Israel – Hard shell, soft centre
Lunch or breakfast meetings are not popular, although a sandwich lunch in the office is common. Dinner is an excellent opportunity to discuss family, compliment Israeli culture, history or sports and continue with business discussions. Do not speak of Israeli politics or religious issues unless your host raises the topic, in which case be a good listener.
Israel is a young society where trauma and war has been the norm. As a result, most Israelis are impatient and try to get the most out of each and every day. If you are negotiating and talking in terms of months or years, you may lose your partner’s interest or they may not view you as serious. Try to speak realistically in terms of days and weeks.
Israeli business people enjoy negotiating and approach it in a robust manner. It is vital to get things in writing and a letter of intent or a contract will leave no room for misunderstandings in the future. Do not bring a lawyer to the meetings, rather send your lawyer all the papers and contracts for review.