# 241 – This Terrible Country by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 241 – This Terrible Country

by

Artwork: Stephen Pohlmann

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409
1

November 25, 2013

Some of you, and surely many of your acquaintances, have yet to visit Israel. ‘Is it safe?’ Laurence Olivier tried to literally extract from Dustin Hoffman. ‘Is it safe?’

It would be pretty stupid if, like some Dutch friends of ours, you do come here, and then slip on a cobblestone and damage something. You’d be told ‘You see? I told you not to go’.

 

2

Well, by not being here today, you’re missing having coffee with me on the promenade. It’s 27C, hardly a cloud in the sky. On my short ride here, I spied the following.

 

3
# 241 – This Terrible Country by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 241 – This Terrible Country by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 241 – This Terrible Country by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 241 – This Terrible Country by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 241 – This Terrible Country by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 241 – This Terrible Country by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

The Israeli Labour Party has its 9th leader in 11 years – Isaac Herzog (son of former Israeli President, Chaim Herzog). Until Menachem Begin took over, this country had been ruled by Labour. Defeated leader, Shelly Yacimovich, promises not to leave the party; to stay and unite. That’s quite new in today’s politics. Usually, an internal argument means the formation of a new party.

10

Have you noticed? Israel and the Gulf states finally agree on something. Of course, it had to be something as dastardly as the Iranian foreign policy, but there’s hope yet.

Yes, keep the negotiating doors open. Yes, hand them a couple of carrots. But do NOT give up sanctions until you see something concrete. If some countries are able to have nuclear power for totally peaceful purposes – by buying their enriched uranium from outside – then why not Iran. Why should we trust them?

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So Israel should give up its nuclear weapons..what weapons?…oh, everyone knows you have them…ok, but, as Israel itself know full well, life ain’t fair, and right now, Israel ain’t gonna give up whatever it’s got. If you really are one of those who puts Israel and Iran in the same moral boat, then there’s nothing to talk about, is there?

 

12

We saw a stunning Israeli movie a couple of days ago. ‘Bethlehem’ has already been nominated for some prizes. It’s an intense story about the relationship between an Israeli Intelligence guy and his Palestinian ‘insider’, a boy of perhaps 16. Despite no sub-titles, and the whole film in Hebrew and Arabic (with Hebrew subtitles), I really ‘got the message’.

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So many conclusions to be reached, such as –

  • Being a more ‘civilised/cultivated/educated’ society (anyone want to argue that point with me?), the Israelis do sometimes get their emotions mixed up with their jobs. And that can be disaster.

  • Abu Mazen cannot be seen to be truthful in his negotiations with Israel, otherwise he’d be dead the next day.

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  • The conflict among the Palestinian factions, ruled by the gun and not by politics, is frightening.

  • When you see a gun on Israeli streets, in most cases, you still feel ‘OK’. When the same is seen in the Palestinian areas, an AK-whatever slung across the back of a teenager, shivers go down your back.

  • The two sides are so far apart….

 

15

By the way, I do work. I just have the wonderful satisfaction of, if I’m in the country, and the sun is out, and Aviva has something to do, just jumping on the bike and I’m gone. I do have a trip to Paris this week – exhibition, and I do have sales meetings in UK early in December. And my last trip was crazy, with meetings, expos and conferences in Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland and Switzerland.

Stephen

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