# 33 – A Day to Remember by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 33 – A Day to Remember

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409
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June 6, 2004

“I was 16½, landing on Sword Beach today, 60 years go”.

Today we look back at the interesting life of Ronald Reagan.

And on June 6, 1967, Israel launched their surprise attack on the neighbouring Arab armies that had been building up over previous days.

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Hopefully, June 6, 2004 will leave another legacy: After the shenanigans in the Israeli Knesset, which included Sharon chucking out 2 right-wing members of his cabinet, the decision may yet be made today to leave Gaza, whatever heart-wrenching steps that will entail. (My twin nieces were involved in the army action which removed the 2,000 inhabitants of Yamit, following the Israeli pull-out from Sinai).

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Yesterday, Aviva and I went for a walk along our local beach. It is not uncommon to see Arab families sunning whatever parts they expose. But this time it was different. 6 men alighted from a 4-wheel drive. No wives, no kids, no barbecue. As we approached them, walked between them, I did feel a cold shiver. They fitted the perhaps uninformed image of Palestinians screaming revenge, while carrying yet another stretcher, or firing bullets into the air.

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Behind us, they formed a line, put hands together. One moved forward, leading the prayers. They dropped to their knees, hands still together, and curled forward into the Moslem fetal position.

I had never seen this before on the beach. There’s always a first time, of course, and there is little reason to believe that the event was not totally innocent. But these are special times, and even the naïveté in me could not prevent those shivers.

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Last week saw a 3-day food orgy – La Grande Bouffe! In Tel Aviv’s lovely Hayarkon Park, where crowds of 1/4 million and more have seen opera, concerts and Michael Jackson, similar numbers were confronted with food from all parts of the World, from restaurants and caterers of every level, washed down by beer, wine and soft drinks.

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Years ago, this used to be a place where you could get good food at knock-down prices. As Aviva, her sister and I left the place at 11 pm, faced with the long walk back home, regretting the fact we’d made the effort, we did talk to some youngsters who’d had a great time.

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Signs of old age.

And so to the Abu Ghosh music festival. This is another 3-day annual event. First, let me describe the modern phenomenon:

An Arab town of perhaps 3,000 has played host to this wonderful festival of music almost since the establishment of the Israeli state. It is organized by Jews, but hosted by the local Arab community.

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The church, the monastery, the crypt – they are among the romantic and atmospheric settings for performances ranging from opera, through requiems, gospel and jazz to Handel and Bach on the pianola. With bougainvillea  around us, views of Jerusalem and the surrounding hills in front, and quality music everywhere, we spent a really very special day.

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Abu Ghosh’s history is just as fascinating. It is located on the site of the biblical Kiryat Yearim, where, in the house of Abinadab, the Ark of the Covenant was ‘rested’ before being taken to Jerusalem.

The Crusaders slept here on their way to Jerusalem, and the Church they built is today’s Benedictine monastery, originally constructed on the ruins of a 1st century Roman fort.

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You want more? There is more…..for it is commonly known that the villagers cooperated with the Israeli defence forces before, during and after the War of Independence. There has been no revenge nor retribution.

Only in Israel….

 

Stephen

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