# 185 – CNN Back Story by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 185 – CNN Back Story

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

May 28, 2011

I have just received this from friends of ours. It was written in response to my ‘Naqba’ letter and, as you can see, it follows their first visit to Israel –


Dear Stephen and Aviva,

We are so disappointed that we did not have an opportunity to visit with you in Israel. Our tour far exceeded our expectations for education and fun! We ate some of the finest food we’ve ever tasted beginning with a kibbutz in the Golan Heights and three 5-star hotels in Jerusalem, Tiberias, and the Dead Sea. 


The tours of the Walled City and all the underground excavations were truly amazing. We received enlightening teaching at Tel Dan, Caesarea by the Sea, the Temple Mount, Masada and Petra, Jordan. We hated to leave. The only negative note to our time in Israel was watching our feckless president embarrass our nation in his own office while treating PM Netanyahu disrespectfully.


Regarding your email, we find it hard to believe that any thinking person could expect a nation under siege from Islamic terrorists to attempt negotiating with people who have proved themselves to be hateful and untrustworthy. Thank you for your updates and your valuable comments. After our visit to beautiful Israel and the courteous treatment we received, we have a much better appreciation for the dear friends who have been double-crossed by the President of the USA.


I’m in Helsinki, where the sun is struggling to come out.

I was watching CNN yesterday They have that good programme called ‘Back Story’, where the reporters turn the cameras on themselves, giving what appears to be a truer perspective of the story on which they are reporting. The REAL story.


Well, what’s his name was reporting from a Libyan village, where the rockets were falling sporadically and aimlessly. He showed clearly the devastating psychological effect of a bomb attack, wherever those things fall. The rubble, the noise, the twisted and still-warm metal of the rocket casing, the pieces of shrapnel that are embedded in walls, and occasionally in a foot or a cheek.


Then we see the suffering children; the looks on their faces. He gets them to sing a song, and it seems all the more eery when you see where they spend most of their time: in caves or rock shelters; a labyrinth of rooms with 1 light bulb.

You really feel for the people. Great story….

OK, you know where I’m going, don’t you?


So where was he when 7,000 rockets fell on Sderot, Ashkelon and the surrounding areas? And where were you out there?

The Libyans were helpless, asking why the UN or NATO or someone did not come to help them. You think the Israelis felt so different? And help WAS at hand. The Israeli military might was just down the road. And it was sitting on its hands, trying to appease international pressure to leave the poor Gazans alone. Those poor Gazans who were firing 7,000 rockets on Israel.


Our friends’ words above touch on this. We not only had the right, but also the means to strike back. We could have hit back after the first rocket. We waited 4 years! We begged the UN to stop the Palestinians. 7,000 of the potentially bloody things.

And then we did attack. And boy did we get critical ‘shit’ from every corner of the World.

I’m sorry, but that just ain’t fair.


I was in Malmo yesterday. My cab driver, clearly not locally-born, noticed the tag on my suitcase: El Al’s King David Club. (Malmo is the city in Sweden with the most immigrants. It is the scene of the protests when Israel played Sweden there in the Davis Cup 2 years back – so much so that they played the match with closed doors. And still Israel won!).


He asked me where I’m from. England I replied. (I was not in the mood for a 3-minute council meeting). And you? Palestine, he replied. Oh, you’ll be getting your country in September, I said.

Silence for the rest of the trip.


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