# 275 – Democracy by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 275 – Democracy

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

January 29, 2015


# 275 – Democracy by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

Saw this painting somewhere and was impressed with the message. Perhaps a year ago, I met a guy who described himself as ‘retired, now a ‘new historian’.

He said that either history needs to be re-written, because new facts consistently come to light. Or the current ‘rulers’ do not like the way history is written, and decide to re-write it so that it ‘better suits the policies and atmosphere of today’.

That’s worrying, to say the least.


I banged my head against another political wall last week. Same subject as my recent letter about what is ‘left’ or ‘right’ (at least in Israeli politics).

It has little to do with being ‘green’ or ‘communist’ one the one side, or fascist etc. on the other. In Israel, left is how ready one is to make peace with the neighbours (Palestinians, specifically).


The extreme left here believe the 2-state solution should be instigated immediately, that Abbas is a peacemaker, that Hamas will come on board the next day, that the Palestinians will hold democratic elections yesterday, that Netanyahu will never make peace, that the ‘Jewish Settlements’ are illegal, that having an undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is illegal,


that any land taken by Israel since the ’67 war is illegal, that our occupation of the Golan Heights is illegal, that the security fence is a false and illegal border, separating Palestinians from their schools, loved ones and orchards, etc., and that Israel is one of the most dangerous and aggressive countries in the World.

The right-wing are somewhere close to the other edge of the World.


Again I was accused of being on the right, by someone on the above-mentioned left.



And by living as I have, I am even more convinced that my feet are firmly planted on the extremely treacherous lily pad in the middle of pond where all this mess is swimming.

The way this particular person (another recipient of this letter – he/she will recognise themselves…) referred to Mahmoud Abbas as truly working towards peace was laughable. I introduced the word ‘democratic’, and there was some head-nodding.


But Abbas is already 6 years further as President of the Palestinians than democracy normally accepts. He was supposed to have new elections in 2009.



I have a way of finding out just who’s listening/reading/paying attention to this letter. There are many who have been on the distribution list for years, and I know not if they are even alive!!

So, I want a simple 1-2 line answer from you. WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF ‘DEMOCRACY’?


Some suggested answers:

  • One man one vote

  • Ditto, but with compulsory voting – otherwise face paying fine or short imprisonment

  • Constituency system of election – vote for the person


  • Party system of election – vote for the party…they decide whom to have on their list

  • First past the post (as in Algeria, Iran, Egypt, Gaza etc.)

  • Autocracy, Dictatorship – Typical current electoral system where, whatever one party may promise, the fact is that the winner has to form a coalition, and can therefore not fulfill pre-electoral promises

  • Free Speech.





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