# 356 – Israel in Lockdown by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 356 – Israel in Lockdown

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

Israel in Lockdown

Well, don’t think it’s so much different here. The Corona virus crosses borders, territories and doorsteps, with little thought of the identity or status of the next victim.

We are living and managing just as expected. We are in lockdown. Movement outside is restricted as in most countries. We’re not supposed to go further than 100m from our home unless absolutely necessary, and from today, the police will control this.


Thank God we have a roof to experience the fresh air outside.

Until now, we have bought stuff ourselves, but will use the super’s delivery service from now on or take advantage of the special shopping hours set aside for us.

And yes, it looks like hubby has to break his marriage vows and help with the vacuuming and other such chores.


We over-70s are finally having to admit that fact. It was one thing to see a movie on Tuesdays for only NIS 10, but now to get ‘separate treatment’ is a wake-up call.

I am not going to get into this ‘we are doing this, why aren’t you?’ thing. Or vice versa, screaming at our politicians to do what they have done in S. Korea, Singapore or wherever.


While UK leaders have caught the virus, USA’s leader signs the emergency bill with his staff closely gathered around him – even passing the signing pens back and forth. Is he nuts?? I think he’s got himself into such a hole, that he’s hoping to be infected, giving him a great excuse to disappear into those parts of the White House which even Heineken can’t reach.


I am not going to start suggesting past-times to follow during this unbelievable time. But perhaps try to achieve at least one, if not several, goals. They might be:

  • Learning a language, especially if, as in my case, it’s really been necessary (I’m giving Hebrew a try).

  • Finishing writing that book, painting that painting, building that model, decorating that room, emptying those long-lost storage containers etc.



  • Sorting those stamps (separating them from the envelopes and separating them into countries/categories etc. (Or any other collectibles).

  • If you did not already have shares in Zoom, it’s too late….

I am the first to hope and pray that, when we get through this horror – and we SHALL – that the World will have learnt to be a better place, that we shall listen and respect each other more, etc. etc.


But, even now, as we wade through the various eyes of this hurricane, have there been any real signs of ‘global co-operation’? Countries are certainly watching each other; primarily to learn from each other’s experiences, whether mistakes or successes.

But I see stupidity, blindness, stubbornness and downright misbehaviour all over the place – and that’s just the leaders! On ground level, as in the London Blitz, the people have mostly come together. I mean, what choice do they have?


[Check-out via YouTube what Bill Gates had to say on CNN 2 days ago. He’s a very special person.]

Politics….not forgotten. We’re having a bit of a roller-coaster ride right now, in an attempt to free ourselves from the last year’s quagmire (3 elections). I won’t, not even sure I can, go into the details. It’s very complicated. But it looks like 1 Israeli politician, Benny Gantz, has made a very unselfish move.


Simple comment is that it’s very difficult to know what’s going on, but I shall still try to give you an idea. Netanyahu gained more seats than last time, but his shaky coalition was short of a majority. Benny Gantz, head of Blue and White, the 2nd largest party, lost a couple of seats.

But, with the ‘outside’ support of the Arab parties (meaning support for the coalition so that they gain more for their people, but no cabinet positions) he was close to gaining rule.


Partly because of the ever-growing importance of the Corona virus, but also the frustration of the people who were not ready to face a 4th election, there was, this last week, sudden political upheaval. Benny Gantz broke up his party, got the vote to be Speaker of the Knesset for a few days, kicking out the previous Speaker who was holding things up, and now has surprised everyone by agreeing to unite with his hated rival, Netanyahu, ‘for the sake of the country’. The two will rotate the premiership.


(The indictments against Netanyahu will still go ahead as far as I know. Just a reminder that he’s covered in Teflon).

This country urgently needs leadership. There’s been a careful sigh of relief that this might now happen, and that we can focus on fighting this disease.


Take a note, Trump. You HAVE to bring Pelosi on board during this period…You have to treat all governors equally. And don’t call Gretchen Whitmer ’the woman’. The fact that 53% of the USA still support Trump does not make me relax on the side of democracy. As you well know, I’ve been trying to introduce a new official definition of the word for years.


Someone asked me if it’s true that Gaza has only 40 respirators, and that Israel is not helping. A friend introduced me to an online petition to use this opportunity to end global conflict. The two subjects are somehow connected….

Seems that, according to the Middle East Eye NGO, Gaza only has 40 ventilators in the country, and Israel is restricting the movement of humanitarian goods into the territory. I checked further -tried to find out who was behind this site and their overall opinions. MEE is one of the many left-wing critics of Israel; clearly biased.


I found a couple of sites that appear to honestly list the movements on the 2 Israel-Gaza borders: the number of trucks carrying much-needed goods, the number of Palestinian workers allowed to work in Israel (now being restricted of course), the number of Palestinians requiring medical treatment in Israel, and the emergency supplies needed during this crisis.

The fact is, of course, that Israel itself is short of the masks, goggles, tests, ventilators. I’ve just been listening to LBC form London, and the situation in the UK is catastrophic. (Israel was not blamed).


So, how to answer this criticism….Gaza is short of medical requirements. I would have thought that, on a global chart, it would be expected that Gaza is low on the list, very near Syria, Libya and the other 100 countries with political ‘difficulties’.

I don’t think that it Israel’s responsibility to be fairer to Gaza than to its own people. I am 100% sure that, once we have all we need, we shall be happy to help any of our neighbours. I wonder if that will persuade Hamas to retract their intention to annihilate Israel.


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