I don’t like confrontation. I have a difficult time expressing myself in a calm and collected manner when engaged in a face-to-face dispute. In a way, that makes Israel the perfect place for me to call “home.”
Now, before any of you who have visited Israel before jump to the comment section to argue how surely the opposite is true, let me explain.
Yes, Israelis are an aggressive, in-your-face people. They simply can’t miss an opportunity to say exactly what’s on their mind. They love to argue. And that’s precisely the point.
I was walking down Jaffa St. in downtown Jerusalem the other day and saw a crowd of people gathered around a man who had collapsed. Moments later, first responders began to arrive on their motorcycles. Apparently, they hadn’t arrived in a very timely manner, because one of the women in the crowd began questioning the medics over what took them so long.
The woman wasn’t in any way related or connected to the person in need of medical attention. She was just an annoyed Israeli bystander.
It was then that I thought to myself, had I or one of my loved ones been the person in need of medical attention, I, too, might have been irritated by the medics taking longer than usual to arrive. I, however, would’ve personally been either too polite or too embarrassed to express that openly. But I wouldn’t have needed to. This woman would’ve done the dirty work for me!
More than once in work settings have I been frustrated by a particular situation, but kept it to myself, certain that the moment it began to affect one of my Israeli colleagues, they would be unable to hold their tongues.
And that’s why Israel, the land of brash confidence, is the ideal place for a semi-introvert like myself. I have no doubt that when I have something to say, someone else is going to say it for me.