# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 251 – Mangal

by

Artwork: Stephen Pohlmann

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409
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May 8, 2014

Check those ‘who has the time’ listings, and you will find that Israel is among those countries where people are the happiest.

Check the listings on the other page, that show the countries most thought to be dangerous, and again, Israel is high on the list.

Strange.

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Have a look at the country on its birthday. Yesterday was it’s 66th, and you’ll see more signs of such paradoxes.

Israel is a relatively long and thin country. No one is more than 100 km. by road from the Med. Sea.

So it is not much of a surprise that when the Air Force ‘flies by’  as it did yesterday midday, many are on the coast, along the beaches, and many with flags in babies’ hands.

Just about every sailboat in the country becomes part of a flotilla of celebrations.

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Then, those at the beaches drift to the parks and other picnic areas and set up the ‘mangal’, the barbecue. They bring everything: the meat (steaks, sausages, wings, thighs and, very popular skewers of everything), salads, pittas, drinks, sunflower seeds and mini-bagels, ‘bambas’ for the kids.

It is estimated that perhaps 20% of the country ‘joined in’.

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# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

The evening before, there were the usual extravaganzas held in Jerusalem.

On Mount Herzl, as Memorial Day in memory of the fallen soldiers faded into Independence Day, in addition to the wonderful dancing and singing, there were 2 focuses: The IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) and the 120 who had been recognised as having excelled during the year….And Women. 12 were nominated to ‘light the flame of honour’.

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They included:

  • A mother of 6 who lost 2 boys in battle, and has 3 other children in the forces.

  • Israeli sportswomen, represented by Shahar Peer, our leading tennis player in recent years, and one who lost both legs in a train accident, and had become one of Israel’s greatest-ever handicapped athlete (we have too many).

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  • The Israeli lady who has become int’l VP with Intel, and who was influential in the company’s decision to invest heavily in this country.

  • Geula Cohen, long-time politician and still, at 88, very active

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  • An Ethiopian lady who was among the first to come here and who has never flinched in helping all the other Ethiopians who have folllowed and settled here

  • The reporter who has dedicated her life to reporting on the military, so much so, that they actually respect her

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  • The Arab woman who is a leader in her community and who does not shy away from actually saying that she is a proud citizen of a decent society

  • The aged and still very popular actress, herself a Holocaust survivor, who did her bit in disproving those who still deny

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  • The army general (how many countries have – or even need – a female general?), known to be much-respected in ‘a man’s world’

  • Rabinsky, one of only 35 in the World who made some great scientific breakthrough (no idea what)

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  • Adina Bar-Shalom, head of the Haredi College. ‘Haredi’ are the ultra-religious, often the butt of many criticisms, including their over-emphasis on religion. But this great lady has ensured that at least someof her community receive higher education in more practical studies.

  • And another lady, whom I do not recall – I didn’t make notes, and my memory is failing..

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Then, there was a party in the ‘garden’ of the President’s residence. A bit like The Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. (America doesn’t have one of those titular things; most in Europe do, but don’t use them as much as we and the British do). Again the emphasis on the armed forces, but in such a way as to say “That’s us, this is how we have to be, to live, to survive. So we treat the armed forces as part our family, for that’s its make-up: our kids.

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There were was one of our top MC’s, making a very good attempt at getting an otherwise ‘less-entertaining team’ to have fun:

Shimon Peres, our President – and our previous neighbour. (I’ve told you before of interaction I had, especially with his late wife, Sonya).

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# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

Bibi Netanyahu, our PM (and ex-political rival of Peres), who’s complained about that Internet provider stealing his name..(That’s a joke!)

Israel’s very popular Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz

And, Israel’s current Defence Minister, Moshe Ya’alon

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The MC asked them their favourite songs, and then had ‘their favourite singers’ coming on and singing the song – with them. (I just can’t imagine Queen Elizabeth singing ‘Livin’ Doll’ with Cliff Richard – at least not in public).

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# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

  1. Not only the PM sings, but the President (ex-political opponent) applauds. If that ain’t diplomacy and political correctness, nothing is.

  2. Ehud Barak and his new wife in the audience. (His ex-wife was Aviva’s cousin).

  3. Look at the cute soldier chosen to sing with her ‘supreme leader’…Moshe Ya-alon had a singer, but he did not have the same luck…

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# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

I could tell you about the wonderful atmosphere at the presentation of the Israel Prize to the much-deserved recipients – the flags and banners on rooftops, on cars and on bay-strollers –

the clear ‘putting-aside’ of politics and problems and a show of pride in something ‘concrete’.

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# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 251 – Mangal by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

But, like in the London Blitz during WWII, there is a bond between Israelis which, with no long period of ‘relaxed peace’ in sight, will continue – and is very special to witness.

Stephen

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