Israel is portrayed in an extremely flat, one-sided and negative way throughout mainstream media.
Because of this, it’s easy to get lost in stereotypes, politics, and prejudices.. and too easy to forget the humanity of the people living there. Contrary to what your TV or the AP shows you, Israel is not composed solely of rockets and soldiers. Grandmothers, children, hipsters, liberals, art students, and every other type of person you can imagine lives in Israel.
While I loved the food of Israel, and the beautiful sights, my favorite part about Israel is the people. That (almost) everyone speaks English makes it even easier to get to know them. And you should! Israelis tend to be well-educated, incredibly well-traveled, and super friendly. They are patriotic, family-oriented, innovative… and excellent cooks! I can’t wait to go back.
I interviewed several Israelis as part of this ongoing series through the end of June, to share their vision of Israel (positives AND negatives) in their own words.
We are flooded with opinions about Israel through the viewpoints of outsiders, but now you can learn just a bit about the country from its own people, about an Israeli’s Israel.
The following answers are provided by a 20-year old Israeli guy who is from Haifa. He finished his military service and is looking forward to doing some world traveling after working and saving up some money.
His opinions aren’t reflective of the opinions of every Israeli – but they provide insight into a nation that is so much more than is shown on the news.
Could you describe your city in 3 phrases?
close to everything
Could you describe Israel in 3 words?
Israel or Israelis? because that’s two different question!
enthusiastic (some might say feisty)
What do you think the biggest misconception about Israel is? And the biggest misconception about Israelis?
I think most people just think they know better then us what Israel is doing wrong but they just don’t get how complicated it is.
Why should people visit Israel, and what is important for them to do, see, or experience while they are there?
I think the most beautiful thing about Israel is the variety of everything. From food to people, history and view.. I think you can see and feel it the most in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. People should visit Israel because its fun and unique. I have lived here my entire life and I still learn new things about our history. There are so many beautiful places to see like the Golan and Ramon Crater and unique places like the Dead Sea and Baha’i Gardens and the Old City in Jerusalem.
What do you like (and dislike) about your country?
I love many things in my country, I love our culture the most i think.. We celebrate our history and our beliefs on any possible occasion.
I dislike the winters here.. Where i live (in the center of Israel) there is never snow.. so its just wet and cold and we don’t really know how to handle winter so many times the roads are flooded and in the seldom occasions when it does snow the entire city is shut down (watch out if you visit high places like Jerusalem during the winter..)
What is incredible about Israel?
The most incredible thing in Israel is the way everything is so close.. in less then 8 hours you can drive from one corner to other and probably most of the way back ( that depends on traffic of course ) and in this tiny country there is still so much to see..
More interviews available by clicking here
Questions about Israel? Email them to Steph or ask anonymously here. Israel Q+A to be published on June 30 – there’s still time to get your questions in and published as long as you submit before June 29 at 11:00pm (EST)!