Itai Braun, who works for Microsoft UK(but is an Israeli) shared some of the "advice" he got from MS Corp. before traveling to Israel. I found it a bit funny and somewhat hypocritical in some cases, as I'll note below(full list is here):
- Conversation in Israel is candid, informal, and forthright. If asked a question you would rather not answer, give a vague but polite response. (isn't that the opposite of candid and forthright? - how insulting. just say "I'd rather not, or can't answer that now")
- Any gesture displaying an extended thumb is offensive throughout the Middle East. For hitchhiking, the extender index is used. (not sure why it would be offensive here)
- Though punctuality is not a key value in Israel, foreigners should arrive to appointments on time. (aw, now my feelings are hurt, but it's pretty much correct)
- Business dress is less formal than Westerners are accustomed to at home. Men should wear slacks with a shirt and tie, while women are expected to wear a blouse with either slacks or a skirt. (we like it when people from abroad come all dressed up while we're in jeans. it makes us feel important)
- Business operates at a slower pace in Israel than it does in the West. (I have something to say about that, but it'll have to wait for tomorrow)
- Relationships matter in Israel's business world; if asked out for dinner or to visit someone's home, you should try to accept the offer. (now I won't invite any guests to shabbat dinner because people told them "Accept it no matter what"- thanks Microsoft!)
oh, there's also a wikipedia article about us..