[MUSIC] Welcome, I'm so glad to have you back with us. Throughout this course, we mostly talked about the conflict and cleavages characterizing Israeli society. We talked about Israel being an immigrant society and about the internal, national, ethnic, religious, class and gender privileges. But despite all these internal conflict and cleavages, many Israelis and many of those who visit Israel for long period of time, feel that there is such a thing that can be called Israeliness. Some features and characteristics define find Israelis as member of a singular nation. These features distinguish Israelis from others, even those that were born abroad and immigrated to Israel a generation or less ago. Sociologist Professor Gad Yair has set out to crack the code of Israeliness. I've asked him to talk to us about those cultural threads that hold Israelis together, and about the cultural origins of these threads. Gad Yair is a Professor of Sociology here at the Hebrew University. His research centers on the role of cultural code in social theory and the sociology of education, broadly speaking. His recent books have dealt with the ways in which dramatic historical events and processes in countries, such as France and Germany have shaped sociological thoughts in these countries. In his book, The Code of Israeliniess, the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century, he describes how the Jewish trauma had shaped the Israeliness as we know it. >> Now, thank you for joining me. My name is Gad Yair. I am a Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. And the author of the one of the recent best sellers in Israel academic called The Code of Israeliness, the Ten Commandments for the 21st Century. And this is the book I'm going to present to you today. And what I'm giving you is, actually when I speak about the code, I speak about the key. That if you have this key, you will understand Israeliness in politics, in culture, in society, in all diverse forms where Israelis are living their day-to-day life. The historical junctures that they face. Israeliness and Israeli culture is the force that pushes them, and directs them from behind. And I am pleased to give you the keys for understanding Israeliness. So I'm Gad Yair, these are the books that I published to date. I am interested generally in social theory in Germany and in Israel,and other cultural comparison with the United States, and France, and Germany being the prime examples which I study in-depth. The book about Israel and the center of the code of Israeliness, again is the center of our discussion. Now, a few words about theory. You probably heard the name Herzl as the person who imagined the state of Israel back in the 19 century, end of the 19 century. And actually, what I argue is that his vision has become true in the sense that many of his ideas, you can actually see them in the varied phases of Israeliness. And I just pour on you various faces of excellent Israelis in science, in sports, in arts, in politics, in social activities. And despite a great variety of those faces and of those figures, I argue there is a common cultural element that drives all of them to think similarly, to behave similarly. And there is no difference in terms of social class, in terms of gender, in terms of origin. I argue, there is something deep that drives Israelis. And the roots of that thing, Zionism and Herzl's deep ideas about the Jewish predicament outside of the state of Israel. Beginning with the first code and existential anxiety, I should say to you at the beginning that what I extract about Israeli culture was provided by international students coming outside of Israel. So we Israelis, we're not aware to the codes that we decipher together, me and the international students. And it's those surprises by international students visiting Israel which allowed me to expose how deep those cultural elements repeat in daily life across various domains and areas. So, existential anxiety. I'm walking on Mount Scopus campus here in Jerusalem, and I'm walking with a real English student and he tells me, you are a crazy people. And I ask him, why are we a crazy people? And he says, because every sentence with you ends with a question, we don't know how many years we will survive here. And he says, I cannot imagine London not being around in 20 years. And for you, it's the constant questions. In 20 years, will we survive in the Middle East? So, this existential anxiety, which again, comes up in Israeli conversation by the day. For how many days are we going to survive in the Middle East amongst Arab nations who seek to kill the Jews and make the Zionist entity disappear from the Middle East? So, this is a question that repeats itself, and the fear of being annihilated is very strong in Israel. So, this picture that you see is the constant threat coming from Iran. Israelis are waiting for the bomb to arrive from Iran. And these rockets are just the symbol of that bomb. And what I show you in 45 seconds is a video made by a group of students learning design. And they, in 45 seconds, caught the essence of sraeliness, seeing the feel, the question, will we be here tomorrow? [MUSIC] So, if we want to understand the existential anxiety that drives the Israelis, we always need to look towards the past. So, here we have the representation of the Holocaust as a ticking clock that Israelis are saying, we are going to be annihilated. And what we perceive in the present, namely the relations with Iran, Are in the costume of Nazis and Hitler, always seek the past in the Israeli consciousness, because they read the present as if we are just a continuation of the past. This past we oftentimes say, the beginning of it is 1933 or 1945, it's Nazism and Hitler and the Holocaust but actually, it is Egypt and coming out of slavery, 3,000 years ago. But the principal is that if you want to understand contemporary events in Israel, you need to understand the past. Just reading a few lines from that picture, Israelis know that the eternal lineage of the hatred of Jews has not started with Hitler and didn't end with him. Hitler is the greatest metaphor for the anxiety for the one who says Israel will not be or the Jews will not be on this earth but then comes Saddam Hussein and then comes and then comes Ahmadinejad. There is always someone in the Israeli consciousness on that cultural position of the the one who tries to kill the Jews. The ones who take the position in the Israeli consciousness change across the years but the position is always there. And you can see the language that the Ahmadinejad used reminds Israelis of the language of Nazis. It reminds them of the language of antisemitism in 19th and 18th, 17th century Europe. The word of Israel is a corrupt microbe reminds of Nazi talk or Nazi portrayals of Jews and Judaism. Again, whenever we look at Israel at the present, we need to understand the past. Even friends like Barack Obama, in Israel he would be called Barack Hussein Obama to remind that he is the modern pharaoh, he controls the destiny of Israel. The fear of annihilation is constant. It is appearing by the day. I often say that Israel is a checked people whenever you enter the university you are being checked, whenever you go into a bus center or bus station, you are being being checked. That means that someone holds a bomb, someone holds a knife and you acknowledge or you accept being checked because you know that someone is threatening you. Again, I leave you to read the text in the presentation, but the fear of annihilation is constant and repeating and being reminded by the day, by events that take place in Israel, in history. Whether it's campaigns in Gaza, it's campaigns in Lebanon, or it's the daily terror attacks that the Israelis perceive, they perceive them in terms of the eternal legacy of the Jews in history. This is a film made, we don't see it in the presentation. But this is a film made by an Israeli director, showing the last day of Israel. The last day that the atomic bomb from Iran will get here and you see this small map of the state of Israel and you see it colored, you think what a happy map of Israel. But this is a map that most Israelis hold somewhere in their house, probably on the refrigerator as a magnet and that map tells them how many seconds they have to run for shelter in case of an emergency call. If you live near you've got 30 seconds. We in Jerusalem enjoy the easiness of having two or three minutes to run for shelter and the time is getting shorter because the weapons against Israel are getting better. Someone coming from the outside might think that Israel is indeed perennially this English student telling me you are crazy, every sentence with you ends with a question, we will be here in 20 years. Some people coming from the outside suspect that Israelis are paranoid. But let me read the second statement by an American student, who says, however, many believe that there is no smoke without fire. Many visitors believe that there is reason underneath this paranoid approach. They admit that the Holocaust syndrome is a rational reaction to the non-rational past in exile. People coming here and spending some time here slowly get the Israeli man, get the Israeli understanding that someone is chasing us. Now one of the elements that Israelis like very much is attacks on Jews outside of Israel because that reminds them of the basic tenet of Hitler, that there is no final solution to the Jewish question outside of the state of Israel. In Sweden, when Jews are attacked, Israelis love that piece of news or when a US capital plot is discovered, the Israelis clap their hands. There is only one solution for Jews, that is on the land of Israel. You'll find bizarre behavior amongst Israelis who are happy to see accidents or incidents of attack against Jews because it reminds them why we are here, and it provides a legitimacy for the Zionist ideal that's coming back from the 19th century. The Ukraine, one of the ways of immigration now into Israel, Jews leaving Ukraine to Israel because Jews suffer antisemitism in Kiev, and obviously, their home is here, and you should come home. That happens after terror attacks in Belgium, that same thing happens after terror attacks in France. Israelis love the Newsweek cover story, why Europe's Jews are fleeing once again, their exodus from Europe. And where they should run to? Home, to the land of Israel. This is the basics of Zionism. Now, if you want to see how far the past is playing in contemporary politics and contemporary world civilizational encounters between the USA, Israel and Iran, you need to go back to speeches by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister in Israel who, at one point, pulled out two letters. I caught this from his speech. The two letters, the first was sent by the Jewish agency in 1944 to the American government, asking the American army to bomb the railways to Auschwitz. The second letter is the response by the war administration in 1944 saying this will take too much war effort from the American army and it will only make the German's more mad. You should see how Netanyahu responds to that. We are the final solution. We will take care of our own. We will make sure that Iran will not be the next Germany. So again, he sees the present in the face of the past and this is how Israelis in general see their lives, through the past. I now move to the second code, which in a way, is a reaction to the first code of the existential anxiety, I call it upright defiance. Upright defiance is standing against the nation. Standing proudly against the UN, for example. And what you see here is a campaign of the Israeli idea of attacking in Gaza, at one of the campaigns, I think it took place in 2011. And it was the event where a commercial company which produces one of the most liked treats in Israel called Bamba, opted to be the sponsor for the Israeli team for the Olympics. And they just demanded for the logo of Bamba to be the symbol of the Olympic team. And immediately memes came out throughout the Internet, making fun of this logo, and you can see the Super Israeli, Super Bamba attacking Gaza and being very proud that the the owner of the household went crazy, okay. So this is something that Israelis very much like, the being proud to react against those who attack us. And obviously when they explain to themselves their current behaviors, they have Biblical roots to explain to themselves. So just reading the first of the two, pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name. So this is the prayer to God. Please be angry against the nations, and now the Israelis call on the idea of pour your wrath on Lebanon, on Syria, on Gaza, wherever it takes us, pour out your wrath. Now I should say that the roots, again, are very deep. There is a move in Zionism which I call the move from the enlightenment or to the enlightenment. The period of the 19th century where the message in Europe, stop praying, start controlling your life, and this is what Zionism and this is what the state of Israel is actually doing. It stopped praying and took responsibility of its own past. So here we have, again I tell you,Herzl is very important in my presentation. He holds the keys for the Zionist vision, so let's see what he says. He says to the Jews, don't trust the help of strangers, don't even trust in well-wishers and don't trust stones to soften. Who are well-wishers? The Turkish government, the British government, because don't trust them because well-wishers give humiliating donations and stone-hard hearts of the nations never soften. A nation that seeks to walk upright should only trust its own strength. Now if I could take you back to Netanyahu with the two letters, this is exactly what he was saying in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. A nation that seeks to walk upright can only trust its own strength. And the founder, the real founders, Herzl was the originator of the idea, the big father is David Ben Gurion, and his attitude to the nations was not different from the one held by Herzl or Shimon Peres, [COUGH] I'm sorry or Netanyahu. And he says shmum, I care nothing about the UN. It's unimportant what the Gentiles says, what is important is what the Jews or Israelis will do. So this basic attitude, this was stated back in 1955 or 1956. And the attitude amongst Israelis is held, this attitude is held until today. Doesn't matter what the Americans, the English, the Russians are telling us. We should only care for our own, and why? Because the world is against us. This is Shimon Peres criticizing, so it doesn't matter, Netanyahu saying he is right wing but the left wing says the same. So there is no difference in terms of deep code. So Shimon Peres repeatedly says, the English are against us, there is anti-semitism in whatever steps they take us, they boycott us the academy now. It's because there are real deep anti-Semites and someone would pull the number, yes 800 years ago, England was Judenrein, it was free of Jews because the English expelled the Jews. And then they will say again against the Spanish, and against the Portuguese, and they will hold historical numbers to say they expelled us, so. Again, I interpreted that as a reaction to the field, the existential field that we are going to be annihilated and you have to stand upright against that field. And we have a word for that in Hebrew called davka, and we do davka. So if the nations, the UN, or Obama or Putin is telling us what to do, we will davka, the opposite from what we are requested. So no construction in Judea and Samaria, tomorrow you'll get 1,000 more apartments in Judea and Samaria. Don't tell us what to do. So it's a counter reaction that is perceived by the outside as a siege mentality that Israel is very aggressive. And you see it in the way diplomats are perceiving Israel, Israel is perceived as being very virile. And as you can see, this is from The Economist, after the Marmara event, as a government macho attitude. A too strong reaction. And I point you to my paper on Israel diplomacy, the effects of cultural trauma, how those deep codes of fear and the reaction of standing upright, faces many different events in the way Israel conducts its diplomatic relations with the nations. So on with you, turning to code number 3, we own everything. The sense that Israelis feel that they are at home wherever they are, and they feel at home at home. They feel at home on the bus, they feel at home on the street, they feel at home when they are in India, or they feel at home when they are in South America. There is a sense that everything belongs to them, and they put the logo of Israel, the Magen David, wherever they pass through. So this is Palestine and we put Magen David to make a statement, we are here and this place belongs to us. So again, I read that kind of behavior as a reaction formation for the fear To the fear, and if we want to understand those current behaviors on daily life we need to understand the past, okay. So Israelis feel they own everything. This comes up time and again in interviews about Israeliness. So here's one from an interview. The road in Israel is like a micro cosmos of society, rather it is the Israeli society, the way it moves, it reflects everything. It reflects the I deserve it, like I deserve to be first in line in the airport. So Israelis are perceived as pushy because they perceive their place in line to be given by God, okay. Now this is a picture I took in a Berlin hotel and I was waiting for someone and this is a group of Israelis what we call in Hebrew [FOREIGN] opening a table. They are waiting for their flight back to Tel Aviv and they have some time to wait, so they open a table. It's the lobby of the hotel, the hotel didn't expect people to lunch with food they brought from the outside and this is Germany. The Germans owe us until eternity so actually we own Germany and we own the hotel because we paid 90 euros a night so this is our hotel. The sense of freedom, of feeling this is my house and it was given to me by God, explains those anecdotes, those daily, sometimes stupid, behaviors. But they are rampant, they are all over. And people actually do not respect public space because they perceived every space to be their own. So this is a picture that is at the entrance to Jerusalem. People who visited Jerusalem know that two hour ride is [FOREIGN] one of the cultural center of Jerusalem, and you see a sign directing towards the Zionist Archive. And you see a woman, a lady with a cowl, telling her four boys, we had a long drive. You drive long in Israel, that means 60 minutes, most, 2 hours. The state of Israel ends in two hours drive. Then she tells her four boys, you need to pee? Go pee. Entrance to Jerusalem, the Zionist Archives. We pee wherever we are because it's our place, it's our country, it was given us by God. So you'll find these behaviors, as I said it's misbehavior or stupid behavior, but actually it reflects a trauma, okay. We were taking this land 2,000 years ago, now it's ours back and we do whatever we want in any place. If you have a Facebook page in Israel, you will often times see those pictures coming of the police behaving as if they own the place too. So double parking or stuff like that appeal again and again. And a sense of this is my place surprises those coming from the outside, for Israelis this is something that is at the nature of things. Now, I'm turning to the fourth code. This is very surprising for many foreigners. Israelis have a contract, an emotional contract, with the state of Israel. So while I read you some of the lines from the interviews. So I gave to the state, so now I deserve to get in return, I served in the army, I pay taxes, I pay the public television tax, VAT, what not. And what did I get from the state in return? Shit! That's what I got in return. What am I asking for? So these are several people talking. What am I asking for? I gave years of my life serving in the army and in public service! Don't I deserve? Another one, I gave my soul to the state, but no one cares! I gave to the state everything and now it betrays me. We gave to the state so person after person, people say [FOREIGN] I gave now I deserve back. And they talk to the State of Israel, okay. They are angry at the State of Israel. So there's a very emotional element in that relationship, and that again comes from the role Israelis described to the government of the final solution for the Jewish predicament. Never again, the government of Israel, the Israeli IDF will save us, okay. And we contribute in serving in the army and we expect the army to save us when we are in dire straits. And we actually expect the state of Israel to help Israelis outside of the state of Israel and Jews throughout the world, okay. So again, I gave you the text. The Israelis replaced God with the state of Israel. And just the final line, the state of Israel replaced God and it has become the modern object of prayer. We talked, we talked to the state of Israel, and it becomes a Superman that the Israeli worships, okay. I break a leg in South America, the first phone call I make is to the foreign ministry. I broke a leg come and save me, okay. So this cultural element comes from, again, from the past, from the trauma. And I read to you a text from Hagit Rein, she's the mother of a deceased killed soldier, named B'naya. And hear the story. She says, this is the victory, to enter Auschwitz carrying the Israeli flag, holding the Bible with the IDF band escorted by soldiers in uniform. I was experiencing revenge, that instead of Gestapo boots we marched with IDF shoes. The shoes of the officers are our answer to the Germans. It is difficult to explain this sense of pride, I felt invigorated and power in having a state. That we return empowered with an army protecting us. And if I have the strength to go there after my son was killed, no one will hurt me no more. This is B'naya's power, her son's power. And if you go in to Israeli offices, often times you will see this picture. This is three F-15s, Israeli F-15s, fly above Auschwitz in exactly the same idea that Netanyahu with the two letters standing saying if we had a state before, if we had an army before, Auschwitz would not have succeeded. So this flight took place something like ten years ago. The Chief Commander of the Israeli Air Force with several of his colleagues flew above Auschwitz and that photograph is known throughout out Israel and is hung in offices as a picture of this is the entire story, okay. This is the final solution. This is the final solution. You need to appreciate that picture in that sense. This is the final solution. Statehood and power and perseverance. Now, just tying up with a previous deep code, the Israeli army did not ask the Polish government permission to fly above Auschwitz. They said, ph, Auschwitz? We own it. They have such an historical debt, that who cares about what they want us to do. We do it. Okay, so you see three F15s against one of the strongest images of Auschwitz and again its a big statement about Isrealiness. Never again, we are the answer. And it comes up again in big events or in daily life. So, there was a sense that the state of Israel never leaves a soldier behind. So Gilad Shalit was kidnapped to Gaza. And he was held captive for five years. And for five years, people in Israel counted the days, one by one by one, how many days Gilad is still alive and he's not back. And there was a great pressure on the government. That the government needs to walk the talk. The talk is the Zionist talk, that Gilad Shalit, son of the country, he needs to be saved, okay. So those pictures gave a great relief to Israelis In the sense that the basic values were proved to be correct, to be held, by the state of Israel. A day after the release of Gilad Shalit, I get a phone call from Spain, by a journalist from Spain, asking me what kind of mathematics do Israelis hold when they release one soldier for 1,000 terrorists? And my reply was that we don't count the terrorist, we count the one soldier. We hold the debt to him and he will be released. The price is irrelevant in that discussion. And examples again coming up of the Israeli Government or foreign ministry taking responsibility for Israelis outside of Israel. So here's something that came up in a report by the state comptroller and he says about the foreign ministry. The Consulate Division, through its foreign offices, provides Israeli citizens abroad with services including handling of Israelis in crisis situations like illness, accidents, death, natural disaster, missing persons, people caught in illegal actions and Israelis who lost their papers. So you're stuck in New York in the floor of a skyscraper and what do you do? You're in 107th floor, what do you do? You pick up the phone and calling the foreign ministry, I'm stuck, save me. You broke a leg in South America, you're stuck, you call the foreign ministry, save me. So Israelis are making the call and the foreign ministry rises up to the challenge. So here's what the head of the unit is saying, in the bottom line, we, the foreign ministry are the first to get to those in dire straits, and there's an expectation in Israel that everybody in trouble will get our help. It's not written anywhere. There is no law or legal binding for us, for the state to do so, yet we do so. In principle, insurance companies should do the job, but in practice, it doesn't work. We know that unless we act immediately some disaster would take place. So we get involved, and it creates this expectation time and again. Okay, I'm getting to the fifth code, the Never be a Fra'ier, which actually maybe this is the most important code of Israeliness because this is a test that an Israeli will undergo three, four, five, times a day. Are you a Fra'ier or not? And if you are a Fra'ier, that means that you are this weak Jew which never went out of Europe and came as a Zionist, as a strong person to Israel, okay? So Israelis fear to be portrayed as the weak Jew in exile. And they are being tested a few times a day and proven to be the weak Jews, because if someone beats you, you are the weak Jew. And there's only one winner, okay? So it's a zero sum game that Israeli's play with each other, and many of us lose and become Frai'ier's by the day. So here's a quote from a webpage called Kikipedia, it's a funny Wikipedia page. But it actually catches quite nicely what's the meaning of being Fra'ier in Israel. And I read to you, in Israel, the word Fra'ier denotes the lowest possible existence or type of personhood. The lowest in the chain of food, less than an amoeba, status at a bottomless pit. For the Israeli, being a far'ier is worse than death, and he would prefer being boiled in oil over a situation that someone tells him he bought gasoline in three cents more than the other. So, you're always being checked whether you pay too much, whether you waited too much, whether the gift you got is a cheap gift and if you waited too much you're a Fra'ier. And again, there's a deep trauma here and it's a deep trauma of being the weak Jew. So I read from the Sentinel, the Israelis are frightened that behavior and decision will prove them to be yet in exile the weaklings of the Gullah. They are frightened to be regarded as succules, and the words for that in Hebrew, [FOREIGN], there's a whole terminology. And we know when there's a long terminology for the same phenomena, that means it's a painful area, okay? So, they cannot stand being fra'iers. So, it comes up in politics. We all know, says Beni Ziffer, one of the leading Israeli journalists, we all know that the 11th commandment, from it's the fifth remember. It says the 11th commandment for the real biblical commandments, is that Israel got on Mount Sinai is, don't be a fra'ier, in contrast to other commandments to which the Israeli at times obey, and others the Israel loved that don't be a fra'ier with holies out. The Israeli's indeed ever mania with do not be a fra'ier and they laughed at foreigners who proved to them to be recurrent suckers. So, I give some examples from the web is coming up again and again. It's a sin to be a sucker in Israel. You open a webpage that describes to you the necessary steps to become an Israeli, and the first code they say, never come out a Fra'ier, a sucker, okay. And the examples are rampant. Ariel Sharon, fra'ier Prime Minister, he's saying the following. It is shocking to hear the vanity in phrases like Laws are meant to bypassing. How many times have we had people returning from abroad who mock the citizens of countries they visited? They behave like squirrels standing in line, making sure that they pay. Israelis often look at those citizens as fra'iers. They are not fra'iers, we are the fra'ierim. I have looked, Mr. Chairman, for an equivalent phrase in another language, but have found none that describes the Israeli fra'ier. So this is a statement by the Israeli prime minister. And you've got a statement by the person who runs the court system in Israel who says, you are a fra'ier if you keep the law. So it's rampant, it's all around us. Code 6. Let me begin with a story. You go into an Israeli classroom as a professor. Let's say you're an American professor. You go in to an Israeli classroom and you start saying that you conducted the largest study with millions and gazillions of respondents, and you have the latest theory. And after five minutes, one of the students would, raise his hand is an over statement, he would not raise his hand. He would just say, I think you're wrong. And the entire class would say, hm, the student has a point. But the professor would say, I have a theory, I have research. And the Israeli would say, but I think you're wrong. I think you are wrong. So, being opinionated is something very Israeli, and we are trained to be opinionated. So, here's a quote from one of the interviews. Everybody has something to say. My teacher for comparative politics says, Descartes in Israel is not I think, therefore, I am, it's I think, therefore, you are wrong. So I go to a pub and someone tells me, you're very nice, can I tell you something? No, I don't want you to tell me anything. What would you say, that something is wrong with me? This is what usually happens, they think their opinion is important for everybody, and it's not. He would tell me that I need to lose weight. So, opinionated and being opinionated, and being in the discussion of opinions is something that is part of culture. It's not something that is a deficient person holds, but it's actually a cultural trait that Israelis are trained to hold. So you get this from a book for tourists coming to Israel. And the final line is, and the people have very strong opinions, and the streets have names like Spinoza. The people have very strong opinions. So, people from the outside get that cultural element. So this is one of Road Junkies' most controversial guides, in a fun way. Israelis are an opinionated people. And despite having their way of life subjected to generalizations. We've even got letters accusing us of anti-Semitism for referring to Israelis as a tribe, despite reference as such in the Torah. So again and again, the opinionated Israeli. It's something that if you seek to understand Israelis, you seek to understand the opinionated nature. And when I say opinionated, please go back to Code 2, upright defiance. You say to me something, I will stand upright and defy you with my Israeli opinions, with my personal opinions. So conversations, I mock the Israeli conversations, because they are not real dialogues. They are synchronic monologues. Because Israeli do not change their mind during exchanges, during dialogues, mostly. Because they have their opinions and opinions are not subject to empirical verification, to theory, to good or convincing discussion, okay? So again, from the interviews, if you open up an Israeli talk show, you'll see a bunch of five people talking, but they talk simultaneously. They speak across each other, so from the interview. This is also apparent in discussion culture. The political talk shows, where everybody's confident in his own position and only wants to sound the loudest voice without listening. There is this Israeli scene that I know best. And again, I tell you, it comes up in interviews one by the other. Always be casual. So, I came to talk to you today. If I were a European, probably I would've come with a tie. I probably would have looked better. I probably would look how I'm looking at the mirror before, but I'm an Israeli. I'm casual, I don't care, okay? So casualness is not me, it's part of my culture. And Israelis do not take stuff seriously. So this picture is taken from the annual competition of photographs that describe Israeliness the best. This is the winner picture. And what we see is what we hear in Hebrew called [FOREIGN]. A [FOREIGN] is someone who arrives with his civilian car to sell soldiers, the bomba that I talked about or just chocolate and [FOREIGN], whatever. And he arrives at the middle of an army drill. And what is a civilian car doing at the middle of an army drill? He's not allowed to be there, but who cares? The soldiers are hungry. They want bomba. They want chocolate. He comes, and they shop. And this is telling of law abidance or rule following in Israel. We do not follow rules because we are casual. And we'll see different phases of that. Casualness is a general easy-going or lax outlook or behavioral pattern. It is characterized by a certain level of improvisation or flexibility on all levels of behavior, thinking, interaction and even planning. And it has many positive effects, easing stressful, bottleneck situation. But it also has downsides, irresponsibility and bad planning, okay? So, the roots are again in trauma. If you plan too much, if you abide by the law, if you do what the Germans tell you, you will end up in Auschwitz. So, don't follow the law. The law is by your enemy. So if you want to survive, be flexible. Be mindful of what is required of you and find the correct way. And you trust, you trust, we say at the [FOREIGN], it's written [FOREIGN]. It will be okay. We trust things to turn up. On the positive side. So the roots are very deep. The behaviors you see in 2015 are reaction not to what happens in 2015, but to the cultural trauma that is deep inside the Israeli consciousness. So casualness, Israeli soldiers during drills. Some are dressed fully, some are dressed partially, who cares. And here's a quote from one of the interviews with an old lady, and she says, Israel exists thanks to a miracle. Everything here is patchwork and combinations. It's like a car model of 1948, the year of statehood of the state of Israel, that was glued with cello tape instead of overhaul, but somehow the car rides along. The state of Israel despite its casualness rides along. The major value here is unprofessionalism, everything holds by miracle because probably she says, God loves us, okay. So quote after quote you see casualness as a prime trait of Israeliness and as I said there are positive elements to this casualness. In measures of Israeli innovation of competitiveness you see Israelis performing at the top of the world. This is often times called Start-Up Nation, we'll see in a moment. And what makes the Start-Up Nation possible is casualness. Is the fact that Israelis never accept any publish paper, any product, any technology as the final word. They will try to make something out of that, something that no one expected before, okay. So what we had here is a short clip from the Start-Up Nation, the authors of the Start-Up Nation and indeed they provide an explanation why the Israelis are so successful in itech. Please take my explanation as an addition. It's a cultural element. Dress codes. Yeah, okay, how did I show up. Here in front of you? Actually, the first time that we talked about dress code in Israel, took place in 2006 when the Israeli parliament called, the Knesset decided that you cannot enter with flip-flops to the parliament anymore. So here's the statement. The general director of the Knesset announced the adoption of a dress code, 2006 first time. Employees are requested to match their clothing to respect the Knesset's prestige. Women are asked not to show up with short trousers and belly shirts. Men are requested not to come with shorts and sandals and you should see what happens at the entrance to the Parliament when people arrive with jeans, okay. They were shocked okay. People were shocked by the fact that suddenly there's a dress code that you have to abide. So no dress code, no saving, money behavior, okay, economic behaviors. So this is an American student reports to me. I was telling my husband how we had very little savings as poor students. And how I really look forward to getting a job in the near future, so that we aren't depending on random scholarships, grants, etc and can save. His response was classic, classic Israeli. He told me it's really no big deal. Because we do not even know how long the Israeli banking or saving system will be around with the likely crisis that Israel will encounter from the Middle East instability. Code number 1, okay. As long as we can eat, as long as we survive, we are doing well. We do not plan for the long term. We do not save. We don't trust the system to survive, okay. If I haven't mentioned before, we think of Israel as a project, of the Zionist project. And a project can fail, and we maybe need to swim back to kind of the, preferably Australia. So we do not plan. And it's great in high tech, but it creates catastrophic moment because there's no planning. So we have a statement in Hebrew [FOREIGN]. We'll get to the bridge. We'll cross it, we'll find a way, we'll improvise. Okay, so there's no plan, we'll get to the place. We'll think how to manage it and we'll cross it. But at some point, the bridge doesn't hold. So this is the picture from the Jewish. How do you say, Olympiada or the Jewish Olympia, the Olympic games? And this is the Australian team passing on the bridge that was set up specially for the event. And the bridge broke down and Australian team fell into poisonous water. I think if I remember correctly three athletes died, and many, many were wounded by the event. And it made for problematic relations, government relations, between Israel and Australia until today. Because those deaths that Australians feels the state of Israel did not acknowledge, and I just show you that picture. But I could have put many different ones because those events happen again and again. And I move now to code number 8, and again, when I speak about the 10 codes, some of them mesh into each other. So, you could think of how do I combine code number 8 and code number 2, the Up-right Defiance and the Never Respect Hierarchy? Again, I'm speaking about Israelis today. They will not respect hierarchy. If I tell them in my class, my name is and I would say, I am Professor they will do to me this movement, hand movement. What do you mean by this professor thing? Are you telling us that you are above us in some way and if I say, yes I am above you, I lost my legitimacy. Israel hates hierarchy, loves symmetry, loves equality, okay. So we do not respect hierarchy, because hierarchy is Europe. And Zionism promised to be the final solution to the Jewish question with the European ideal that comes from the French Revolution of Egalité, and Fraternité. Being together equal, okay. So the idea was the kibbutz, but the value is more encompassing than kibbutz life is. And the egalitarianism of Israeli society once again is apparent on a daily basis. And some of you might from different classes on this course might say but, Israel is also know to be a very unequal society. There are great inequalities between rich and poor. We are like the USA and Brazil in that sense. Yes, but the value, the culture is stuck back in the 1920s. In the values of the old Kibbutz. So despite the disparities, the culture is still hung up with Zionism. We don't respect hierarchy. Therefore, I speak as an Israeli now. We do not make a fuss, if our president goes into jail. We will not make a fuss, if our prime minister goes into jail. We didn't make a fuss when the finance minister went into jail or the interior minister went into jail, or because there's no hurt. We don't expect them to be gods above us that we will allow them freedoms that others do not enjoy. So this is a critique by one of the senior authors in Israel who passed away two years ago, Yoram Kaniuk and he wrote about Olmert's former prime minister about his demise. Hatred toward leaders is a most extreme form of self-hatred. The Jewish people never like masters. From the days of the second temple, the Jews never had a Pope or one central Rabbi. The Israeli which hates masters killed all senior leadership and especially the prime minister, because we don't respect hierarchy. We treat them as if they are you might call Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but we call him BB. His contender was CP or held he's called Eld. So we call each other by first names and you'll never say, I'm professor or doctor or prime minister. You say, your first name. So, this first name basis characterizes Islamic culture deeply. Another thing, if you come to visit us on Mount Scopus. We were here. Hebrew University was here before the state of Israel. Coming up in 1948, Hebrew is 1926. And when first construction of buildings around Mount Scopus began, there was a decision by the Jewish agent or the time to create a Pantheon for the Jewish people here on Mount Scopus. And if you look around campus, you will see the caves, the entrance caves, the Nicanor Caves where they decided to bury the Zionist leaders inside the Nicanor Caves from the days of Jesus or something. And they stopped the project, because there is no pantheon in Israel. We do not, other than Mount Herzl, which is a very egalitarian cemetery. We don't have this French Pantheon with great respect for the dead. So, Israelis don't have a pantheon. Even after their death, they don't pay leaders with great respect. They laugh at professors on the wall of the dead. So whenever we put professors who'd passed away, we'd call it the wall of the dead and we lovingly say that. So obeying and respecting people is anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli, because the Israelis have. No other god than God and not even God himself. The middle finger, sorry am I allowed during this class to make unwanted behaviors like that? This is the way hierarchy is treated in Israel. Fuck them. Sorry for the language, this is the culture and the anti-hierarchy is an anti-European attitude. Europe is hierarchy. Europe is aristocracy. Europe is monarchy. Europe is church. We are the final solution. We are the real values of Europe of the enlightenment. We are the Kibbutz. The egalitarian society that Europe promised. So it's an example from 1930s showing you again that if you seek understanding the present, you need to go to the past. Igal Alon the commander of the Palmach pre-IDF Elite unit says, discussions amongst us will free and friendly. The commanders of the Haganah used to explain to those gathered the decisions and commands that came from above, the necessity to obey them even though they might not be pleasant to do and very often they had to withstand harsh critique by the commanders in the field. So let's say, the sent the command and the soldiers on the ground said, no, no, no. This is a bad command, let's do it differently. So disobedience is something that Israeli soldiers are actually trained in the day they are drafted to the army. The eights code in the code of the evil of the idea of is disobey the illegal orders. Don't obey your commander, if he tells you something that you think is Illegal. And again, Israel is a Zionist position and the face of Europe in Israel is presented by orthodoxy and orthodoxy is a rather hierarchical society with rabbis. And when these rallies are looking at the orthodoxies, they see Europe and they say, we will not be hierarchical as they are. So the praise of egalitarianism and the stance of anti-hierarchy reflect the rebellion of the Zionist against the submissiveness of the old Haredi regime. And traditionalism, this is why contemporary values and behaviors reflect the civilizational clash between Judaism and Zionism. This is important what I am saying here. A clash between Judaism and Zionism, there is a difference. The black people of orthodoxy are not Israeli. They do not emanate from the same trauma. They don't have the Elseerian final solution to the Jewish question. They are waiting for God. The Israelis are not waiting for anyone. Two letters, Netanyahu is not waiting. So for the Israelis, no God, no king, no prince, no yes minister, no yes to Maran, the big rabbi. We say, no and this is how we run universities in Israel. Israeli universities evade power relations. Professors don't expect to be called by formal titles. They dress casually and they respect ideas and opinions of their students. Be opinionated, code number five. You are equal to me, have your opinion expressed, I'm equal to you. Though the structure of the university adopted church norms, like I'm standing at the cathedral. This is taken from the church cathedral. In Israel, the university is more of a youth movement. Let's sit together and discuss around friendly and this is surprising for international students coming to Israel. Rothberg. When you read the word Rothberg, it's our international school. They are often shocked by Israeli professors. They have a hard time accepting the discussion style of the Israeli class. The legitimacy given to opinions without support in theory or data. And they see the Israeli style as either a disrespect or malpractice. And it appears again and again and again in various form. So there's no God, no king, easy goingness, lightheartedness, flexible, creative attitude. Create a situation of anti-legalism, disrespect, disobedience, and no gradations of authority or expertise providing for some kind of amateurish, or the lady said before, unprofessionalism. So this is coming from the non-hierarchical attitude. Let me give you an example. I was once in Germany taking a statistics course. I was in the class with many European students, and the professor was American. And he spoke about a sophisticated methodology. And after 15 minutes I had some problems. So, I raised my hand, but before my hand came up, my mouth would open and I asked him a question. Okay, 15 minutes later, I'm again puzzled by the statistical examples. And again, my body jumps up. I don't respect the hierarchy of the American professor. I don't respect the regulations in the class, so I jump again, and I ask my question. After three or four such jumps, I say to myself, am I the only dumb student in this place? So then the first break comes and a bunch of European students approach me and ask me, please ask the professor one, two, three, four. So I asked them, why didn't you ask? And they say, it's disrespectful to say that he was not explaining in a very good way, the statistic. And I was dumbfounded by that, because if you have a question, you ask. You then understand, you can make a progress and you are not stuck. And people coming from the outside of Israel, when they spend some time here, they understand the value, the positive value that this jumpiness, this opinionated nature, this anti-Iraqi connection has in learning. So, foreign teachers coming here start appreciating what the consequences of this anti-hierarchy. Part of a collective, are you a part of a collective? And you need to take care of other people around you. So a few examples from my personal experience. So I walk in a supermarket and I pick up stuff from the shelves, put in my cart, walking with the cart, and someone would hold me and say, no, no, no. You took the wrong stuff. Why do you want to be a friar to pay more? Take this out, take my suggestion. Okay, so he worries for me not be a friar. He would look into my cart and say you're wrong, you'll become a friar. So we care for each other. We are watching out for each other. So you're sitting, let's say, in a restaurant. And young parents arrive on the scene with young kids. And the kids start moving in the restaurant because there's no hierarchy. No one will tell them what to do. So they sprawl around. And the eyes of everybody in the restaurant are watching the kids to make sure that nothing bad happens to them. It's not just that parents' duty to watch the kids, it's the entire community of Israelis taking care for the kids. So these kinds of examples of caring for others and being responsible for others is something that is part of this collectivist nature of Israeli culture. Blood drives. Every time we start the school year at the university, we have blood drives coming on campus and students donate the blood. And whenever someone is dying of cancer and they need this real blood, they put up in Facebook, a call, we need that blood. And immediately, 10,000 people come to donate blood. So, people are alert, very quick to help other people. And we often times compare this attitude to behaviors in the USA or in Europe where people don't care for each other. You fall in the street and no one will help you, in Israel someone will help you. And, again, I mention before the example of Gilad Shalit, that for five years people were alert to count to days because Gilad is part of the collective. Okay, so the sense of collective belonging, partly a joint heritage, partly a common sense of doomed. The sense that we are going to be killed together explains many instances in Israeli daily life. The collective feeling is heightened when Jews abroad are being attacked or when Israel is under attack by outsiders. The Israelis believe that they are one common tissue. And that tissue is a familial, blood-bond that cannot be unmade. So we're speaking of Zionist ideas, again, end of the 19th century, pulsating in contemporary Israeli culture, bringing back the exiles. So, the Ukrainies under dire straits bring the Jews from the Ukraine here. The French are being terrorized, make them come home. So the sense of bringing the exiles back and deleting exilic identities, the foreign influences, is something that you become part of this collective. Let my people stay. Okay, I have to continue. Let me just mention again the ideal of the kibbutz. The kibbutz, though today is house to something like 2% of the Israeli population only, it never crossed 5% of the Israeli population in the heyday of the kibbutz movement. But the values of Israeli culture are emanated by and large from the kibbutz project, Zionist project. So we need to understand how deep it goes back into the past. There's a great book called Six Degrees of Separation. And the book is about the USA. And the question was, how many letters do you need to send when you send a letter to your best friend, who would send the letter to his best friend, or she would send a letter to her best friend, until you get to the president? And you need six letters to get to Bill Clinton or Obama if you live in Kansas or something. For an Israeli to get to the Prime Minister Netanyahu or get to the president, One letter, two letters, the most. You know his brother, just yesterday, I got a story of yes, I knew Netanyahu, Netanyahu's brother. We were running together. So in Israel, the sense is that everybody knows everybody, okay, and we call this principle at times when it is used as a manipulation as Protek'zia, okay. You use your connections in a way that helps you manipulate the system, the government or to attain not to be afraid, to attain your best advantage. And this is the sense of the collectiveness is of being part, explains the Israeli alertness of what happens to the Jews outside of the state of Israel. So the global commitment to Jews worldwide. Israel is the only western country that decided to evacuate large populations the world over from Yemen or Kazakhstan, Ethiopia or Russia. Flying millions of Jews outside of their homes. Because of that, we are part of a collective. It has done so from a romantic commitment to the idea of the ingathering of the exiles. A secularized Utopian and messianic idea that after 2,000 years, Israel would create a common ground for a common people, okay. So Israel uses special forces to make sure that the mission is carried out. Just yesterday, someone told me how he was involved in the case of carrying the Jews from Syria to Israel, okay. And cost, meaning rational calculations of future calculations how much that would cost us or what the social consequences will be. Those discussions are postponed. You first go and save the Jews, okay. So here's one example, an attack in Belgium. Netanyahu offers to aid Belgium probe the Jewish Museum attack again and again. One of the examples I love most is by Nadav Ben Yehuda. He's a mountain climber who climbing the Everest. This was his life's dream, and he reached 300 meters from the top. And suddenly, one of his colleagues, in that case, from Turkey fell down and lost consciousness. And Nadav had to make a decision, am I fulfilling my life's mission in going up the last 300 meters, or am I doing the right thing in terms of the Zionist right thing? We do not leave wounded soldiers on the ground. He made his team turn back, got this Turkish climber on his back and took him down, saved his life. And he got an appreciation by the president of the State of Israel, because the values he chose were not self-fulfillment, but being part of the collective, and that collective on that occasion was the collective of climbers, people in need. And when there was an earthquake in Asia or a storm in Haiti or even catastrophes in Turkey, Greece, and in Arab lands, Israel would send out rescue teams and create hospitals on the ground, being the first on the ground, because it's this sense of, it's our duty. We are part of the world, it's our collective duty. So the commitment to the Israeli society to Jews is expended on such occasions to humanity. At large, we use Jewish terminology for that in the name tikkun olam. We mend the world. This is what the Jews are supposed to do to mend the world, or we bring values from the Israeli army. You do not leave wounded soldiers on the ground, okay. So this happens quite a lot. One of the most shocking experiences for foreigners in Israel is occasions where Israel stops entirely. Happens twice during the month of May, usually. Holocaust Memorial Day and the Memorial Day for the soldiers who were killed in combat. And on those days, the entire State of Israel stops for two days. So if you search YouTube, you'll get those clips where you see movies where cameras put on the main roads in Israel. And on those two moments, the entire state holds down, shuts down. Everything is just becoming silent, people stand up beside their car, as the picture you see, and just for two minutes empathize with the deceased, with the memory of the past. So government offices, universities, life shuts down. And people are surprised how can a country shutdown, because this is the sense they died for us, and we give them the due respect for two minutes, okay. Last code, code number ten. Intimacy. I call it direct intimacy. So let me begin with the text. Israelis rapidly hook to each other. They have no censor before exposing their innermost feelings, and they easily move with personal and intimate stories, creating seemingly intimate bonds in a matter of seconds. These behaviors, Israeli called Sa'ch'bakuit, kind of immediate friendship. Typify Israelis at home and abroad in informal settings, and in highly formal settings just as well. This immediate intimacy eases into personal relations for Israelis. So I sit in the metropolitan in New York. I want to be alone, and I hold a Hebrew book. And someone sees me with my Hebrew book, and he approaches me, and in two minutes, he will say, I'm divorced, I'm looking for someone. Can you tell me where to go? How much does it cost you to pay your, questions that in America, you never ask about money, about sex, about family, about suggesting to you what you need to. These are in five minutes. Strangers to each other, Israelis will talk about everything, and this is something that surprises, again, those coming from the outside. This invasive kind of relationship, but it's >> Once again, it's coming from deep kill to the other is a sense that we are in it together. So again, I say, it reflects the Israeli post drama from exile from dispersion all over the world. It is a correction for the cultural separation that was imposed on the Jews. If we want to understand why Israelis when they meet hug each other and hug a Canadian student once told me, we in Canada also hug. So I asked him, how do you do it? So he said, I do it like that. I hold my hand and I hug. There's a separation or there's a distance that I keep and Israel just hug you. They embrace you, they love you. There's a personal warmth that Israelis send to each other, so that causes embarrassment about privacy. To give you an example, we don't care for privacy. So I stand in line in my supermarket and with my cart, okay, they moved some stuff from my cart and now I'm standing in line. So the person in front of me is speaking to the cashier about her son's cancer and the cashier's telling her, what kind of treatment is he's getting? And she says, he's getting this and that. Now the entire line joins the conversation, collectivism, intimacy. We're in it together. Start the discussion what would be the appropriate treatment for the cancer of this person? And no one would think this conversation is out of place is bizarre. We're helping each other. So you'll see Israelis speaking on their cellphones about private stuff as if there's no one around, because they don't care. It's part of this casualness, they don't care. There's no privacy. The meaning of privacy in Israel is very different. Consequently, visitors feel that Israelis invade into their private sphere. They are shock being us seconds very intimate questions about money, sex and relations. So here's a typical interchange, what are you studying here. So, students coming to Jerusalem are what are you studying here? Why did you come to Jerusalem? Why did you come to Israel? Are you in a relationship? Do you want to come to Shabbat Saturday to meet my son? That happens time and again in a bus drive five minutes after they arrived to Jerusalem. So, the sense of invasion of privacy is something that is very typical. I'm arriving to final thoughts. So, who is in and who is out in my cultural interpretation of Israel? So, I'm leaving out those who are not part of the cultural trauma of Israeliness or the Zionist rendition of the Jewish past as a traumatic past. Ultra-Orthodoxy is not part of my story. Palestinian Israelis are not part of my story both groups have their own cultural trauma, which happened to be Zionism. So for Ultra-Orthodoxy, Zionism is Zionism, let's stop praying. Let's do. Let's take care of our own is ignoring God. So, for Ultra-orthodoxy, Zionism is the trauma. And if we want to understand orthodoxy, we need to understand this clash of civilizations of what Zionism created in European orthodoxy. And again, for the Palestinians, Zionism is their trauma. For understanding Palestinians, you need to understand the Nakba. The Nakba is the statehood of Israel, 1948 and the expulsion of Palestinians from their lands. So, how many Israelis am I speaking about? Well, it's about 60% of the Israelis. Orthodoxy accounts for something like 20% and growing. Palestinians count Palestinians, Israelis not those in the Palestinian authority. Those who were in Israel in 1948. They are about 20% of the Israeli population. And if we want a cultural understanding of those two tribes, we need to understand those traumas that I am the originator of being a member of the Zionist clan. If we want to understand the three tribes in Israel, we need to understand the cultural trauma of each of the groups. So it's not geopolitics, it's not what happens today. It's the trauma that explains the present. It's the past that explains the present. Thank you very much. >> Is there such a thing as national culture? In your own countries, can you identify these features that make you American, French, German or Chinese? Are the features that we have in common greater than those which drift us apart? Does cracking the code of Israelis, Israeliness help you better understand the Israelis you know and the news coming out of Israel? And can the ten general features that Israelis have in common according to Yair bridged many differences and conflicts that we've discussed throughout the course? What do you think? Our concluding class will take us to a concrete place in which national histories, traumas and aspirations of several nations have clashed for many generations. Jerusalem, the holiest of cities and to many people around the globe, the center of the world. Join us for the final part of this course.