# 316 – Trumped Again by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 316 – Trumped Again

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409
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December 6, 2017

I was about to write to you about Shas and their ‘popular’ political leader, Arye Deri.

Shas is the party of and for the Sephardic Jews (originally Spanish/Portuguese extraction, but primarily those from across North Africa). It was established by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and, amongst others, a wheeler-dealer called Arye Deri. Since their formation in 1984, Shas has usually been part of the ruling coalition.

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They’ve been clever in giving support for ruling party policies, as long as they get what they want, which is usually to do with non-service in the Army by their youth, in tax exemption for their multiple-child families and financial support for their yeshivas (religious learning centres).

It is neither here nor their that Deri and several of his colleagues were imprisoned for ‘misuse’ of funds and corruption.

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The latest subject is Shas’ fight for extending the laws of the Sabbath.  They want stores, kiosks, coffee places etc. to be closed on Saturdays, and that includes the primarily-secular city of Tel Aviv.

Deri has persistently said that the Sabbath is the most holy of holies. It has to be respected above all.

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So….the suggestion has now been made that the government should make a deal with the man: Close the Sabbath on the one hand, and cut off all funds for Shas and its communities on the other.

Then we’ll find out what’s important to Mr. Deri.

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But…today we got Trumped.

Aviva, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that, after Donald’s speech today and his intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, she now supports him. Well, that was easy, wasn’t it?

Well, you gotta hand it to the man; he sure likes stirring things up – and he’s certainly done that here. North Korea is one thing (and I’m certainly not belittling that subject), but riling the already (what’s another word for ‘fucked-up’?) Middle East is another.

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I can totally understand Aviva and, in many ways, I agree with her. Israel’s not allowed to choose its own capital? Unheard of. And it’s the capital for which the Jews have been craving for millennia – ‘Next year in Jerusalem’ is the Passover prayer.

How dare the World!

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And if the Palestinians still believe in East Jerusalem being their capital, then why not support Israel’s wish?

And imagine this: the World (UN etc.) approves a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as it’s capital – and opens up 100-200 embassies there. Do you really think that’ll happen while, down the road – literally – there are no embassies in the west of the city?

(My suggestion was to have embassies along the line dividing the city – each with 2 entrances).

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So, thanks Mr. President. Nice suggestion. And many Israelis are going to dance in the streets. But do you really think this is going to happen? And, whether right or wrong, there will be chaos. Chaos not only in the Middle East, but a) disruption across the Muslim world, b) danger to every US embassy, and c) terrorism worldwide.

Is that a price worth paying? Perhaps. Principle is such a strange and personal subject.

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But my son-in-law looks at it in a different way. Before approving or disapproving, he’s thinking about the poor foreign diplomats in Israel who currently have very cushy jobs. Tel Aviv’s a great city of fun, culture, good food, sea and beaches.

Jerusalem’s a great city, but it has its ups and downs – and I do not only refer to the streets.

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Leave it as it is. At the end of the day, I’m not sure the average Israeli cares one way or the other about what the World considers is our capital. We know. Our Parliament, our Judicial system, all governmental offices are in Jerusalem. Do we really need the hassle that will come out of this? Will life get better? Will the World grant us peace and harmony?

And what will Donald Trump focus on next week?

Stephen

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