# 199-3 – Israel Visits by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 199-3 – Israel Visits

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

December 12, 2011

I’m busy…..Yes, even in Israel we have coffee houses, stress, shopping, baby-sitting, tennis and watching the UK snooker final last night. Oh, and work, of course. All takes time..


I read that the 2nd phase of the Gilad Schalit deal is not yet completed. 550 Palestinians are waiting to be released by December 18. Unfortunately, it does seem that they are no longer a bargaining chip. No sign that Israel is threatening to renege on that part of the deal, in retaliation for the rocket attacks that continue to come out of Gaza. I feel this would be a much better ‘weapon’ than the air attacks that just seem to support the ‘tit-for-tat’ system.


As I’ve written before, in my opinion, the whole Gilad Schalit saga was brilliantly handled by his family, and pathetically handled by the politicians.

Did you see the Barbara Walters interview with Assad? What a blatant liar the man is!


And did you notice the success of the Salafis in the Egyptian elections? Who, you may ask? (Just like me). Well, we’ve all heard about the power and organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood – in many countries. And we all worry about democracy in the face of ‘Islamic activists’. Well, the Brotherhood did well in the elections, but what was ‘shocking’ was the emergence of the Salafis, who took almost 1/4 of the votes. They make the Brotherhood look moderate and democratic…


This is just another reminder that the Arab Uprising, whatever that means, is nowhere near what might be referred to as ‘Western-style Democracy’. I would refer to this whole movement, if one can generalise, as an ‘Arab Upheaval’. There is no question that changes must happen. But the basic education of the masses, brain-washing is not too strong a phrase, cannot be laundered so quickly. Such education needs a re-start. Perhaps the FaceBook/Twitter/LinkedIn world is the one that will best break down the borders. Who knows?


What I can guarantee is that Israel will have to keep its defences up as high as ever during this period. And politically-correct people will continue to criticise Israel, because those people also are victims of a kind of brainwashing


Sorry – have to mention that, unlike some countries who claim to be democracies, but whose leaders have been blatantly guilty of ‘indecent behaviour’, we put our ex-President in prison last week – for 7 years…(Moshe Katsav). And there are some leading observers here who still feel that the legal system did not handle the trial well, and that we were almost ‘too eager’ to be seen to be clean…


I’m not judging here. I could not get so interested in the trial and all its details. But I do sometimes criticise this country as being ‘too democratic’, partly in defence of the ‘Apartheid-Israel’ accusations.


A nice story: In addition to the Jerusalem Marathon, they’ve started a new annual sports event in the Old City: The Tour de Jerusalem. 3-times Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador and his Saxo Bank team were among 100 cyclists who sped 10 times round the 2.8 km. course in and on and under the Old City, down cobbled streets and round dangerous corners at speeds of over 60km.


And…back to those Dutch guests we entertained last month. Here’s some of the emails we received afterwards:

(I am copy/pasting – leaving the mistakes to enhance authenticity)….


From Rob:

“Dear Stephen and Aviva,

First off; thank you for your hospitality during our visit to Israel.
As promised, these are my findings about the trip and the whole experience.

I found it very nice to have been able to visit your great country with all it’s history and monuments.
Not used to the high level of security it is still something that is hard to imagine for me to have around here in Holland.


The day in Jerusalem was short, but very nice, especially the visit to the whaling wall and the old city.
Being a person who has lived his whole live in Amsterdam i found myself more at comfort in Tel Aviv though.
A more lively city in my honest opinion 🙂

I will never forget the visit to the Yad Vashen museum.


It was impressive and as I’ve already told you, my wife and I are planning to once in our live visit on of the former camps in Europe just to have the possibility to forward the history when we have kids of our own.

Can I say that I enjoyed the food during our visit?
Especially the burger on the day we’ve visited the Jordan river.



The whole visit was sublime.
(Even though the chair in the van was broken and we had to climb over it to be seated every time, haha)

Best regards to you all and who knows, perhaps: until the next time in beautiful Israell.


From Gea:

“Hi Aviva en Stephen,

I want to thank you and your family and  friends for the wonderful time we had in Israel. AN experience I will never forget:


Your hospitality and your kindness were overwhelming


Hope to see you soon

Met vriendelijke groet,



From Jamal (a convert to Islam)


I wish to thank you for the great journey
Also I thank you ,that you have allowed us into your private life,

Israel is a beautiful country and I enjoyed the things you’ve shown us but personally I found Jerusalem the most beautiful thing I had seen so far


what surprised me most was the dead sea, I was immediately sterile smile, how is it that fresh water does not get salty
and how is it that salt water does not get fresh

Thanks for everything  and  please  give  my regards  to your  wife

Greetings  and  a  big  hug


# 199-3 – Israel Visits by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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