-- October 10, 2011-A New Perspective

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

October 10, 2011-A New Perspective

This is the first of what I hope will now become more regular updates; updates that will be from a somewhat different perspective, as I will now be writing from Tel Aviv and not from Mamaroneck, NY.

Before commenting on the news I wanted to spend a few moments giving a personal perspective on our first days here. In the past few years I have visited Israel many times, but its been almost two decades since I last lived here. Today, I must say it is different. To summarize our experiences, everything has improved dramatically in the past 20 years. A few examples, considering our business, connection to the internet is obviously an essential tool for what we do. So before we left the US I contacted one of the major internet providers to arrange the fastest internet service possible in our new apartment. The day after we arrived, the Bezek representative called to say he would be half an hour early to install our internet service. It took the technician 20 minutes, and we had hi-speed internet. It may not be as fast as what we had in the US (20 mb down and 1 up), but it is fast enough.

Other surprising experiences include our visit to the Ministry of Interior whose representative stayed open late to make sure we got our identity cards the day after we arrived. Plenty of time remained that afternoon for us to purchase a new bed and mattress for my Dad, which arrived within two hours-- as promised. Finally, last night we went to IKEA. We took some of the small items home with us, but many would not fit in our car. We left the IKEA store at 8:30pm and were told the merchandise would be delivered in the next two days. At 6:30am this morning the bell rang and the IKEA delivery man was there with our goods.

Of course things could still become difficult-- our shipping company questions if our container can get into our street, and we are going to pay storage charges since we arrived later than expected and container arrived significantly earlier than expected. However, all in all, as the ad says- “this isn’t your father’s Israel”

As to the state of affairs, as a general first hand account, whatever else is happening in the Middle East, the people who live in Tel Aviv on the surface seem unconcerned. The biggest concern here at the moment is the threatened resignation of almost all of the interns in Israel’s hospitals. Beyond that, it is not clear where this summer's protest movement is going. Prime Minister Netanyahu succeeded in getting his cabinet to approve, in principal, the suggestions of his committee to change economic priorities in Israel. The protest leaders believe these suggestions did not go far enough. However, beyond that approval in principal by the cabinet, does not mean the actual implementation will take place. After all, part of the reports called for implementation of laws that have been on the books since the 1980’s.

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