be in the near future, it is very hard to imagine gay marriage ever being legal in Israel, because the institution of marriage is being ran by orthodox Jews. Many laws in Israel are flat out based on religion, and this is not going to change. In fact, it is likely the situation will only get worse, because Orthodox Jews have children at a much higher rate than reform Jews.

My opinion is that I have a very hard time believing moving to Israel is right for you, and I think you will grow resentful of your partner as time goes on. Canada is a country where both of you feel at home. Israel is a country where she will feel at home and you won't. As someone who has been an immigrant: it's really shitty living in a country where you don't feel at home.

I will, however, repeat that your concerns of racism and homophobia are exaggerated, and you will be totally 100% fine in Israel. In fact, if you want to come visit as a tourist, you'll probably have a whole lot of fun here, and I recommend it. The bad parts I'm mentioning are about living in Israel, not visiting.

/r/Israel Thread