# 349 – No School by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 349 – No School

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

November 12, 2019

No School

Weeks ago, I had intended to write a 3rd letter about the elections. Well, we are still in that political stalemate. President Rivlin gave Netanyahu a month to form a government. He failed. Benny Gantz, opposition leader who in fact gained 1 more seat than Netanyahu in the elections, is now trying to gather coalition partners around him.


A lot of wheeling-dealing with the smaller parties from all sides. All very ugly. And a 3rd election within a year is a likely outcome. (Israel always did base its political though on the British system).

During these weeks, I could have written about further ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, the Turkish invasion of Syria. I was going to remind people of further proof that Israel really is just another thorn in the side of stability in the Middle East; that internal strifes will continue to flair up, whatever Israel does.


And life does go on here. On Sunday night, we saw a great production of ‘Mama Mia’ – in Hebrew of course. Got the whole audience a-dancing..

Next Saturday, we hope to see ‘Manon’ at the Israel opera.

The entertainers continue to visit here – Roger Hodgson (Supertramp) is due to perform here tonight. I would have got tickets…

Would be ironical if, after all the efforts of Roget Waters, Emma Thompson, Ken Loach etc., performances were cancelled by bombs.


‘Hope’ is the crunch word here, because we are again under attack from Gaza. An Israeli air strike yesterday killed Islamic Jihad leader, Bahaa Abu el-Atta. That straw caused missile attacks across central Israel, and all schools in the area have been closed. That includes here in Tel Aviv. Shira had decided to have breakfast here with the kids rather than sit at home, waiting for the sirens.

Luckily, I’m already packed – I have a flight to Stockholm later today.


This is the millionth reminder that a united Palestinian people would be easier to deal with. Just as a factor of Israel’s survival is the dis-unity among the Muslim nations of the Middle East, so also the many splits in Palestinian society.

I plan to use Murphy’s Law to keep the problems away: I shall keep this letter open until the sound of the first sirens here in Tel Aviv. Or my departure for Sweden, whichever comes first.



There were sirens, and my flight is slightly delayed. But no connection to the situation with Gaza. There have been more rockets from Gaza. Israel is ready for strong retaliation. The situation is fragile, to say the least.


To end this letter, I shall not mention Gaza again – we are so resigned and used to this and the dangers from Isis in Sinai, Hezbollah in Lebanon etc. etc. I’ll mention Jordan, a country consistently looked upon as moderate (everything is relative). Jordan is a weak country – and they don’t even have a nice beach to lie on, as in Gaza and Lebanon. It’s another country with tribal mentality, the many ruled by the few. The ‘few’ is led by a royal family that happens to be English educated. Hah!! So they speak nice English.


Two subjects:

The first is a reminder of ‘Black September’, when Arafat and his Palestinian people threatened civil war in the country and were ‘crushed’ by the army. Thousands dead. Moderate?

25 years ago, Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty. Since then, the numbers of Israeli tourists to Jordan have been in the hundreds of thousands. In the other direction? I believe the known number is 6. Like in Egypt, the man in the street is still educated to hate Israel.


A couple of days ago, Israel handed back a small area of land, as per the original agreement. However, it was being farmed successfully and peacefully, or was a lovely small tourist spot. ‘Poor’ King Abdullah was not against leaving things ‘as was’, but his parliament are very anti-Israel, as are the people. So stupid, as we are not only peaceful, but a very strong ally in this messy region.


The lawmakers in parliament applauded loudly. Many felt that the agreement was part of humiliating Israeli occupation of their land. Israelis saw it as a sign of peace between two countries that had allowed a creative arrangement by which both peoples could benefit from the land.

And the children of Israel – and Gaza – lose time at school.


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