# 362 – Pre-Annexation by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 362 – Pre-Annexation

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
Member Since
Sep 2016
Published Books
374
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Pre-Annexation

I have mentioned Gershon Baskin before. Many refer to him as a left-winger. His articles actually appear – more like ’stand out’ – at least weekly in the Jerusalem Post, a daily that leans towards the right.

Today he wrote about the desire on both sides to live side by side in peace. In the last 30 days, he has ‘consulted with’ 109 Israelis and Palestinians. My ‘letter’ today to the publication gives my opinion:

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Sir – I want so much for Gershon Baskin to be right, and to be successful in his life-long quest to achieve peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians (’The Story of the Donkey’, June 25).  

I called him about this a couple of weeks ago; we had a long chat to find common opinions. 

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Whatever happened before and after 1948, there was a simple ‘Trump-deal’-like decision at the time: the UN declaration for 2 states for the 2 peoples. The Jews said ‘yes’ and the Arabs said ‘no’. Had the Arabs said ‘yes’, and Israel and Palestine were then established side by side, does Gershon really think that peace would have reigned? Between 2 peoples who were eras apart?

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We may be equal in the eyes of G-d, but history and human nature have taught us that we look for any excuse to argue, to compete and to differ. 

At least the Jews can prove that, despite the 72 years of negativity and hostility from outside and from within, a state has been established that can be compared favourably with most ‘civilised’ countries, warts and all.

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Admittedly, it’s not easy for the Israeli Arabs, just as it has not been easy for the Israeli-Moroccans, -Russians, -Ethiopians and so on. Certainly, Gershon cannot think of comparing the treatment of the indigenous communities (including the Jews who have been here for centuries) with those in S.and N. America, in Australia and New Zealand etc. 

Not coming to the peace table, either then or now, has cost the Palestinians dearly. 

It’s a lose/lose policy. 

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My above opinion is connected to the upcoming July 1, which signals the suggested start of the ‘Trump Peace Deal’.

First I have to state that, unlike some friends of mine, I am not a Trump fan. But I am also not a Democrat. At least, not today. It may simplify matters to have just 2 major parties, but today’s US illustrates that any political system has faults, with theirs having not the least. I don’t like the ‘for us or against us’ world that is now the US. It invariably causes us to miss the point; to focus on the wrong issues.

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When the Trump Deal was first put on the table, I crossed all my fingers. (See what I originally wrote on the subject – https://www.ourboox.com/books/355-the-trump-deal/).

Despite everything, I saw a chance. There were hesitant steps of support from some moderate Arab countries, some European countries, and some independent bodies.

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4 months later, only days from possible implementation, we are back in the classic quagmire of ugly politics. To sum it up, the daily life of the people here, on both sides of the ‘fence’, has again been put on hold. I could go on – and on – but let’s see if, for the sake of possible interest, I can summarise:

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Trump

In these interim months, whichever side you are on, you will have to admit that USA is more split than ever. Covid-19 and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ subjects are devastating the country. I’m sorry, but this is not the time to be reminded that Trump is the best White House friend Israel ever had.

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The Palestinians

They rejected the deal before it was even on the table. They are clever; they know they are the ‘World’s refugees’. They can afford to be poor for another generation or two. Somehow the funds will keep coming in. Don’t dare show how some Palestinians have become ‘happy’ with life; bad for business.

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The moderate Arabs and some other countries..

We almost ‘had ‘em’. It’s not easy for an Arab country to show empathy to the Jewish state. The Sunni-Shiite split was helping a lot. The gas finds helped. The dropping oil prices helped. But, as is obvious, it’s easier to say no and continue the status quo, than to say yes and create new alliances.

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Jordan

Always been a weak country, with the added frustration of not having access to any lovely beaches. A shaky country politically, with a majority of its citizens Palestinians, and now the added crisis of millions of refugees from Iraq and Syria. The last thing it needs is a break with Israel. It’s not sounded on the horn, but the quiet peace along Israel’s longest border is important for both. Publicly, King Abdullah will always side with the anti-Israel crowd, and that’s what he is threatening to do.

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Israeli politics

Unfortunately, we are in a great mess. Our politics are dominated not by polarisation, but by weak and back-stabbing coalition politics. I wrote a year ago that the extremely ambitious Netanyahu should stop while ahead; cut his losses. He’s Israel’s longest-serving leader; he can write books ad nauseam and demand $100M per lecture. What else does he want?

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But no, the fight over the indictments against him is already very ugly. And the deal he has with his coalition partners is dirty. (While a large portion of the country suffers terribly from the virus, he publicly fights for the return of state taxes, which, whether legal or not, should be seen to being donated to the ‘have-nots’, and not slipped into one of his many pockets).

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Covid-19

As all the World knows, this is a time for unity, for leadership. Again I have to refer to the situation in the States. Whether you are D or R, you cannot deny that the the country’s handling of the virus is…worrying. No federal leadership. It does seem that many are making this a political crisis, which is so wrong. So now, one group of states is restricting the movement of people from another group, almost the exact reversal of the status 4 months ago.

This is NOT the time to take the focus off the battle against the virus.

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Summary

Under ‘normal’ circumstances, whatever that means, and in the long-run, annexation might turn out to be good for everyone. But we shall never find out, because we shall never have normal circumstances in this region, and now’s certainly not the time to rock the boat.

Stephen

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