Coming up next week on Realgoodwords (May 7th & 11th) you'll hear my conversation with Donna Rosenthal. Donna has rereleased her book "The Israelis - Ordinary People in an Ordinary Land" for the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of Israel on May 8th, 2008.
In putting together this book, Donna made a rule for herself to talk to REAL people, not politicians. As she said to me, "Politicians are like diapers you should change both of them frequently and for the same reason".
She also wanted to talk with women (half the interviews are with women) and young people. She said, "I tried to keep the average age young because I think to understand to understand ANY country it is important to go into the playgrounds, bedrooms, boardrooms, classrooms and in Israel the army barracks."
More about "The Israelis":
The Israelis finally shows these spectacularly diverse people as they see themselves: trying to lead ordinary lives in an abnormal country. They live with exploding buses, but Israeli youth are also the worlds' biggest MTV fans and their heroes are former soldiers who've built the world's second Silicon Valley. You'll meet the Israeli Bill Gates and the third wife of a Bedouin who watches Oprah. Then there are the women combat officers who serve in the world's only country that drafts women. You'll see firsthand what's it like taking your children to the mall - first to shop at Toys R Us and then to be fitted for larger gas masks. And meet the newlywed whose Ethiopian-born parents dislike her husband, not because he's white - but because he's not Jewish enough.
Donna told me about going to discos and clubs in Israel so she could meet younger people. "Discos don't explode like you get a feeling that they do every night when you watch the CNN. Most of them open at 11 o'clock at night and Israelis of all religious backgrounds dance until dawn. You get this feeling that Israel is a very dangerous place and yet the murder rate in Israel has been less for the last three years than the first five months of the year in Washington D.C. "
Tune in for our conversation.