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During these times, politeness and sensitivity become necessary as this subject may be extremely emotional or explosive as many Israelis have lost family or friends in wars or bomb attacks. As Israelis are notably brusque, however, an Israeli might construe something an American deems cautious politesse as evasiveness or uncertainty. Since directness is prized, it is best to get straight answers when an Israeli questions, and/or ask straight questions. Before "getting down to business," an American business man/woman may be surprised that little small talk or "chit-chat" is exchanged. if/when an individual meets Palestinian Israelis, it is good to remember they value courtesy, dress and good form more. (Business Etiquette) the following reflect a number of points a businessperson needs to keep in mind when conducting business in Israel.
There may not be a correlation between a contacts' politics and his/her religious or ethnic background.
Initially, an individual should keep personal views to him/herself. When challenged for an opinion, it may be wise to "admit" one does not have a strong one.
Most individuals, on the other hand, gladly share their opionions.
An individual should not criticize the Israeli army as most Israelis have served in it and see the army as a national symbol and/or a faithful institution obliged to enforce an unjust policy.
Israelis' properly means all Israeli citizens, including the 20% or so who are Palestinian Arabs, and a small proportion of Druze and Bedouin Arabs. But when Israeli Jews say 'Israelis' they often mean just Israeli Jews, while by 'Israeli Arabs' they often mean only the Palestinian ones, and by 'Palestinians'," only the Palestinians who are not also Israelis. Meanwhile, when Palestinians say 'Jews', they often mean only Israeli Jews."
Males 45 and younger may have to serve army reserve duty (milu'im) up to one month a year. (Business Etiquette)
English is spoken widely, and individuals frequently make a point to be helpful.
Although businesspeople in international dealings may wear suits, Israel is a highly informal society. Executives and politicians also conduct business in jeans and sandals. Common protocol is address individuals by first name. (Business Etiquette)
Gossip spreads quickly and secrets are regularly revealed as Israel is an open, talkative society.
Personal connections (proteksia) constitute a common way of easing bureaucracy. "...In Israel what counts is the army unit they served in, their rank in the reserves, their degree of religious observance, and -- especially if not born in Israel -- their background (those of Russian, Georgian, Central Asian, North African or Middle Eastern descent are particularly tight-knit). Money may also buy proteksia." (Business Etiquette)
Give your mobile phone number freely as not doing so my label you as a "snub."
Jews will not serve meat and dairy products during the same meal and usually use separate sets of dishes and cutlery. Do not request butter for your bread or milk for coffee when meat is served.
Do not go out into public/business areas without ID and be prepared for a security check and/or to be asked if you are armed.
Racial profiling is common." (Ibid.) Racism has been exacerbated by the suicide bombings of the Intifadas. Muslims and individuals who speak Arabic may sometimes be uncomfortable.
Israelis display a high tolerance for children and they are sometimes present in company offices or parliamentary committee meetings. Not accepting this will usually alienate businessmen/women who are also parents. (Business Etiquette)
Use the word 'problem' instead of 'challenge'. Use simple words and phrases to convey ideas. (GU)
More than Anything, Remember.
More than anything, this researcher purports - in Israel, as at home, a businessman/woman will do well to remember and practice the "Golden Rule" and treat others the way he/she would want to be treated - no matter if the setting is a funeral or a business one.
Business Etiquette. (2007). The Economist Newspaper Limited. 6 Dec. 2007 http://www.economist.com/cities/displayobject.cfm?obj_id=4422636&city_id=TLV.The Columbia World of Quotations. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996. 6 Dec. 2007 http://www.bartleby.com/66/23/38723.html.
Embassy of Israel. (2006). 6 Dec. 2007 http://www.israelemb.org/U.S.-IsraelRelations/landl.html.
Gu, Paul. (2007). Executive Planet. 6 Dec. 2007 http://www.executiveplanet.com/index.php?title=Main_Page.
Israel. (2007). World Atlas. http://www.graphicmaps.com/webimage/countrys/asia/il.htm.
Kumuyi, William F. "One Major Thing: Communication; Are You a Leader at the Helm of Your Organisation? And You Think You've Got All it Takes to Keep the Organisation Running and Moving Up? But if Good Communication Skills Aren't among Your Credentials, Your Leadership Is Heading for Storms. Effective Leadership without Effective Communication Is Impossible." New African…[continue]
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