It has been just over a month since we Israelis celebrated Yom Ha'atzmaut, the birth of our country sixty-seven years ago. Every year there are speeches coming from anyone and everyone who can get their hands on a microphone. Good or bad, someone always has something to say~which is generally forgotten after the event. Sometimes, however, there are articles that are worth reviewing regardless of the time of year.
When Israel "turned 60" many wrote stories and articles for the magazines and papers both on and off line. In my opinion, one of the best was from Ephraim Kishon (23 August 1924 ~ 29 January 2005) who wrote a weekly column in Maariv, a mainstream, Hebrew-language newspaper. Mr. Kishon, was a talented and interesting man. His life story is worth reading. I believe that, in this article, he has truly described "Israel and Israelis" in a nutshell...Enjoy!
This is Israel!
This is the only country where the unemployed strike;
This is the only country where sixty year olds still hate their tironut commander;
This is the only country where the corporals' mother has the commander's telephone number;
This is the only country that has a communications satellite, but nobody lets you finish a sentence;
This is the only country hit by missiles from Iraq, Katushas from Lebanon, suicide bombers from Gaza and rockets from Syria~and still a three-room apartment costs more than in Paris;
This is the only country where an Israeli meal is made from an Arab salad, Romanian kebabs, Iraqi pita bread and Bavarian mousse. We must like eating ant-Semitics!
This is the only country where the guy with the open and stained shirt is the honourable minister and the guy beside him wearing the suit and tie is his driver;
This is the only country where the phrase "I don't interfere" means that I want to interfere;
This is the only country where Muslims sell sacred souvenirs to Christians in exchange for bills that have the Rambam's face on them;
This is the only country where, at the age of eighteen you leave home but at twenty-four you still live with your parents;
This is the only country where people who come to your home for the first time ask you if it's OK to go and take something from the fridge;
This is the only country where you can tell what the security situation is from the songs that are being played on the radio;
This is the only country where the rich are on the socialist left, the poor on the capitalist right and the middle-class pays for everything;
This is the only country where there is no problem to get the software that launches a space shuttle, but you have to wait a week for your washing machine to be fixed;
...And only here is there a time unit called "sometime between 11 and 6"!
This is the only country where between the happiest day and the saddest day there are exactly sixty seconds;
This is the only country where most people can't explain why they live here but they have loads of reasons why they can't live elsewhere;
This is the only country where if you hate politicians, hate clerks, hate the situation, hate the taxes, hate the quality of service, and hate the weather, it must mean that you like the country...
This Is The Only Country I Could Live In!!! It's My Country~Israel!!!