A study, which ranked Israel 140 out of 144 countries in terms of being a safe place to live, was reported in today’s ‘Haaretz’.(1) Interesting was the reaction from the newspaper’s readers who all, more or less, maintained that they found Israel a very safe place to live. Maybe those who conducted the survey were as confused as to what exactly constitutes Israel’s borders as most Israelis are themselves. Perhaps, they even conducted their quantitive survey on Nazareth High Street and, unkown to them, confined their interviews to Israeli Arabs. Nevertheless, the reaction from ‘Haaretz’s’ readers does show us that the evidence would seem to suggest that most Israeli citizens do not feel very threatened at all; something that would appear to dispel the myth of the little, beleaguered, Israel, threatened by all and sundry.
Still, on reading one particular letter, I got a little clue as to why these people actually think someone else’s country is their own with Gill from Hafai writing, “And Norway happens to be number 3 on that list (she is refering to the list of the world’s most dangerous countries), One question should be asked: “What would happen, if you happen to go to Norway and enter the city of Malmo And say, “Hello I am from Israel“, What do you think would happen? Well one way to know is try it for yourselves,Try it! Nothing to fear, After all they are the 3ed peaceful country on the Globe!”(2) Now, I am not sure of what exactly Gill is babbling on about, however, maybe someone should tell her that Malmo is in Sweden and not Norway. Of course, she might not quite understand what you are talking about. After all, Gill often gets confused like this in a country, which has yet to define its own borders and while Malmo is in Sweden not Norway, I am not quite sure where Hafia is; Palestine, I think!