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Israel and America: A Risky Comparison

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Why has Israel become a startup nation par excellence? Why is driving a car in Israel so hazardous? One answer is that both these seemingly unrelated questions are two sides of the same coin: Israeli culture abounds in, and thrives with, risk.

Americans (especially) visiting Israel come away appalled by certain social practices: Israelis let their 8-year-olds walk to school by themselves? Or take public transportation without adult supervision? Drivers cut through highway lanes as if it were the Indianapolis 500? And then they hear (but don’t get to see) other “crazy” phenomena such as 20-year-olds leading a platoon of soldiers in live-fire training (and battle, when needed)?

In the U.S. parents have been arrested for letting their 9-year-old child walk home from school unattended. Playgrounds have to follow strict design requirements lest Jimmy and Donna scrape their knee or injure their elbow. Not to mention pharmaceutical commercials that (by law) have to spend more airtime warning about possible, negative side effects than the time allotted to actually marketing their product! And now, most recently, the U.S. (and Europe........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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