The Israeli business magazine Globes reports on a connection between high salaries and politeness:
Polite Israelis earn more
A JIMS survey found no correlation between education and politeness.
A survey conducted among Israelis ahead of Yom Kippur has found that politeness pays. The survey entitled “Is it worth it to be Polite? Israel’s First National Survey of Politeness,” which was carried out by the Jerusalem Institute of Marketing Studies (JIMS), found that there is a correlation between the level of a person’s politeness and the level of their income. JIMS also investigated the connection between politeness and higher education as well as other attributes. The survey also thinks that this Yom Kippur, Israelis have much to ask forgiveness for.
The survey covered a representative sample of 992 adult Jewish Israelis. Questions tackled such topics as talking on cellular telephones in public, driving, attitudes to the elderly and people with disabilities, use of crude language, and more. Respondents were asked to discuss how they behaved in these areas and on the basis of their answers they were given a “politeness grade” on a scale of zero to 4.
The survey found that there is no correlation between higher education and the level of a person’s politeness and that it is also irrelevant whether a person is married or not and how many children they have. On the other hand, the survey found that the more polite a person is then the higher is their income. Each 10% that a person’s politeness grade rises is worth 5.8% more in the family’s income.
In every area the survey found that men are less polite than women, immigrants are more polite than native born Israelis, haredi (ultra-orthodox) Israelis are more polite than their religious, traditional and secular compatriots, and older people are more polite than young people.
The survey found that: 78% of Israelis always or frequently encountered people talking loudly in public on their cellular phone; 71% always or frequently found people driving aggressively or without caution, and 53% frequently heard crude language in public places.
The survey also compared its findings to a similar survey conducted in the US. 28% of Israelis said that they encountered discourteous behavior in public places compared with 19% in the US. However, the level of impoliteness encountered in stores and malls (31%), work (13%), at airports (13%) and in the neighborhood (9%) was similar or lower than the US findings.
Amir Mizroch of the Jerusalem Post responds on his blog: A Ministry of Manners and Politeness for Israel:
It’s just plain rude when you cut into my lane, put us both in mortal danger and then pretend not to notice me when I honk at you. Did nobody ever teach you that a safe distance between two cars is not an invitation to cut in line? Or that honking at the car in front of you the split second the traffic light turns green is not polite? It’s also not polite when you dart into a parking bay I am clearly waiting to enter, even as you see my car indicator lights flashing. It’s even worse to then walk away and pretend you didn’t see me.
Finally, I received this depressing comment on an old post, In Defense of Israeli “Rudeness.”
I agree with most of what’s been said above. I’ve been recently relocated to Tel Aviv and have been suffering some of the rudest behaviour one could ever imagine.
I like this country; it’s a fascinating piece of land, ( culturally, historically and politically ).
Nonetheless, I still do not understand why do people behave in such way; their geopolitical situation is by no means an excuse to such rude behaviour.
I get pushed off the line all the time, made fun at when I try to utter some words in Hebrew or made disrepectful jokes all the time ( even at stores when I’m trying to buy something); people are rude at the gym, on the beach, at the supermarket or in the shopping mall.
I’ve lived all over the world; Spaniards, Germans and North Americans were always nice and welcoming; even people going through very difficult situations ( Mozambique; Angola) were much nicer than what Israelis are.
There must be something very wrong with this country and I think that Israelis should make some sort of collective self-examination to understand why do they treat others that way.
I came here freewillingly wanting to have a good and interesing experience but after a few months in Tel Aviv, I just feel like wanting to move somewhere else.
I don’t believe there is much value in finger-pointing. The question is what can those of us living here do to change the situation. Besides, obviously, making sure that we are not part of the problem.
Are there any positive behaviors that we can highlight? In downtown Washington DC, and I was afraid to cross the street. There are many bad driving patterns here but my 9-year-old says people almost always stop to let him cross. In the same comment thread jjoe points out: “. . . . the amount of Hessed (good deeds) here is astounding – Israel has the highest rate of donations to charity, per capita, than any other country in the world and if you are in trouble, someone will rise to the occasion.”