Popular Articles

The economic situation is significantly worse in Portland than it is in Israel

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

The destructive violence of radical Marxists in Portland erupted once again in November, just before the city and state began to relax various pandemic restrictions. (Photo: Real View News)

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

A couple of weeks ago, for the first time since the pandemic began, I flew from Tel Aviv to Portland, Oregon in the United States of America. This comes as America just announced that they would permit vaccinated foreigners to enter the United States, after the borders were closed for quite some time to non-American citizens.   

From the moment I prepared to board the plane, I sensed that Portland and America had changed drastically since my last visit. These feelings began the night before my flight, when I had to check in on the United Airlines application. It was at that moment I was warned that throughout the 11-hour flight between Tel Aviv and Chicago, and then for four hours between Chicago and Portland, I would not be able to remove my mask even in-between bites of food.

When I heard that, I knew immediately that it would be unpleasant to eat on the plane, so I decided that I would not eat on the plane. What I did was eat a gigantic meal at Ben-Gurion International Airport, take a snack at Chicago O’Hare Airport and then eat a huge meal in Portland, just so I could eat like a human being and not have to put on a mask in-between my food. As one could imagine, I arrived in Portland completely famished.  

It is true that things were a bit laxer on the plane in practice than they were on paper. While the United Airlines application made these fierce warnings, the pilot said only that we had to wear a mask when we were not eating, which was consistent with the directives I got when I flew to Azerbaijan earlier this year. However, when I heard that mask violations on airplanes were considered a violation of federal law, I decided it was better to play it safe than sorry. After all, the last thing I needed was to get kicked off the plane. So, I just slept the whole way over, with a mask covering my nose and mouth, and sleep goggles covering my eyes.  

Upon my arrival in the United States, I was completely and utterly shocked how much the city had changed since the last time I visited Portland before the pandemic. For starters, the mask requirement in this Pacific Northwestern city is much stricter than it is in Netanya, Israel. While for quite some time I have been mask-free while entering the elevator and lobby in my apartment building, this is not the case in Portland, where everyone must also wear a mask even in the elevator, laundry room and lobby of their apartment building. Furthermore, when visiting restaurants, I had to put on a mask not only when I entered, but also when I left my seat to go to the restroom. In Israel, they are not that strict with masks inside of restaurants.

I discovered also that everyone must also wear a mask inside of gyms, when in Israel, no one wears a mask when they work out in a gym; performers on stage in theaters and concert halls must wear masks, unlike in Israel, where only the audience. Only recently did Oregon lift the mandate that everyone must wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings, when Israel never had such requirements since 2020. 

Everywhere I went, I also saw signs telling people to wash their hands for 20 seconds, something that I did not see so much of in the State of Israel. Every time I went to the theater or the cinema, they checked to see if I was vaccinated, exactly like they do in Israel, and they accepted Israeli vaccination certification. However, no one bothered to check if one is vaccinated before entering a restaurant or even domestic flights in the US. Thus, even if a city like Portland manages to get a high rate of vaccination, people from other cities who aren’t vaccinated can easily fly into those cities.

Get thej.ca a Pro Israel Voice by Email. Never miss a top story that effects you, your family & your community

The economic situation is significantly worse in Portland than it is in Israel. For block after block, I saw stores that went out of business. Their windows were boarded up, as if rioters had broken the windows or the owners feared that they would, and graffiti covered the area in many places. Certain areas of the city were overrun with homeless people living in tents and crime in the city has skyrocketed. In many areas, it is not safe to walk alone, and carjacking is a major problem in the city, alongside other forms of robbery. 

The fact that the city is known to be the Antifa capital of America has not helped this in the slightest.   In fact, during the pandemic, there was massive rioting in Portland led by Antifa, which led to an arson attack outside the mayor’s home and in the Portland Courthouse. Prominent American journalist Andy Ngo, a native of Portland, was assaulted by Antifa when he tried to expose their crimes.  

This general atmosphere has adversely affected the local Jewish community. Earlier this year, several Israeli restaurants were vandalized with “Free Palestine” graffiti in Portland. Another vegan restaurant proudly holstered a “Free Palestine” sign outside, as if being anti-Israel helped animal rights. 

A Jewish student at Portland State University told me that the school curriculum relegates Jews to being “privileged whites,” who should not be defended: “Everything is relegated to race.  Everything is black and white. Marxist curriculum is quite common. We also had a Chinese professor, who was authoritarian and encouraging that mentality on campus.” This student added that Israel is a taboo topic in the city and therefore, he refrains from discussing anything Jewish with his friends.

A local Jewish resident of Portland claims that most of the synagogues in the city are still meeting over zoom and not in person; one is Beth Israel Congregation, the local Reform Synagogue. As the city becomes run down, the joys of everyday life have been drastically reduced.  The resident added, “Had I known that the city would be overrun with run-down shops that look like a war zone, graffiti and homeless people, I would have never made my retirement home in Portland.”

The city is very rich in gardens, parks and forests, and is in close proximity to a number of beautiful mountains and the Pacific Ocean, for which “during the lockdowns, I was very grateful for these green spaces,” I was told.  “I could go out and get exercise in the forests, without anyone else being there.  This gave me mental peace and solace during these difficult times.”  

However, this same local resident noted that at the same time, there are certain areas of the state that remain largely unvaccinated, and these people block the residents of the city from creating a post-pandemic reality for themselves, like Israel has managed to do.

(Editor’s note: Oregonians no longer must wear masks in public outdoor settings, state health officials said this week. Oregon was the only state mandating masks in all public outdoor settings where distancing isn’t possible, and is one of only five states with a statewide indoor mask mandate, according to The New York Times.)      

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings at the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”  

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

Politics

Religion

Culture

Memoriam and Obituaries

PodcastS

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Previous
Next