The UK Forex Trading Boom Post-Brexit - American ...

Some news you may have missed out on part 134.

-Rupee continues to recover, gains Rs4.16 in four months
The Pakistani rupee has maintained a gradual uptrend against the US dollar since the beginning of current fiscal year in July and is anticipated to gain more ground in the remaining eight months amid expectations of increase in foreign currency inflows.
The rupee gradually strengthened Rs4.16 or 2.60% in the past around four months to Rs155.88 to the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Friday, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). “The rupee may recover to 145 to the greenback by June 30, 2020,” Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP) President Malik Bostan projected while talking to The Express Tribune.
Further: -In a positive development, Pakistani Rupee hits highest level of four months against US dollar
The Pakistani rupee has shown recovery against the US dollar as the US currency reached the lowest level in four months.
-ExxonMobil to help build LNG terminal in Pakistan
After getting a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contract from private-sector consumers, US energy giant ExxonMobil is planning to build the third LNG terminal in Karachi as a joint-venture partner.
Some time ago, ExxonMobil, in collaboration with Pakistan’s exploration and production companies, drilled an offshore well to search for hydrocarbon reserves in the Arabian Sea. However, the effort could not prove successful. Now, in a new venture with Energas consortium, the US firm is going to invest in setting up an LNG terminal in Pakistan.
-Pakistan's Hindu community celebrates Diwali today in a renovated temple reopened by the Pakistan government after 72 years
he country’s Hindu community is celebrating the annual religious festival of Diwali. The religious festivities are expected to take place in Shawala Teja Singh Temple, located in Sialkot, after 72 years.
All preparations for the upcoming festival have been completed. The festival of Diwali is being seen as more of a cultural than a religious one as people from other faiths will celebrate alongside members of the Hindu community.
The temple, where the festivities will take place, was closed down in 1947. The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and certain members of the Hindu community decided to open the temple a few months ago, after which the renewal and renovation work had begun. Now, for the first time, this temple is going to celebrate a religious ceremony.
-Tax Returns Filed Per Day in 2019 Have Increased by 127 Percent: FBR Chairman
Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi has announced that on average, tax returns filed per day in 2019 have risen by 127 percent compared to last year. In a Twitter post, Zaidi shared details of the tax returns filed so far. As per the records, the number of tax returns filed in 2019 till October 25 stands at 918,027, as compared to 585,209 tax returns filed in the same period last year.
Zaidi said that as of November, the FBR will impose strict measures against unauthorized interactions and harassement between its staff and the business community. The business community is suggested to report to FBR if any person contacts them through any manner without proper authorization.
-Pakistan, Nepal agree to enhance trade ties
President Dr. Arif Alvi on Saturday held a meeting with the Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli on the sidelines of 18th Non Aligned Movement Summit in Baku, ARY News reported.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, both the leaders affirmed to enhance trade ties between the two countries and expressed their desire to further strengthen the bonds of friendship. Matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations, regional peace, grave human rights violations and humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir and other issues were came under discussion in the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, President Alvi briefed the Nepalese prime minister on Indian illegal actions in occupied Kashmir. He expressed hope that Nepal will play its role as SAARC chair, for strengthening peace and stability in the region.
-CPEC enters into 2nd phase: Poverty, agriculture, B2B initiatives prime focus: Khusro
Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar Wednesday said the CPEC has now entered into its second phase with focus on poverty alleviation, agriculture and B2B industrial cooperation.
“The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government's economic reform measures will strengthen the country's economy as the investors' confidence is rebounding due to corrective measures," the minister expressed these views while talking to Australian High Commissioner Dr Geoffrey Shaw who called on him on Wednesday. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan was also present in the meeting.
While discussing bilateral relations and foreign investment in various sectors in Pakistan especially in Gwadar, the minister said that ongoing phase of CPEC will bring about socioeconomic benefits for the welfare of the people. He said that CPEC offers enormous potential to boost national economy and reduce poverty.
-Pakistan's Defence Exports have reached USD 212.6 MILLION IN 2018-2019
According to the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production’s (MoDP) “First Year Performance Report,” the country had registered $212.6 million US in defence exports from August 2018 to August 2019.
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) booked the highest value at $184.38 million US, which was followed by Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) at $7.13 million US and Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) at $1.3 million US. In addition, private sector firms booked $19.36 million US in sales.
No additional breakdowns were provided by the MoDP. It is likely that PAC’s exports were fueled by co-production work for FC-1/JF-17 sales to Myanmar and/or Nigeria. Though an agreement was signed with Turkey for the sale of 52 Super Mushshak basic trainers, it is unclear if PAC has started manufacturing these aircraft.
-DRAP to launch countrywide drive against substandard, spurious medicines
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) is launching a countrywide campaign against substandard medicines, the PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza said while addressing the federal and provincial drug inspectors in Islamabad on Thursday.
He said a crackdown is being launched throughout the country to eradicate the menace of unregistered, spurious and sub-standard medicine. In addition to medicine quality, he added, DRAP will also take stern action against violation of fixed prices of medicines.
-Foreign exchange: SBP reserves increase $79m to $7.89b
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 1.14% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.
Earlier, the reserves had spiralled downwards, falling below the $7-billion mark, which raised concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. However, financial assistance from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and other friendly nations helped shore up the foreign exchange reserves.
On October 18, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $7,892.7 million, up $79 million compared with $7,813.7 million in the previous week. The report cited no reason for the increase in reserves, which stood below the $8-billion mark.
-Ease of business: Pakistan up 28 places on World Bank index
Pakistan has jumped up 28 places on the World Bank’s (WB) Ease of Doing Business Index and secured a place among the top 10 countries with the most improved business climate – a development that will greatly improve Islamabad’s image abroad,
Pakistan carried out six reforms that helped improving its ranking from 136 to 108, according to the WB’s annual flagship report, ‘Ease of Doing Business 2020’, released on Thursday. It turned out to be the sixth global reformer and first in South Asia that brought ease in doing business in the last one year.
The fewer are the regulations the better is the ranking on the index. The key to attain perfection is to cut the bureaucracy hindering business activities in the name of various regulations and procedures.
-CM approves Rs 500m for Punjab Housing & Town Planning Agency
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has given approval of Rs 500 million for Punjab Housing & Town Planning Agency. He gave approval while presiding over a high-level meeting at CM Office here on Monday. During the meeting progress on Naya Pakistan Housing Project for low-income persons was reviewed and detailed briefing was also given to the participants on Naya Pakistan Housing strategy.
While addressing the meeting, Usman Buzdar said that obstacles should be removed in order to ensure completion of Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and financial conditions of common man should be kept in mind while chalking out housing policy of the project. All out attention should be paid while constructing small houses in the province, he added. It has also been decided during the meeting to launch rural housing project in 17 model villages.
-KSE 100 gains 204 points amid improved sentiments
The benchmark KSE 100 Index depicted remarkable progress as it gained around 204 points and concluded at 33,861-level.It was a busy start to the week at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) with earnings season hitting its peak, while volumes remained at par with previous weeks’ average.
Biggest single day investment in treasury bills in the previous week of estimated US $87.5 million, increasing total investment to US$440 million since July 2019 was the major rally point in the market sentiments.
The bourse recorded an intraday low of 33,572.36 soon after the commencement of the session. However, after regaining the momentum, the index marked its day’s high at 34,008.35 adding 350.89 points. It settled higher by 204.13 points at 33,861.59. The KMI 30 Index accumulated 386.53 points to settle at 55,155.92, while the KSE All Share Index managed to gain 86.13 points, ending at 24,543.78.
-Sindh to reserve 0.5% job quota for transgender persons
The Sindh Cabinet on Wednesday agreed to reserve 0.5 per cent quota in government jobs for transgender persons. “I want to bring transgender people into the mainstream,” said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah during the cabinet meeting. “We want to make them an asset for our society.”
CM Murad congratulated the transgender community on behalf of the cabinet and advised them to improve their education. Around 41,000 positions are vacant in different government departments across Sindh out of which 206 will be given to transgender people.
A spokesperson from the chief minister’s house stated that out of the 41,000 available jobs 16,000 positions will be filled this fiscal year. Rest of the positions will be filled in the period of next three years.
-Malaysia's Mahathir stands by Kashmir comments despite India palm oil boycott
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday he would not retract his criticism of New Delhi’s actions in occupied Kashmir despite Indian traders calling for an unprecedented boycott of Malaysian palm oil.
The impasse could exacerbate what Mahathir described as a trade war between the world’s second biggest producer and exporter of the commodity and its biggest buyer so far this year.
India’s top vegetable oil trade body on Monday asked its members to stop buying Malaysian palm oil after Mahathir said at the United Nations General Assembly last month that India had “invaded and occupied” Kashmir.
-“World’s two major companies setting up solar panel plants in Pakistan”
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry announced on Monday that the world’s two major solar panel firms will establish their plants in Pakistan. The minister tweeted saying “good news gets lost in political plays, yet I am very happy that the world’s two major companies are setting up solar panel’s plants in Pakistan.”
Chaudhry added that China’s second-largest Lithium battery producer will also set up its workshop in Pakistan. The Lithium battery-powered buses will also be manufactured in Pakistan, the tweet further said. The Minister for Science and Technology was recently on a visit to Beijing where he met various Chinese officials and the country’s business leaders.
-Pakistan Navy organizes free medical camp in Balochistan
Navy organized a free medical camp in the village Dam of Balochistan in collaboration with Sahil and Ulfat welfare foundations. According to the spokesperson of Pakistan Navy, specialist doctors of surgical, medical, skin, gynecology, child and general medically inspected patients at the camp. Over 700 patients were provided with free medical treatment, medicines and ordinary surgical facilities.
-Lahore to get Tram service soon
Citizens of Lahore are getting a modern-day tram service soon, based on the famous British-era tram service. In this regard, the Punjab Transport Department has inked an agreement with CRSC International, a Chinese company specializing in rail transportation control systems, and Inkon Group of the Czech Republic.
The development of the project is divided into several phases. In the first phase, a 35 km track will be constructed on Canal Road, Lahore. Up to 50 trams will run on this track. Once operational, the trams will be able to carry 35,000 passengers in 1 hour. The trams will be powered through electricity and batteries. A single tram will have a service life of around 40 years. 2 tram depots will be constructed at different locations as well.
-10 Pakistani Universities Ranked Among the World’s Best in ‘University Impact Rankings 2019’
Ten Pakistani universities have been ranked among the top universities in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE)’s list. THE is a weekly UK-based magazine that issues its annual list of world’s most influential universities.
The list called ‘University Impact Rankings 2019’ has included 10 Pakistani varsities in different categories, including Gender Equality, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Decent Work, Economic Growth, and others. According to the magazine, the rankings assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
-PM Imran Khan inaugurates China-Hub Power Generation Plant in Balochistan
Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has said that Pakistan is moving forward through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. Addressing inaugural ceremony of China Hub Power Generation Plant in Balochistan, he said this is the first joint project under the CPEC umbrella and he is very happy after inaugurating it.
“The government will facilitate joint collaboration between Pakistani and Chinese businesses in various sectors.”, he said. PM Imran Khan said with the help of coal reserves in Thar, Pakistan can generate huge amount of electricity, which can be enough for at least 100 years.
-Punjab Forest Department develops ‘record keeping’ mechanism
Department of Forest Punjab is managing 1.6 million acres of forest land area – 67 per cent of the entire forest land area in Punjab – under the Geographic Information System (GIS), Pakistan Today learnt reliably on Friday. The program enabled the forests department to ensure sound management and introduce state of the art record-keeping and mapping methods.
‘Development of GIS-Based Forest Management Information System in Punjab’ was approved at PC-1 with a cost of Rs75 million and a gestation period of 36 months (2016-2019) has allowed for transfer of all forest resources and inventories into IT-based inventory systems and achieved extensive field surveys, rapid data collection and its processing for development of the forestry sector on efficient lines.
-Hutchison Port Holdings announces $240m investment in Pakistan
Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed $240 million foreign investment from Hutchison Port Holdings, a Hong Kong-based port operator. A delegation of Hutchison Port Holdings, led by its Group Managing Director Eric Ip, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. Other delegation members included HPH Middle East & Africa Managing Director Andy Tsoi and Middle East & Africa Business Director Eric Ng.
Maritime Affairs Minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Ambassador-at-Large for Foreign Investment Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Haider Gilani were also present on the occasion. Group Managing Director Eric Ip apprised the prime minister of Hutchison’s fresh investment into Pakistan approximating $240 million which will enhance the new container terminal capacity at the Karachi Port, and increase Hutchison Ports’ total investment in Pakistan to $1 billion.
-Punjab's tax collection jumps 44%
Punjab’s tax collection registered a 44% growth to Rs77 billion in first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of previous year, despite tough conditions of the federal government for the provinces to get a share in the federal divisible pool of resources. Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht disclosed this at a review meeting of the Finance Department on Monday.
The meeting was briefed that despite the financial backlog left by the previous government, the current government gave a surplus budget of Rs233 billion in order to meet financial requirements of the federal government to comply with conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme.
-‘SECP recognised as 7th most effective regulator in world’
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has been recognised as the “7th most effective regulator” by the World Economic Forum in its ‘Global Competitiveness Report-2019’.
“Pakistan was ranked as the 52nd most dynamic economy in the world. The country secured this by improving 15 points from last year, as it stood at 67th in 2018,” said a statement issued by Mishal Pakistan, Country Partner at WEF’s Institute of the Future of Economic Progress System Initiative, on Wednesday. “The progress of Pakistan’s competitiveness was due to the achievements made during the last 12 months.”
The most effective improvements were made due to the initiative and strategies adopted by the apex regulator for the corporate sector and the capital markets; supervision and regulation of insurance, non-banking financial companies and private pension schemes. The SECP improved Pakistan’s competitiveness rankings by improving the “number of days to start a business”, where Pakistan was ranked at the 90th position compared with 96th in 2018.
-Pakistan China bilateral trade crosses $19 billion, highest ever in history
Pakistan Ambassador to China , Naghmana Hashmi has said the bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China has now touched US $ 19.08 billion and both countries aimed to raise it further.
“The bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China has now touched US$ 19.08. We aim to raise it further,” Ambassador Hashmi said joint ventures in defence production have led to the manufacture of the MBT 2000 Al-Khalid Tank and JF-17 Thunder, a fighter aircraft. “On the diplomatic front, the two countries are committed to protecting and promoting multilateralism and upholding the United Nations (UN)Charter, while our cooperation has extended to science and technology, socioeconomic sectors and nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes,” she added.
-Foreign Company Agrees to Drop $6 Billion Penalty, Re-Invest in Reko Diq: Reports
The International Center of Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had slapped the country with a $6 billion penalty for revoking the contract without prior knowledge back in 2009. Soon after the development, the Prime Minister had empowered his financial team to contact the executives of the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) to reach an out-of-court settlement and avoid the penalty.
Reportedly, after the Pakistan authority’s approach, the company has not only agreed to take back the penalty but has also agreed to invest in the project again. As per media reports, PM Imran Khan contacted the TCC management and discussed the prospects of the matter. He assured the company his full support if they wanted to revise the investment plan for the project. The company will reportedly withdraw its appeal from the ICSID, while Pakistan will compensate for their damages due to the cancelation of the contract.
-Current account deficit shrinks massive 64pc
The country’s current account deficit (cad) in the first quarter of current fiscal year declined by a huge 64 per cent mainly on the back of a 21pc reduction in the imports bill.
The State Bank’s latest data issued on Friday showed the current account deficit for July-September FY20 clocked in at $1.548 billion compared to $4.287bn in the same period last fiscal year; a decline of $2.739bn.
The reduced current account deficit is a positive omen for the government, which is struggling with slow economic growth and high inflation. However, despite massive decline in rupee’s value, the country’s exports have failed to register any noticeable increase during the period.
-Food imports down 24pc, exports up 14pc in Q1 FY20
Food group imports into the country during the first quarter of the current financial year (July-Sept 2019-20) decreased considerably by 24.7pc, whereas exports increased by 13.98pc compared with the corresponding period of last year.
The import of food commodities into the country during the period under review came down from $1.45 billion to $1 billion, whereas the exports increased from $864 million to $984.7 million, according to latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
-Chinese Smartphone Company Realme to build mobile phone manufacturing factory in Pakistan
Chinese company Realme's Director of Marketing in Pakistan Mr He Shunzi in an interview disclosed that Realme is planning to set up the mobile phone manufacturing factory in Pakistan. He told that company is inspecting locations in Islamabad, Peshawar, and Faisalabad Industrial Estate for suitable land. Pakistani mobile market offers guaranteed capital as Realme ranked top five android brands in Pakistan in less than nine months, capturing 8% of total market share, he added.
-Chinese Coal Giant Wants to Convert Thar’s Coal to Diesel
China’s Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group will help convert Thar’s coal into oil and the talks between the two parties are underway. The Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group is a subsidiary of China’s biggest coal producer, the Shenhua Group and the company already has the world’s largest plant for converting coal into diesel, with an annual production capacity of 4 million tons in Ningxia in its portfolio.
The agreement, if signed, will be a ‘game-changer’ for Pakistan, believes Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, who accompanied Imran Khan on his recent visit to China. The Pakistani delegation held talks with the Shenhua Group during the trip:
-In a positive development, Pakistan projected among top 20 rising economic growth engines of the World
Pakistan projected among 20 top rising economic growth engines of the World that would dominate the global growth in next 5 years. Pakistan has been projected as one of 20 countries that will dominate global growth in five years time in 2024, an assessment made by Bloomberg using data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
-In a positive development, Pakistan textile exports register increase
Textile exports from the country increased by 2.95pc during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (July-Sept FY20) compared with the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. The textile exports during the period under review were recorded at $3,371.974 million as against the exports of $3,275.303 million during July-September 2018-19, according to latest data by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The textile commodities that contributed to the positive growth included raw cotton, exports of which grew by 53.65pc, from $7.047 million to $10.828 million. Similarly, the exports of yarn (other than cotton yarn) increased by 21.95pc, from $7.759 million last year to $9.462 million, while that of knitwear surged by 11.14pc, from $701.393 million to $779.548 million.
-Kartarpur Corridor will open to public on November 9: PM Imran
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that Pakistan will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9. The premier’s announcement came via a Facebook post in which he said that construction work on the Pakistani side had entered the final stage. “Pakistan is all set to open its doors for Sikhs from all across the globe,” he wrote. “World’s largest Gurdwara will be visited by Sikhs from across India and other parts of the world,” he said.
-'$1.2b penalty in Karkey case likely to be waived'
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and senior lawyer Babar Awan has said that the $1.2 billion penalty that Pakistan has to pay to Turkey’s Karkey rental power plant is likely to be waived.
“International institutions, through high-level backdoor contacts, have agreed to waive off the penalty. This is very good news for Pakistan,” said Awan while addressing the media on Friday. “International institutions have shown their trust in Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he added.
-Punjab Govt to Introduce a Unified Tax Collection System
Punjab government is contemplating the introduction of a unified tax collection system in the province. The unified system will streamline the tax collection process and facilitate the taxpayers. At the moment, Punjab Revenue Department, Excise and Taxation Department, and local administrations collect taxes in Punjab. On Sunday, Finance Minister of Punjab, Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, headed a meeting of Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA). Bakht said that a special tax management unit will be set up at the Punjab finance department that will unify tax collection all across the country.
-PM To Launch Clean Green Pakistan Index for Multiple Cities
Prime Minister’s Adviser on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, said that Imran Khan will launch the Clean Green Pakistan Index (CGPI) at a grand launching ceremony on October 30. The initiative is aimed at introducing competition among cities on various indicators, including public access to clean drinking water, safe sanitation, effective solid waste management, and tree plantation.
The prime minister will announce a six-month competition among 19 cities of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, he added. The adviser said that after six months, these cities will be ranked again and those with prominent progress will be rewarded with special federal and provincial government funds and more cities will be joining the competition.
-PM Khan Will Lay The Foundation of Baba Guru Nanak University on Oct. 28
Prime Minister Imran Khan is going to lay the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University on October 28. The establishment of this university in Nankana Sahib was announced earlier this year when PM Khan was in the town for a Spring Tree Plantation Campaign.
-Sindh govt invites bids for Dhabeji SEZ
The Sindh government has launched the well-connected Dhabeji Special Economic Zone in district Thatta near Port Qasim, according to a statement issued on Monday. In this connection, the Sindh Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC), being the provincial SEZ custodian, has invited proposals for the development and operation of Dhabeji project through an advertisement published in leading national and international newspapers.
Dhabeji SEZ was highlighted in the recent meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Joint Working Group on Industrial Cooperation. The senior officials of China’s National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC) appreciated the Sindh government on the progress made so far. The Sindh government launched the project through an international competitive bidding process as a build-up to the upcoming 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting between China and Pakistan, which would be held next month.
-Rice exports surge 51pc in first quarter FY20
Rice exports from the country during the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20 grew by 50.76pc as compared to the corresponding period last year. During the July-September period, about 839,356 metric tonnes of rice, worth $470.584 million, were exported as compared the exports of 551.5,86 metric tonnes, valuing $312.147 million, during the same period of FY19.
According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the exports of basmati rice increased by 47.29pc, as 212,873 metric tonnes of basmati rice ($194.669 million) were exported during the first quarter of FY20, as compared the 127,669 metric tonnes ($132.166 million) in the same period of last year. Meanwhile, 34,090 metric tonnes of fish and fish preparations worth $79.549 million were also exported in the period under review as compared to the exports of 25,859 metric tonnes valuing $67.294 million during the same period of last year.
submitted by FashBasher1 to pakistan [link] [comments]

I hate living in Israel

I moved to Israel six years ago.
How that happened:
I am Jewish (you probably guessed) and bought into the idea that it is our ancestral homeland.
After being taken on one of those free two weeks tours, I became captivated by the country and planned to move there. It took a few years of planning for that wish to come to fruition.
To be honest, I still believe in Jewish people's right to be here and that a Jewish country is the only natural environment for a Jew (particularly an observant one) to live in. I just happen not to like the one country that fits that criteria very much, or many of its citizens - and that also happens to be the country I live in!
I also believe that is Israel's responsibility to help realize a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian "problem". In my view, that is not reconcilable with endlessly occupying the land they live on and subjecting them to military law. But that aside...
The Israel I visited as a tourist and the Israel I live in as a citizen are like two completely countries. So much so that if I were a conspiracy theorist (I am not!), I would practically believe the whole thing was an illusion.

Manners (Or Lack Thereof)

For whatever reason, manners are virtually absent here.
The stereotypes are 100% true.
Maybe I missed that earlier? I'm not sure, because some people with parents who were born here have told me that people have become ruder and more aggressive over the years. I tend to believe it.
You buy stuff in the market and shopkeepers just glare at you and slam your change on the counter without even bothering to say "thank you".
I feel like if someone tried that in NYC they might be asking for a fight!
Not a single person in my building knows how to close their door. My table jars every few minutes from the vibration of people slamming their doors.
People play music at all hours. And blare private conversations over their phone's loudspeakers because they can't be bothered bringing the handset to their ears. This varies a little by city (Tel Aviv is slightly more refined), but in general the culture is incredibly inconsiderate. Shouting is very commonplace (of course, it's just a "friendly argument"), honking on the roads is incessant, and people are too inpatient and inconsiderate to be able to form a queue. People will push grandmothers out of the way to get on a bus sooner. If it weren't sad, it would be funny.
Social cohesion is sorely lacking, IMO, as evidenced by the massive amount of splinter and minority parties that form before every election.
Everybody is in a tribe or, if not, an "enemy" (read: an Arab).
The sad and blunt truth is that it's a crude, racist society that even has a problem with some of its own (see: treatment of Ethiopian Jews).
(BTW, this is something that gets discussed a lot among Jews that voluntarily move here. People come up with all manner of BS excuses to justify it. "It's directness." No, it's atrocious manners. "There are no words for basic courtesies in Hebrew". Yes, there are - open a dictionary! "It's Middle Eastern". Travel to Egypt and Jordan. People have manners there. Unfortunately, most people that have negative things to say about the country get silenced by the aggressive "nothing can be wrong here" brigade.)

Prices

Prices are insanely high and, as far as I can tell, the situation is only getting worse.
Generally, those prices are for crappy products imported from China and heavily marked up. Or the local stuff sold by a company that is part of an oligopoly and would never survive in a free market environment. Customer service is almost non-existent - or at least, has the local twist which is "the customer is always wrong". And of course - those wonderful overpriced products and services are sold to you by often rude ungrateful people.
Working here also flat out sucks, IMO.
The world has bought into the myth that Israel is a land of amazing startups where everybody is swimming in opportunity.
The reality is that more than 90% of the economy is employed in protectionist dysfunctional companies and Israel has one of the lowest per-capita productivity rates in the OECD (feel free to check the numbers - it's late at night here and I'm trying not to lose the 'flow' of this). It's capitalism with all the benefits taken out. The socialist/kibbutznik backbone that formed the society is dead. Income inequality, as measured by the Geni coefficient, is among the highest in the world.
If you're not a Java developer or help run one of the ports (don't ask - monopoly!) you can expect to be paid a salary roughly a third lower than the West - while living in one of the most expensive countries in the world. A good chunk of immigrants here are employed in scam industries, including (but not limited to) binary, forex, and other international "scams." They attempted to regulate these, but due to corruption and cronyism, largely failed. Just as they attempted to pass a fair rental law which had about the same result.
To add insult to injury ****, Israelis are C-H-E-A-P***\* in my opinion (given the pejorative Jewish-money stereotypes, I realize that this is something that would be problematic/difficult for a non-Jew to assert).
You see this in the workplace. You're expected to work like a slave while your miserly employer tries his best haggling skills to pay you as little as possible. Unsurprisingly, Israelis founded Fiverr and have proven very eager exponents of the offshoring model, where they can find people willing to work for even less than olim hadashim (Jewish immigrants). Israelis love bargaining and will treat anything that involves money as a game whereby they attempt to keep as much of it as possible.
In terms of conditions - the minimum number of vacation days are 12 while the working week is 45 hours. Again, for pretty miserable salaries. Public holidays, which are relatively few, do not roll over if they fall out on a weekend. In general, a cultural of professionalism is sorely lacking. My strongly held opinion is that the best have already left.
Also: a bunch of Israelis sponge off their families until well over their forties. The country is also awash with Jewish immigrants who mysteriously seem to survive despite never having held a job in their life. The explanation? Their familiar are sponsoring them.

Religious Coercion / Weekends

Because of the Jewish Sabbath (during which public transport does not run; shops start closing half-way through Friday), you never even really feel like you've had a proper weekend.
Property is the worst of all. Astronomically expensive.
Taxes on new cars are almost 100% so almost everybody drives beat-up second hand ones, if they have one at all (it's considered a luxury). And the standards of housing - from anybody comparing it to the West - is relatively abysmal. There's a great Facebook page with some photos of the worst rentals on the market. Even if you don't read Hebrew, just take a look at some of the photos.
The first generations that came here have done a nice job at monopolizing large segments of the market and housing stock so are well taken care of.
For virtually anybody else, their future is renting (from rude slumlords!)
Hotel prices are also outrageous, and there's the added insult of having to pay more for rooms if you're from the country. People here literally fly to Europe because it's cheaper than staycationing in this ripoff!
Want to console yourself about that with a nice mango? Even fruit here has become expensive recently. The only thing that's cheaper here than the West is healthcare and public transport. It's a great country to be on the breadline in. To thrive financially? Not so much.

Politics

The public endlessly votes for a lying, corrupt prime minister who has just let the parliament dissolve in his pathetic bid to avoid fraud charges.
The country is apparently rapidly descending into a religious dictatorship and nobody seems to care - yet it still has the nerve to call itself "the only democracy in the Middle East."
The school system is failing and a segment of the population which doesn't work or paid taxes (the ultra-Orthodox) have somehow wound up in the position where they pull all the political strings.
People, for a reason I can never understand, generally seem to simply accept the status quo.
They are content with simply surviving and not being obliterated by Iran/Hamas/Hizbullah. As someone that didn't grow up in that security environment, this seems baffling to me. I feel like grabbing hold of one of Netanyahu's voters and asking him/her "That's truly all you aspire towards?"
The most that happens is some journalist (automatically branded a "leftist" by the right-wing majority) writes some article in the Opinion section of Ha'aretz. The last time people got out on the street to protest in significant numbers was years ago (remember the cottage cheese protests?). In Greece, the riot police get called out to put down mass protests. Here, people are happy to simply survive (sort of).
Why does the average person here vote for Netanyahu?
You know, because things are so great here and some third-world tycoon has been to visit (this is advertised as "unprecedented diplomatic achievements.").
Oh, and the economy has "never been stronger" (even though the country also has an enormous poverty problem and many people are struggling to simply get by).
I have a bad habit of checking Google News every few hours.
Reading those articles just makes me angry.
But it's really nothing more than a reflection of how people are on the street.
Rude. Aggressive. Argumentative. Demanding. Always in the fricking right. Also locals here literally never apologize for anything (that would be considered too "weak" to fit in with the local culture).
There's also this weird fetish with strength and the military here that I find disturbing. You see it in slang a lot (an "explosion" also means a good thing, like "that party was an explosion" is an idiom for "that party was a great time").
Being human (such as letting somebody cut ahead of you in line at the supermarket because they only have a couple of items) is branded as "weakness" and frowned upon. As is having manners. To be honest, I believe that the culture here is best described as "sick".
Israel has made me feel like an old man, even though I'm far from that.
All I want, at this point, is a basic quality of life.
Things like a non-minuscule apartment in which to live. Decent professional opportunities that don't involve working for some (usually shady) startup simply trying to use my English to get some investor to pump money into them so they can offshore everything to the US. The possibility of a week's vacation in somewhere that isn't a dingy ripoff staffed by rude people! And to hear somebody say "thank you, have a nice day" when I buy an apple from them!
I travel abroad a couple of times a year and usually feel like I've stepped into another planet. It's like somebody is dispersing a fine mist of Valium from the air. Hard to put my finger on it but people just seem kind of sedate and relaxed!
People are less direct (I'll admit, I actually like the directness here!), but know basic manners, everything isn't overpriced, and people enjoy a real weekend! You can order stuff from Amazon and it actually arrives on time! Somehow, there's no shouting! People know how to actually form a line! You don't have to stand up for yourself simply to not be pushed over!
I'm planning my escape (among other things), but I have to hold this in every day until I get out. I don't feel comfortable telling this to my friends (I rebrand it as "I'm finding it difficult here" without going into details) and I can't exactly broadcast my feelings to the average person on the street.
The truth is that I'm not as miserable as I sound.
I've been doing some self-work recently just to cope with living here. Stress and all that.
My mindset has taken a shift to the positive. And I'm really grateful by how much it has helped.
But it doesn't make living here any less distasteful and actually made me much more inclined to write this here (why wouldn't I tell the world like it is - at least as I see it?).
BTW, I'm a real Reddit user but, because I'm paranoid about privacy, I set up a new account just to write this post.
So thank you, Reddit, for giving me the chance to put this into writing!
If you're also living, or have lived here, feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments.
And if you haven't and are considering doing so, please take everything you have read and heard about the country with a pinch (actually, make that the entire carton-full) of salt!

Some Links / Further Reading:

submitted by unhappyoleh to offmychest [link] [comments]

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