English can be the official second language of Israel
English is the widest used language in the world, a language that is truly universal. It can also be considered a convenient, practical, and most common language for Jews to use around the world. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for Israel to transform itself into both an English and Hebrew speaking country.
It is used in diplomacy, business, commerce, science, high technology, aviation, air-traffic control, maritime communication, The U.N., International Olympic Committee and many other International organizations.
English allows for easy communication that also provides for safer and more enjoyable travel around the world. Therefore, visitors to Israel also need to be able to communicate in English.
In China, they start learning English in Kindergarten. Even children as young as two are sent by some parents to private language schools, which makes it possible for them to become fluent in English by age 10. That is something that Israel could do as well, with instruction continuing right into College.
According to Ronald Kotulak, author of “Inside the Brain,” during the first three years of life 50% of the ability to learn is developed and another 30% by age eight. Therefore, children’s natural ability to learn a second language should be taken advantage of at that time.
There is also an international system for English instruction by which instruction is divided into 9 levels. The focus is on listening and speaking, besides reading and writing.
The objective is to have the ability to communicate in English in every day life including the ability to read newspapers and magazines.
By the time a student graduates from high school their proficiency level could be at level 8 and reach level 9 in college.
A university education that includes science courses needs the English language as does working in high technology afterwards.
The importance of English is very obvious when over 50% of the Internet content is in English. When the English language is dominant in Business and Commerce. When over 96% of articles in the Sciences are written in English. When over 2-billion people in the world use the English language!
Six major countries have English as their spoken language. The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.
English is the Official language of 37-countries, which includes India having the largest number of English speaking people in the world.
There are 34-countries where English is primarily a Native language. That includes South Africa and Nigeria where a substantial number speak English.
There are also five countries where English is widely used as an unofficial language.
The use of English in our world is so vital and beneficial that it merits the right to be an official language of Israel, right alongside with Hebrew.
As it is right now the majority of Knesset members do not even know how to speak in English. How can they possibly contribute to positive PR with visiting parliamentarians? And that is just one unacceptable situation of many!
How ridiculously arrogant, sad and insulting it is to have the Minister of Absorption of all people, not being able to communicate in English, to an English speaking Nefesh B'Nefesh group that had just arrived in Israel with their 50,000th Olim?
The same goes for President Reuven Rivlin holding a speech at the same Nefesh B'Nefesh event, where except for a few words in English, his very prolonged speech was only in Hebrew?
Their obvious intention was engaging in self-promotion by courting the Israeli home viewer at the expense of the just arrived English-speaking immigrants.
What sadly was very evident is that Reuven Rivlin was so self-absorbed in his perceived self-importance that he could not even hold a banner without covering up the message of the celebrating girls T-shirt.
Unfortunately the Nefesh B'Nefesh flight arrival, instead of being properly addressed in spoken English, were introduced by what can only be characterized as dysfunctional self-serving politicians not able to fulfill their intended purpose of communicating an understandable greeting to the Nefesh B'Nefesh group!
Remedial action to the above can start with the next election by making English proficiency a requirement for anyone running for office! In fact, all Public Services should absolutely have the ability to communicate in English as a requirement.
State documents should be in both English and Hebrew side by side! Financial, Legal, Real Estate services, the Stock market, anything and everything that is put into print should be in both languages.
With the adoption of English, huge advantages for Israel will come into play. The use of English will open up many opportunities for a better life and a better future for the country.
English is simply a realistic necessity for an advanced economy and a modern society!
For many English-speaking adults the learning of Hebrew is a considerable challenge and a stumbling block to any possible move to Israel.
It would make all the difference in the world if English were to be an official second language. That would make it possible and easier for an older adult to adjust to a new life and also be an incentive for those same people to make aliya, who otherwise would not even consider doing so!
The resulting increase in aliya from English speaking countries would be enormous!
John Brent is an entrepreneur and retired Independent Insurance Broker from the State of California, now residing in the State of Nevada.