# 157 – Le Shana Tova by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 157 – Le Shana Tova

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409

September 9, 2010

New Year’s Eve (yesterday)

Streets are empty, as are the beaches. The cafe served its last client: me. An iced coffee. Then they closed. Everyone’s home, preparing for the dinner which is, in the Jewish calendar, second only to Passover.


I’ve been away – you’ve had peace and quiet from me (one of the first expressions I learn in Hebrew: peace and quiet). We were in USA/Canada, a million miles from the Middle East. But every place has what it feels are its equivalent problems: the way the Orientals drive, the immigrants crossing the border (one of the many walls that does NOT get the same ugly publicity), the healthcare system, Obama, and bring the soldiers back – or be proud of them, depending on whether you’re on the Fox News channel or not.


Yes, we all have problems, but no other country ‘in the civilised world’ is fighting for its very survival like Israel. None. I’m sorry, but I have to say it: they just don’t know what it’s like.


Here we are, having direct peace talks again. I think (that’s I in Italics) that Netanyahu is offering a lot on the table, both on Israel’s behalf and on his own, for he is no longer the hard-liner he was. Several PMs here have openly stated how being in govt. changes the view previously held in opposition. That’s how dedicated and passionate our politicians are (when they’re not being corrupt, that is).  And I do not think Abbas has wavered 1 iota. His supporters have threatened to drop him like a cold piece of coal if he promises compromise.


Interesting articles focused on how to approach Hamas, who have been violently against the peace talks – killed 4 (5, if you count the 8-month pregnancy) in one attack, dragging the bodies out of their car and delivering coup de grace – and happily failing to kill 2 more the next day. One view says we should first concentrate on forcing the Hamas into the peace fold – by helping Fatah, their less-Jihadist, slightly-moderate Palestinian rivals – develop their lot.


It is now no secret that life in the West Bank is clearly better than before, and in Gaza itself (where the Fatah supporters have been oppressed) the email I forwarded to you last week clearly shows economic development. The train of thought is that society will recognise that this is better than religious hatred and blind opposition to their Jewish neighbours.


The other view is that we should work fast and closely with Fatah, thereby isolating Hamas, and hopefully forcing it into submission. I think this is naive, and is underestimating the totally stupid blindness of extremism, as is illustrated in so many other regions, let alone locally in Iran and southern Lebanon.


Now we’re all shaking in out boots about Rev Terry Jones’ intention to burn Korans on 9/11. This shmock, with a following of 3 in his neighbourhood and untold millions on the Net has got the whole western world rattled. Obama now says its wrong. Of Course it’s b. wrong. Send the local social worker and the sheriff down there and take away the guys matches. That’s step #1.


#2 is to criticise the fact that such a nobody gives excuse to the ‘the Islamic extremists’ to burn effigies of Tom, Dick and Harry in cities across the World. This is the fanaticism we are facing. This the fanaticism that Israel faces.

We’re handling it better than they are.

Maybe it’s because we’re fighting for our very existence.

# 157 – Le Shana Tova by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

PS – À propos sweet…the fabulous dinner Aviva prepared yesterday strictly followed the rules. This non-Biblical feast is meant to prepare each Jew for Yom Kippur. In some ways, it’s more sombre than the latter, as it asks each one of us to start thinking of how to better ourselves, turn a new leaf, start again from a new Creation, prepare for Judgement Day.

Apple dipped in honey, pomegranate seeds, dates, pumpkin etc. It was a real feast with many dishes – requiring every section of my parent’s cutlery and crockery sets.

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