# 246 – Before I Die & BDS by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 246 – Before I Die & BDS


Artwork: Stephen Pohlmann

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

February 12, 2014

Shira and her husband went to see Gary Numan last night.

Never heard of him? Well shame on you. He’s a big name in the pop world (although somewhat faded).

Maybe I’m exaggerating, but it does seem that more entertainers are coming to this country than before. Not sure what the incentive is, apart from ‘just another gig’.


For some, perhaps the boycott of Israel is the catalyst. No such thing as bad publicity and all that.

I mean, the Rolling Stones will be here in June, Neil Young’s coming, Beyoncé is signing a deal…

Aznavour’s show a few months back was such a success, he’s back next month (with doctor, I’m sure – the man is around 90).

Nana Mouskouri’s coming, but she’s been here many times.


Cindy Lauper was here last month, and I told you about Burt Bacharach’s wonderful visit – and Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) – and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Depeche Mode and Metallica.

I saw Madonna here – and Michael Jackson (before he died) – and these are just some of the names that quickly come to mind…


Come on, those of you who are contemplating….those of you floating in the floods of the Thames or frozen to the street lamps of the Mid- and Northwest.

Come and sit on my roof, as I am now, squinting in the hot morning sun, coffee at hand. Come, before you die..



Perhaps you decline because of BDS. Never heard of it? If that’s the case, then I’m grateful that you glance at this letter. Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions has become a major campaign to hurt Israel. Unquestionably, it can be and is compared to the international boycott of South Africa, which inevitably helped destroy apartheid.


Of course I believe that the BDS campaign is a load of dung (see below). This again goes back to the very reason I write this letter. I repeat: the ‘positive’ ignorance of every individual…there is only so much we can absorb. I have little or no idea what is going on in China, Central African Republic, the background of the Putin’s Sochi Olympics, why Qatar won the ’22 World Cup and what rights Pres. Hollande’s ex-partner has. I also do my best to limit my comments on those subjects.


So where does all this criticism of Israel come from? And don’t think that this is just a random question. I have met enough people with a negative opinion of Israel, and have seen that they have no idea what is going on. They read their Guardian and NY Times, or just march along with the flow of the blind because….well, perhaps because they’re too lazy to investigate, or just don’t have the interest – or the guts – to stand up and be counted.



The BDS has 3 basic aims:

     Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall;

  1. Fact: First, note that it is called ‘wall’ and not ‘fence’ or ‘border’, despite less than 10% being an actual wall. I was strongly criticised when I stated that one the main reasons my daughters were alive was because of that security fence. Hundreds had been killed before it’s construction. Almost none since. It is a ‘wall’ in areas where the problem was not infiltration of terrorists, but simple shooting from the Arab neighbourhoods. Happily, bullets are predictably unable to go round corners.



  1. do have sympathy for the upheaval of daily life this brings to some Arab communities, but the priorities are so clear.

  2. The World is full of such security borders, let alone political (US/Mexico/Canada?). What’s the real basis of the criticism?

  3. Ending occupation?

  4. We ended occupation in southern Lebanon, and not a sign of peace.



  1. We ended occupation in the Sinai…yes, there were years of peace, but now the Sinai is a dangerous nest of terrorism, which is a big worry also to the government of Egypt.

  2. We ended occupation in Gaza – immediate hail of missiles.

  3. We’ve retained occupation of the Golan Heights, and, despite the horror of Syria today, we have relative peace in that area.



  1. We still occupy the West Bank, although only partially. For this is located in the heart of the country, only stone-throwing distance from almost everywhere in this tiny region. Since the Oslo Agreement, there has been gradual reduction of Israeli forces and influence. This cannot and will not be rushed. We have far too much real and recent experience to risk an early end to occupation there.



  1. ‘Colonization’. Well, we can and shall argue till the cows come home as to who was there first and who has the Godly, legal or moral right to the land. Me? I’m used to having neighbours with whom I don’t necessarily ‘get on’. This world is full of good and decent people who just ‘get on with life’. A constant reminder that, here in Israel, we know how to live with neighbours who, so easily, could be the hated edge of criticism from us. Over 20% of Israelis are Arabs.



  1. Half the cashiers downstairs in the local super are Arabs, as are many of the local beach-lovers on Fridays, the BBQ-ers in our local park, the doctors, nurses and patients in our hospitals, and the head judge of our highest court. All are ‘tolerated citizens’.



  1. The Palestinians will NEVER consider a time when some of their citizens could be Jewish. Absolute brain-washing.

  2. And why are those Jews there? Main reasons: UN declares State of Israel; Arabs don’t accept; start a war, lose it; start 2nd war, lose it ; start a 3rd war, lose it. we start occupying. I would call that a case of logics – and ultra-patience.



  1. Another reason is that haze of going back in history (not necessarily so long) when facts made it fairly clear that Jews have every right to be in ‘those areas’, and pre-1947 international laws were passed supporting those rights. Allow me to say that, strategically, the international community has made a mess of the division of lands here.



Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Paletinian citizens of Israel to full equality

Fact: there do have equality..

In Israel, they have equal or better rights of any or every citizen in the World from a minority group, such as Turkish/Germans, Mex/Americans, Oriental/Canadians and Russian-Ethiopian-Moroccan-Yemeni-Iraqi-Iranian etc./Israelis.


They just have fantastic propaganda groups who spread twisted stories to a world more than ready to listen and absorb.

(Wow! I sound like some right-wing soap-box idiot at Hyde Park Corner. But I’m not. And that’s the point).



Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194

This is, again, a load of dung. Pre-194 was 181, declaring the 2-state solution. This was officially and practically accepted by Israel, and never accepted by most/all the Arabs.


Any attempt to get a later resolution accepted when the basic one is discarded is fantasy. The Independence War of 1948 and its consequences created far more Jewish refugees from Arab lands than vice versa. Most/all of them settled and moved on with their lives. The current over 50,000 Jews still living in Arab countries (half of whom are in Iran) could be settled in Israel or in many other countries without problem.


The status and the facts of Jewish and Arab refugees is so obvious, that it is silly to discuss the subject.  Sadly, or perhaps not, the World is full of citizens who are ‘settled refugees’ for whatever reason. The Palestinians just have to accept this and move on. Perhaps look forward to a time when they come on vacation to Israel and visit their long-lost relatives.


# 246 – Before I Die & BDS by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

The Jerusalem Post had an excellent article last weekend about the marketing of this country. They used an image of the ‘Dung Gate’ as an intro..Strange name, but directly translated from the Hebrew, and the days when this was where the refuse from the Temple area was stored – and hopefully collected. Today it is the nearest of the Old City’s 7 gates to the Wailing Wall, and therefore the first sight that many tourists have when descending from their bus. And it could be nicer.


The article then went into how this fantastic city, with its unmatched history, could be better marketed, even down to having ‘Vatican-like’ guards at the Western Wall.


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