1. Israel is fun, cosmopolitan, ancient and timeless. Above all it is a normal, modern country teeming with life, creativity, productivity, innovation and of course contemplation.
2. You can swim in three seas: the Red, the Dead and the Med!
3. The coffee shops are so good Starbucks went out of business!
4. Memorial Day is actually a day for remembering and the act of remembering halts traffic, not a day for doing DIY as it is in the UK!
5. Formal dress means a t-shirt, flip flops and jeans - good enough for weddings, good enough for funerals!
6. You don’t have to be best friends or kin to be invited to a wedding or funeral.
8. Street musicians are good enough to play in any orchestra!
9. Israel has every topographical region: The desert, the Mediterranean, the mountains, Lake of Galilee and the Dead Sea.
10. You can make friends with people in the supermarket or people who work at the bank or post office, or even on the bus.
11. You can take most exercise classes on the beach at sunset.
12. Finally, most amazing of all: Israel is the only country in the world where on Yom Kippur there is the most mysterious and mystical calm to be found on every street, which simply cannot be explained, only experienced.
Don’t be afraid, Sweden – come visit. I love Israel – there is truly no place like it.
Dr. Nerys Irving-Jones