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Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Israeli Good Life (Another View)

Here is an interesting article from Yosef Lapid from the Jerusalem Post regarding the realities of life in Israel compared to what is seen on television.

(Jerusalem Post) In order to describe the situation in Israel as it enters its 60th year we need a number of Greek words: dichotomy, schizophrenia, paranoia. From reading the newspapers, listening to the radio and watching television, I understand that everything here is falling apart, that Israel is the failure of the Zionist vision, that our government is corrupt, the army is rusty, the education system is in shambles and our health system is ill.

But when I go out into the street I encounter an entirely different country. I see that people are well-dressed, children are chattering away on their mobile phones, homes are being renovated. I see new cars, half the population traveling on holidays, some to the north and others to the more distant north. I see that the caf s are filled to overflowing, the nightclubs are humming, art is flourishing, the beach is teaming.

Life is good here.

I remember when I first visited Israel how shocked I was at how--safe and modern the Jewish state was. Before visiting the Holy Land, my perception of Israel was pretty much shaped by CNN, NBC and the general media.

I expected to see a land heavily influenced by the worries of war, death and everything that makes one frown in life. Instead I met happy, healthy, hyper (at least everyone who was not eighty years old) people, celebrating life to the fullest and engaging me to join the fun.

Since then those memories have permeated my mind regarding Israel, and it made me sad that most of the world only saw what looked good in front of the camera. There is so much more to Israeli life than what will fit on a TV screen, and hopefully more of the west (particularly America) will become familiar with that side, as they are missing out on some of the best aspects regarding Israel.

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