Monday, October 01, 2007

Driving to Win

Ha’aretz and Channel 10 did a video piece on Israelis living in America.

It interviewed a number of Israelis that live in Israeli enclaves and as much as they all said they are in America temporarily and for just a short period of time… they all seemed quite happy in their “golden prison” as one called it, and after years in America, they clearly weren’t in any rush to leave.

What I found most disturbing was when they interviewed some Israeli academics at Stanford University. They spoke the truth. They were describing how easy it was to succeed in the academic world in the US as opposed to Israel. As she was talking about the availability of jobs in your field, I got the impression that she was talking about the whole academic atmosphere (lack of strikes, laid back atmosphere, etc.).

What is disturbing is how true it is.

Why does it have to be so difficult in Israel? Why does everything seem like an uphill battle?

Is there a lack of business connections? Is it the limited resources? Doing business with large organizations, the most common phrase I hear is that there is no budget available for their department (despite the amount of money flowing through their organizations).

Does the Israeli atmosphere of sink or swim (it’s you or it’s the person next to you) override the understanding that cooperation is often more necessary for success, than beating down your neighbor?

Is that why when driving down the street you often feel that you are on a racetrack – that the person swerving back and forth in front of you is driving to win, and not driving to reach his destination?

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

4 comments:

Batya said...

Hey, j, just compare populations...

Anonymous said...

Hey, I grew up in Southern California--I think it has to do with the size of the population compared to the size of the land one is living in. It adds to the stress level.

I've heard there are Jews who are now leaving Israel and returning to Germany. I don't get it. Could someone explain that? (Or maybe it's for the same reason they are moving to America--but Germany???)

Shmilda said...

This is good according to my old theory that Israel's problems would be much reduced if the population was mainly olim rather than sabras. If many Israelis come to the US for a couple of generations, many Americans (or Anglos) make aliya, and then switch-off every 50 years, "the understanding that cooperation is often more necessary for success, than beating down your neighbor" would come naturally.

(and a side point: Sabras are another good American oleh, native to Texas, not to Israel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opuntia)

FC said...

Academia is one of the least productive and most corrupt sectors in any country. America has much more money to waste on its universities, so professors are paid more for working less.

I say anyone who wants to leave Israel to be a parasite is welcome to it.

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