Allah did not say the word ‘Hayah’ which means life, affixed with the definite article Alif and Lam. Rather, it came without the definite article
﴾حَيَاةٍ﴿. This means that they are greedy for any type of life, be it full of sins or trivial. As it is still better, in their opinion, than death.
Because the polytheist does not have a Hereafter, the world is his only concern and the extent of his knowledge. The Jews were greedier for life than the polytheists were, as they hope and would love to live a thousand years or more. However, even if they lived a thousand years, this long life would not remove them from the punishment. And as long as the ending is death, there is no difference between the one who has lived only a few years and the one who has lived hundreds of years.