# 269 – Jewish State by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 269 – Jewish State

by

Artwork: Stephen Pohlmann

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 410
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December 1, 2014

I’ve been wanting to write something about the recent headlines, but was travelling intensively. On Saturday, Nov 29, we were on a very special trip which relates to this subject. (See pictures later). 67 years before, the UN voted for the establishment of 2 states for the 2 peoples in this area who needed and deserved a home of their own.

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[Reminder: The official UN Resolution 181 was due to be considered on November 26, 1947. The actual subject was to partition the British mandated land of Palestine into a home for the Jewish people and one for the Arabs, both Muslim and Christian – with Jerusalem to be ‘under international control. A 2/3 majority was required of the then only 56 countries in the UN – of which Haiti was one, I like to add.

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The Jewish supporters were fairly confident of a majority, but not 2/3. They KNEW that the Arabs would all be against – and they also knew that the Arabs would not accept a ‘Yes’ vote. A 3-day postponement was granted, to allow more lobbying. It was intense, and there are incredible stories of the 24-hour pressure that was put on individual states to vote one way or the other.

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The final vote, on November 29,. 1947, was 33-for and 13-against, with 10 abstentions.

You will all know about the 1948 War of Independence. But how many of you know about the civil war which broke out in Palestine on the day of that vote? At least 2,000 Jews and at least double that number of Arabs died during the months leading up to the day the British left and independence was declared in May 1948.

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Another reminder that there was no reason why we do not today celebrate the Day of Independence of a Palestinian State on the same day. That was the whole idea: 2 states and an internationally-governed Jerusalem. Oh! how so many have forgotten the details. The reason why Jerusalem is today fought over is because the Arabs did not accept the democratic vote at the UN in 1947, and now hate to accept the consequences.]

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Those of you who still ‘aren’t quite sure’ about the Jews’ struggle for this land, should think back to that day in November 1947. And perhaps also glance back at 2,000 years of oppression, persecution and downright bad treatment.

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Years ago, a Lebanese friend of mine complained about the overpowering Israeli army that maltreated the poor Palestinians, the women, the children. “But YOU built that army. Not us”. With protest in his eyes, I reminded him that one of the only things the Jews definitely did NOT have in 1947 was weapons.

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They were not fighters. The last time they had something like a battle was the Maccabi revolution against the Romans. Somehow, the Jews survived the 1947/48 wars. They then built up the Israeli army, and the rest is history.

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Same thing with Jerusalem. The Jews accepted the UN vote to internationalise the city. The Arabs didn’t. There was a war. The Jordanians occupied Jerusalem – destroyed all synagogues; banned Jews from the holy sites. Another war in 1967. Israel won back the Old City. Opened it to all religions. United it. Even gave (unbelievably decent and democratic) control of the Temple Mount (Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock) to the Muslims. And still they complain…

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The current political move to make Israel a Jewish state is downright stupid. A knee-jerk reaction to all the recent violence in and around the capital (rabbis at prayer hacked to death; others with chopped off limbs – people standing at bus stops and light-rail stations run over by vehicles simply swerved into them – random stabbings in the Old City). Netanyahu is making perhaps his biggest political mistake.

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I see new elections coming.

Fact is that the original declaration made it quite clear that Israel is a (the) Jewish state. No need to repeat the obvious. Like any other country, the minorities have full rights to have, and full rights to complain when they haven’t. Same as in most ‘democratic countries’ of the World, such as yours.

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Several years ago, both Time and McClean’s (Canada’s version) magazines had front-page articles about why Israel won’t survive. They were both referring to the same subject: you can’t have both a Jewish state AND democracy. Can’t have it both ways.

My reaction was to ridicule the two. One of my ‘Letters from Israel’ focused on the definition of ‘democracy’. There are so many versions….

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In most senses of the word, Israel is one of the most democratic countries in the World. Considering its problems, ridiculously so.

But…we are not stupid. We cannot allow a situation to arise where, with clear knowledge of what happens when Muslims rule a country, the Jews lose the majority here.

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I remember asking countries like France, Denmark, Holland etc. what they will do when the Muslim population rises to 49% of the nation. Look what France did in Algeria when ‘democratic elections’ put the Jihadists in power…

Fact is, in this crazy world, that whatever your definition of democracy, there are limits.

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The event we attended was in the hills next to Jerusalem. About 60 of us walked through the gardens, ate, drank and sung songs, all to remember that important day in 1947. Patriotic? Maybe. But it was just a bunch of middle-aged folks, having an excuse to sing and dance. It was poignant that the last 3 songs, beautiful tunes, even without the words, were:

 

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“I have no other country” (as illustrated below – with the picture of the young guy)

“Let’s sing a song of peace”

“New dreams when we wake up”

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# 269 – Jewish State by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 269 – Jewish State by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

And then, before leaving the area, we visited the 9/11 Memorial, the first of its kind outside USA. (It’s located beneath the incredible construction going on of the hi-speed rail system between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which includes 30 km. tunnel).

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# 269 – Jewish State by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
# 269 – Jewish State by Stephen Pohlmann - Illustrated by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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