What Is So Great About Israel? by Steven Plaut April 29, 2004 http://www.israelnn.com/article.php3?

id=3608 Israeli Independence Day is just behind us. We spend so much time on the mindless, self-destructive, insane side of Israel that we may tend to forget the positive aspects of life in Israel. And there are ever so many of those. Here is a small list of some of my favorite things about life in here: 1. Israel is the only country in the world where people can read the Bible and understand it. 2. Israel is the only country in the world where, if someone calls you a "dirty Jew", it means you need a bath (old Efraim Kishon quip, but still good). 3. Israel is the only country in the world where formal dress means a new clean T-shirt, sandals and jeans. 4. Israel is the only country in the world where one need not check the ingredients on the products in the supermarket to avoid ending up with things containing pork. 5. Israel is a country where the same drivers who cuss you and flip you the bird will immediately pull over and offer you all forms of help if you look like you need it. 6. Israel is the only country in the world with Avihu Medina, Zohar Argov and Daklon (godfathers of "Oriental Music"). 7. Israel is the only country in the world with bus drivers and taxi drivers who read Spinoza and Maimonides. 8. Israel is the only country in the world where you dare not gossip about other people on the bus in Mandarin, Russian, Hindi, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Polish or Romanian, lest others on the bus understand what you are saying. 9. Israel is the only country in the world with northern European standards of living and southern European weather. It is the only place on earth with an Israeli spring, the most glorious time of year on the planet. 10. Israel is the only country in the world where no one cares what rules say when an important goal can be achieved by bending them. 11. Israel is the only country in the world where a pisher like me can once in a while get invited to give a talk at the parliament, or can get in to speak to a cabinet minister. 12. Israel is the only country in the world where reservists are bossed around and commanded by officers, male and female, younger than their own children.

16. angry debate over politics and religion. 22. and where olives are a food and even a main course in a meal. 26. Israel is the only country in the world with Eli Yatzpan (comedian). during which almost everyone attends a book fair and buys books. 23. Israel is the only country in the world where the leading writers in the country take buses. but still good). where people listen to news updates every half hour. 17. Israel is the only country in the world where the "black folks" walking around all wear yarmulkes. Israel is the only country in the world where the mothers learn their mother tongue from their children (old Efraim Kishon quip. Israel is the only country in the world where the ultra-Orthodox Jews beat up the police and not the other way around. Israel is the only country in the world that has a National Book Week. they are referring to the time of Jesus. rather than something one tosses into a martini. Israel is the only country in the world where "small talk" consists of loud. Israel is the only country in the world whose soldiers eat three salads a day. 15. Israel is the only country in the world where. Israel is the only country in the world where inviting . 27. even if Israeli leftists would like to turn it over to the barbarians. none of which contain any lettuce. Israel is one of the few places in the world where the sun sets into the Mediterranean Sea. 14. when people say the "modern later era". 21. 28. Israel is the only country in the world with Jerusalem. Israel is the only country in the world where the graffiti is in Hebrew. Israel is the only country in the world where the news is broadcast over the loudspeakers on buses. 25. 18. Israel is the only country in the world where the people understand Israeli humor. 20. 19. 29. Israel is the only country in the world where the coffee is already so good that Starbucks went bankrupt trying to break into the local market. 24. Israel is the only country in the world where one is unlikely to be able to dig a cellar without hitting ancient archeological artifacts. or whose people are capable of locating Bosnia on a map of the world.13.

Israel is the only country in the world with white almond blossoms in January. Israel is the only country in the world where bank robbers kiss the mezuzah as they leave with their loot. 40. Israel is the only country in the world where hot water is an event and not a condition ("in" joke. Israel is one of the few countries in the world that truly likes and admires the United States. 44. 39. 32. 43. 30. 35. Israel is the only country in the world where no one has a foreign accent because everyone has a foreign accent. Israel is the only country in the world with "Eretz Yisrael music". Israel is the only country in the world that has the weather of California without the earthquakes. 31. 45. Israel is the only country in the world where people call an attache case a "James Bond" and the "@" sign is called a "strudel". Israel is the only country in the world where people who want to go up in an elevator push the down button because they think this makes the elevator come down to get them. In many cases. Israel is the only country in the world where people choose which books to read and which plays to see based on what they plan to discuss with their friends in Friday evening "salon" get-togethers. they also get to know the pilot and all about his health or marital problems. you have to live in Israel to figure it out). Israel is the only country in the world where everyone strikes up conversations while waiting in lines.someone "out for a drink" means drinking cola or coffee. Krembos. and crocus flowers in October. 42. 36. purple "Judas Tree" blossoms in March. Israel is the only country in the world where patients visiting physicians end up giving the doctor advice. 38. Israel is the only country in the world that introduces applications of high-tech gadgets and devices. 37. . years ahead of the United States and decades ahead of Europe. such as printers in banks that print out your statement on demand. 33. Israel is the only country in the world where everyone on a flight gets to know one another before the plane lands. 41. Israel is the only country in the world where people cuss using dirty words in Russian or Arabic because Hebrew has never developed them. 34.

49. 50. 53. screaming "watermelon on the knife". 52. Memorial Day in Israel is actually a day for remembering and not for buying pool furniture at the mall. . Israel is the only country in the world where making a call to God is a local call (old quip. 47. whatever that means. Really. kids can really sleep in a succah because it will not rain on them. The obsession with sunflower seeds. The people who eat watermelon with salt or with salty cheese. 56. Hyssop (za'atar). really good bread! 54. which cannot be explained unless you have experienced it. The kumzitz on the beach. Israel is the only country in the world where kids read Harry Potter in Hebrew. still good). The wagons with horses that still sell watermelons on the streets. 48.46. Kumquats. 51. Israel is the only country in the world where there is the most mysterious and mystical calm ambience in the streets on Yom Kippur. 55. In Israel.

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