Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Taming Israeli Chutzpah - will cash inducements do the trick?

Ronnie Maman, a 'Californicated' Israeli businessman who recently returned to the Holy Land after making a fortune on the West Coast of America for 18 years, apparently longs for that laid-back feeling of San Diego.
In fact, according to recent Israeli press reports, he wants to give a cash prize of $60,000 to anyone who finds a foolproof way to get brusque Israelis to behave themselves. (Getting readjusted after returning to the land of sharp elbows and shrill voices is taking its toll.) Maman hopes readers will post motivational ideas to encourage civilized behaviour and ordinary courtesy on his personal website and will mull over them and perhaps test some during the coming year before doling out any cash.
But does Izzy Bee detect a wee bit of chutzpah on Maman's part? The dude announced that he plans to publish the best 100 submissions for chutzpah modification as a hardcover book. Hmmmm. A hundred Joe Schmoes write the book, Maman gets the kudos and the book tour. All he does is give a big tip, worth about half a publisher's advance, to the best suggestion. OK, so maybe it's not mega-chutzpah on the scale of murdering your parents then appealing for clemency on the grounds that you are an orphan...but for someone who gets irked because Israelis pile into an elevator without allowing you to exit, or lean on the horn when the stop light is about to change, it's pretty cheeky.

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