# 350 – Diplomacy, Democracy & Monarchy by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 350 – Diplomacy, Democracy & Monarchy

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

November 18, 2019

Diplomacy, Democracy and Monarchy (DDM)

We have perhaps reached the point in time when the few who defend the traditional definitions of DDM are losing one of their staunchest supporters. Me.


Diplomacy – In my opinion, it was unnecessary, in July last year, to pass the Nation State law, officially recognising Israel as the nation state for the Jewish people. It changed very little on the ground, and yet it caused a great outcry from many directions. In no way did this help move us (Israel) forward in our ‘diplomatic relations’ with other countries, in and outside the neighbourhood.


At the same time, Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. I know many who felt that this step was ‘undiplomatic’ to say the least. But there I disagreed. It was scandalous that the international community refused to accept Israel’s wish – the wish of the Jewish people for thousands of years. It is now negotiable whether the Palestinians get their undiplomatic wish to have their capital in the same city. No other country shares their capital with a neighbour. Why should we? There’s absolutely no historic precedence for this.


And now to Mike Pompeo’s (i.e. Donald Trump’s) declaration yesterday that the settlements are ‘not illegal’. (Seems that some U.S. committee spent umpteen months scouring the law books to come out with this. Again, I feel that, whether right or not, this was extremely undiplomatic. We all know that this will change nothing on the ground. If anything, it will increase the anger of the neighbours and the international community (it already has, according to the statement from the EU). And Netanyahu has, of course, straddled the engine of the Trump train and glorified the decision.


I have friends, some readers of this letter, who will disagree with me. But that’s the point I am making. They have left diplomacy behind. Rather tell it as it is, and face the consequences. Even in the Middle East desert of 50 and 100 years ago, one welcomed the stranger in one’s tent with warmth and hospitality. The knives were at the ready, but were kept out of sight. Those days have gone.


Democracy – that word has become a joke. The simple Oxford definition has perhaps not changed –

A political system that allows the citizens to participate in political decision-making or to elect representatives to government bodies

But the interpretation has gone haywire. Isn’t that exactly what’s happened to the Bible? (Some of my religious Christian friends love to tell me to ‘let me show you in the Bible where it says so’, not being able to answer my point that great scholars of other sects and religions interpret those words so differently).


And now the (British) Monarchy. (Yes, this is a Letter from Israel’, but I am a British ex-pat and I am still interested in a) what happens in Britain, and b) what happens in some of the places outside Israel). Prince Andrew is an absolute twit. He has taken an institution which was trying to recover from tatters, and has ripped it apart. And poor old Elizabeth has abandoned ‘monarchial diplomacy’ (is that English??) and supported her beloved son, despite the fact that she may end up having to visit him in prison.


(I TOLD her to abdicate some months ago!! Yes, I am a supporter of the constitution, but there is such a thing as intelligence and common sense. She is now the longest-serving monarchy, she has done a magnificent job in the face of so much opposition, she knows she could live till 103 – her mummy did – and so, while she still has her wits around her – and her husband is 98 – wouldn’t it be nice to spend quality time with him?).


If ever there was someone who opened his mouth and put his foot in it, it’s Andrew. His advisers have really let him down – or he stupidly ignored them. Either way, this disastrous story will not be going away in the near future. Poor Elizabeth, her ‘Annus horribilis’ just will not go away.

I was a defender of the immediate Monarchy. I always saw it as an escape from the daily horrors. A soap opera which, every now and then, brought the country together as no other event could, a business that brought millions of tourists to the country, something to smile at and about.


I was less of a fan of the earls, dukes and princes who appeared to be hangers-on, living in a royal cuckoo land. But the success of ‘Upstairs Downstairs’, ‘Downton Abbey’ and all the ‘Queen’ films proves that there’s something there to like. Visit one of the National Trust’s royal estates, and there’s an atmosphere there that few artists can reproduce.


Some of the homes are still officially in the hands of the royal cousins. But, in many cases, it’s become a rather honourable occupation. It’s not easy to run a well-landscaped castle of treasures, splendid enough to attract not only German and American tourists, but people like you and me.

But Andrew’s killing it.


PS – See following pages…..


How could I forget…..

The Election!

No change; we are still stick in the political mud. Every offer of coalition is rebuffed, no matter how corrupt and uncompromising the offer.

Remember Groucho Marx who said that he’d never be a member of a club that accepted him.


Well here in Israel, it’s the reverse…never be a member of a club that accepted him/her!

Belgium seems quite capable of surviving for long periods without a government, but I kinda think Belgium nestles in a relatively quieter part of this strange World.

And how could I forget….


Messi played here yesterday.

Argentine was supposed to play against Israel here last year, but the game was cancelled at the last minute, apparently because of pressure from the BDS movement.

(Bowel Distress Symptoms). This time it went ahead – at our upgraded 30,000 capacity Bloomfield stadium in Jaffa.

(One comment from a fan yesterday: Amazing stadium. Digital screens, very cool too. Sound is good. Very well renovated. Lights very powerful. Bathrooms clean and modern. Food establishments, several. Takes a while to pass security and get in but that’s is part of making sure we are safe).


The game was not against Israel, but a friendly against Uruguay, led by Messi’s Barcelona team-mate, Suarez. Final result: perfect 2-2, the goals scored by the 4 big names: Cavani, Suarez, Aguero and, in extra time, a penalty by Messi.

Everyone was happy – except the millions of haters, whose bowel movements caused them even greater stress than usual.


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