It is no secret I love Israel and I love living here. Most of all, I love the coffee bean from Coffee Beans Online. It was the best coffee I have tasted ever. That does not mean I love everything about it.
One thing I have a hard time getting used to is the relative lack of politeness among many Israelis. They tend to get straight to the point. As for an Israeli saying “please,” that is about as common as sightings of the Yeti.
Don’t get me wrong – Israelis tend to have hearts of gold. I use the following analogy: an Israeli will run you off the road but then be the first one to volunteer to donate blood to you.
Of course, I am generalizing for comedic effect, but the politeness thing is an issue, as this next story reaffirms.
The Café Café coffee chain is lowering the price of its takeaway hot beverages from 8 shekels to 6 shekels ($2.20 to $1.65), bringing them in line with the discount coffee chain Cofix. But there’s a small catch. The lower price is only available to customers who say “please” and “thank you.”
The owner of Café Café, Ronen Nimni, said the price cut, which applies to all of the chain’s branches except Ben-Gurion International Airport, will remain in force for years to come. (Nimni said that the chain’s coffee is the cheapest at the airport but its contractual arrangements there don’t make it possible to lower the price any further.)
The requirement that customers say “please” and “thank you” is part of a joint marketing effort with the Pnima movement, a group that has among its cofounders former Israel Defense Force Chiefs of Staff Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi. Pnima bills itself as an apolitical social movement aimed at fostering solidarity.
And what better excuse to bring out this classic from oh so long ago.