Batya lives in Israel and writes an excellent blog Shilloh Musings. Her wit wisdom and passion eminate from her post. Unlike our domestic interviews, I take a different approach. My goal is to give you something you don't know. There are many excellent blogs that focus on Israel such as Shiloh Musings and of course Pam of Atlas. The focus of this interview will try to remain on every day life. By now if we aren't aware of the issues you haven't been reading the right blogs.
1 You recently returned from a trip to Kever Rachel or Rachel's tomb? Did you have to arrive on a special bus. Does one have to make reservations or can anyone just get on board the bus.
2 Have you been to the Cave of the Patriarchs. Is this a much larger site than Kever Rachel that seemed somewhat cramped from your pictures.
3 In the American Political Stystem we have two major parties Brand A and Brand B and a series of oddball parties. In Israel you have a coalition system so minor parties can have some influence through coalitions. Most of us are familiar with Labor, Likud and the religious party can you describe some of the smaller parties
that are less familiar to Americans?
4 This may sound odd but I haven't been able to discern exactly what the Kadima Party stands for. I understand Sharon founded it, but I am seriously at a loss to pinpoint what their philosophy is?
5 Americans are very familiar with the kibutz. However, many have never heard of the term Moshav? What are Moshavs and are they still around.
6 What American TV programs can you watch on TV? Are there any that stand out?
7 In America we have a phenomena of talk radio. This describes a type of radio show where the format is mostly political. The host takes calls from the public on the hot topics of the day. The debate can get fairly heated. Does this type of radio show exist in Israel?
8 In America post highschool education is paid for by the student or his family. Does the state pay for higher education?
9 Isreal does have socialized medicine. Do you wait in long lines to see the doctor?
Do you pay for pescription drugs or is this included in the plan?
10 How does the Israeli government raise funds? Do Israelis pay an income tax or sales taxes? Are taxes a major political Issue?
11 Israel like America also has immigrants, are there major problems with immigrants
failig to learn Hebrew. In the United states there are enclaves where English is seldom spoken.
12 Israel has mandatory military service. There are exemptions for some very religious types. Is there an exemption for childern in single parent families? Is there a type of psychiatric disqualification for the mentally unstable.
13 In Israel a new driver must take a twenty hour class. Is this all classroom time or does this include time on the road with instructors?
14 What is the red sauce that Israelis put on their falafel? I rarely see this red sauce even in NYC?
15 How far is the Dome of the Rock from the Wall? I am told the wall is much smaller in person than it appears in pictures.
16 Is the environmental movement in Israel a major political force.
17 Are there any tourist attractions that you think people over look, because there
are so many sites to see,
18 Many Americans do not have a firm grasp of the Druze and the Bhai. Can you describe them for those of us who are unfamiliar with those terms. Do the B'hai serve in the military?
19 If I were visiting your community what types of resturants would I find?
20 Are American films in Israel shown with hebrew subtitles or is the dialouge dubbed
21 I sometimes am frustrated by Americans who think they are all experts in Israeli politics. Is there a mind your business type of attitude amongst some Israelis. I remember telling of some Europeans in NYC who were lecturing me about George Bush?
Do Israelis experience similar reactions to mine when foreigners lecture them about
their own internal politics?
22 Do you feel the world holds Israel to lofty standards while holding the adjacent states to none?
23 What are Mizrahi Jews? I am familiar with Askenazim and Sephardic types. Is this a new term used to describe Jews from Arab lands? Is it used in Israel itself?
24 In NYC there is some disdain from the more secular types towards the religious. Does a similar situation exist in Israel?
25 Are there still some minor tensions between Sephard and Ashkenazim? Are intermariages between the groups common?