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 29-year old Israeli guy who lives in Tel Aviv. He’s traveled throughout Israel in addition to visiting almost 20 countries on several continents.
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 words?
Tel Aviv is:
Could you describe Israel in 3 words?
What do you think the biggest misconception about Israel is? And the biggest misconception about Israelis?
That it’s an unsafe place; and that Israelis are racists or haters.
Why should people visit Israel, and what is important for them to do, see, or experience while they are there?
It’s a mixture of cultures from both Europe and Arab countries such as Western Asia and North Africa, which can be seen anywhere, from the streets, the food, the ways people behave, etc.
People are very warm, kind and helpful, and we speak good English usually.
The weather is very comfortable most of the year, there are some nice attractions which can be seen in short time because the country is rather small, and it’s a very safe place
(For example, even a girl could walk alone at night in most of the places without being harassed).
Tel Aviv should not be missed for it’s experience, it’s very alive all the time, in each moment, something is happening.
People are different, and it’s nice to explore and meet unexpected people/events.
Jerusalem is a very pretty city, mixed with Jews (religious and non religious), Muslims, and many more, which makes it a very interesting city as well. Great food is everywhere. Good vibes on the street of big cities (Tel Aviv mainly actually).
What do you like (and dislike) about your country?
Like: People are helpful, best street food I’ve tried (as mentioned), safety, diversity.
Dislike: the wars every “here and then”, which isn’t a nice feeling to have one, and that it’s quite expensive.
Also things here never get done right, there’s always a feeling that everywhere around people are “taking shortcuts” and everything is made wrong and without the proper attention. Also, conmen (like everywhere) – this type of people you should be aware of.
What is incredible about Israel?
The culture, the feeling walking in the street and making connection to people. different from any place I’ve been.
More interviews available June 25 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)!