February 24, 2010
Apparently, in a recent study of all video on demand content viewed by customers of the Israeli cable company HOT, Jerusalem viewers watch more erotic content than viewers in any other city in Israel. The most viewed content by Tel Aviv customers is documentary.
Take that, J-town!
The details were discussed on the evening’s economic news program, Economic Night, and posted to their Facebook page.
April 28, 2009
Ben Hartman has a great piece in today’s Ha’Aretz newspaper about the sheer insanity of Israeli politics, how coalitions are put together, who runs our ministries and why we have nothing to do but laugh at the situation.
On what must have been a slow day at the Knesset, the de facto head of the Health Ministry, MK Yakov Litzman, stated Monday that swine flu would be from here on in referred to as “Mexican Flu,” as pork is non-kosher and considered unclean under Jewish law.
…While this may seem to be just the semi-weekly “Haredi government minister gone wild” comment that makes for great office banter, the truth is that it’s just one more in a series of state-sanctioned declarations by a government official that serves only to further humiliate Israel in the eyes of the world.
July 8, 2008
Gotta love our beloved Israeli, when asked about his views on rising fuel prices:
“I don’t care about the price – I always fill up only 50 [shekels]”
When informed by the interviewer that he will be getting less fuel if he continues paying the same total, our friend says:
“No, not really, as you can see, I drive a scooter”
The video itself is highly recommended! To view it, visit the site here and skip exactly two minutes into the video. To make sure you’re viewing the right video, it should be the one that says (in Hebrew): “Einav Galili laughs at the whole world.”
July 1, 2008
The arrogance and silliness of Israelis reached an all-time low with what must have been the most disapointing high tech/Internet conference ever.
The TWS 2008 event earlier today assembled a group of 10 Israeli start-ups (although I’m not sure what Answers Corporations was doing there, almost 10 years after being founded) to present themselves to the Israeli marketplace, VCs and others in the Industry. In addition to the featured “start-ups” were panel discussions and other bonuses.
One of my main problems with the conference was that everyone was forced to speak in English. Just because someone is an entrepreneur, even a very smart one, doesn’t mean he or she’s a good presenter on stage. What’s more, it doesn’t mean he’s a good presenter when forced to use something other than his mother tongue. Worst of all, of coruse, is when people make bad jokes in their second or third languages. I understand there were several people from America who don’t speak Hebrew but translations should have been provided for them, not the other way around. Some presentations were entirely incoherent, defeating any purpose of trying to cater to the few rich foreigners (in the end no one ended up understanding anything).
Because most of the panel discussions were entirely boring, without direction and filled with nothing but buzzwords (“mobile is going to be big!”) most people didn’t even pay attention to what was going on on-stage. Certainly nothing new was shared or learned today. This was exacerbated by nearly every speakers’ silly habbit of polling the audience. Almost no one raised their hand for any question. “Eh, how many peoples in audience have profiles on the Facebook?” “If you do twitters raise your hands.”
The event opened with a game both excruciating to watch and painful to participate in. They has three different venture capitalists pitch the audience based on Powerpoint presentations they had never seen before. What could have been a funny 60 second excericse turned into 30 minutes of grown men making fools of themselves to an audience that couldn’t have cared less.
Combined, I think more harm was done to the impression foreigners have of Israeli high tech than anything else. The games we play here, the lack of professionalism in how projects are presented and the complete lack of respect we show for each other that leads us to leave cell phone ringers on and talk in loud conversations while some poor guy is trying to present his product in something other than his mother tongue.
June 28, 2008
This post isn’t meant to poke fun at a random Israeli speaking with a few mistakes. Rather, I am picking on one Israeli to make a larger point. For most Israeli companies to succeed they have to have their eyes and strategy set on international markets from the beginning. The Israeli marketplace simply isn’t large enough to sustain many large companies. So start-ups immediately set their sights on Europe, the Far-East or America as destinations to export their technologies and as targets for their marketing.
That’s all fair and good. The problem begins with a basic Israeli weakness – the overwhelming impossibility of a typical Israeli to admit his or her flaws. You’ll seldom hear waiters or public sector workers admit they don’t know something or that they did something wrong. This universal Israeli weakness is even more acute among those that become entrepreneurs and managers. Of course, if they are ambitious, have ideas and pursue them, they will almost never admit personal shortcomings.
A very blatant example of this phenomenon is seen in almost all Israeli attempts to market their products to American audiences. The false-confidence stems not only from general over-confidence but also from most Israeli businesspeoples’ belief that they know English well. “Ehhhh, of course, I spent one year in America with Shoshana and the kids, of course I am speaking the English goodly.”
In my line of work I get to meet a lot of Israeli start-ups and entrepreneurs. Those I like will surely hear from me this tirade and my bottom line of “get a native English speaker on your team to present your company to Americans! Do not assume you’ll do a good job just because you’re the CEO and grew up watching Seinfeld.”
What prompted me to write this post is a video by Israeli CEO Uri Shinar giving an elevator pitch for his company, Aniboom, which Techcrunch posted recently. Click here to see the video (sorry that WordPress won’t let me embed it here but I promise you its worth the link to watch this horrible video).
In my opinion the video is the perfect example of the over-confident Israeli CEO telling himself “of course I should be the one doing the pitch, I am the CEO.” What he probably didn’t consider for a second is that his English will not only be a detriment to the video but may even turn people off entirely because they won’t really “get” what he’s trying to say. And before you tell me that maybe he had no one else available to do the video let me say that I know for certain several native English speakers work at the company. One of them could have made the company’s pitch in even less than 30 seconds and wouldn’t have made people cringe from some of the mistakes Uri made: “eh, we get great feedbacks from the peoples.”
Good luck Uri! I hope others learn something from this, seriously.
December 25, 2007
Can it be? Are Israelis actually fashionable?
“STREET CLASH is an international style competition between blogs & photographers around the world. At the end, one city will be named best dressed 2007.”
I think we’re all stunned to find that Israeli street fashion blog ILook won! Christmas is indeed the time for miracles.
Thanks to Designist Dream for the heads up.
December 10, 2007
Thanks to Designist Dream for a great link to an insanely out-of-touch article on Ha’Aretz.com today, titled How We Dress.
Apparently, the aging newspaper, while staying away from the yellow journalism of other Israeli papers, is nevertheless trying to exhibit more “inioot” (that is, the quality of being “in” in Israeli, pronouned “in-ee-yoot“). As a result, they interviewed a guy on the street who was dressed rather strangely. See, they’re trying to keep up with fashion trends. Get it?
There are only two problems: the interview itself is extremely boring and they didn’t even include a picture of the guy!!