Israeli Manners: An Oxymoron?

It’s no secret that residents of the Holy Land are some of the rudest around, a real accomplishment in a part of the world where a girl gets stoned to death for showing a little ankle. The “ugly Israeli tourist” has apparently become a global archetype – though still behind cheap Germans and obnoxious Americans. While sabras (those born in Israel) and those who love them might find their famous contentiousness and arrogance endearing, it’s not helping Israel’s reputation in the global community. Even Israelis can’t stand each other. (Yes, you know where this is going; bad for the Jews.

So businessman/philanthropist Ronny Maman is putting up $60K for a contest seeking ideas on how to temper Israeli chutzpah into something more friendly, or least a way to stand in line at the shuk without getting socked in the crotch by a little old woman in a babuschka.

“The intention is to create awareness, which in turn will create action, and then everything will change,” says Mamon.

Or, he will wake up to have his yard toilet-papered and his car keyed.

The web site is in Hebrew, but here’s the submission info, should you have any ideas:

Deadline: January 22, 2008, Tu B’shvat
Email ideas to: info@derech-eretz.org
Send to: Rehov Achuza 96, POBox 26, Ranaana
Fax to: 09-7409592
Winners will be announced: June 6, 2008

I would enter, but I can’t even figure out how to get my own children to stop interrupting me.

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