# 393 – Israel is Different by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 393 – Israel is Different

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

Are you prepared for the next war, which likely will include physical invasion?

Are you ready for the missiles that will rain upon your neighbourhood? The Hezbollah or even Iranian forces that will run riot in your neighbourhood? No? Well, nor are we, and experts are concerned.

The National Home Front Exercise which was carried out at the beginning of November hardly touched the civilian population. It was run to ensure that the armed forces were ready, but avoided ‘worrying’ us.

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OK, that’s one difference…Let’s scan today’s Jerusalem Post front page. (Why not front page of Ha’Aretz, Israel’s only other English-language daily? Fair question. Some of the articles are excellent. But it’s a bit like UK’s Guardian and US’s NY Times. The headlines – the front page – are far too much to the Left for me. They just see things so differently from me…Does that make me Right-wing? Let’s not get into that again. I’m ‘swinging Centre’, with perhaps a leaning towards the Right, just to separate me from the naïve).

Right. Now that you know where I stand…

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Main headline: ‘Bennet to world as Iran talks resume: Don’t cave in’. Well, that’s clear enough. Why do we focus so much on this subject.? ‘Cos Iran officially wants to wipe us off the map. It’s that simple.

‘Two Sheba (hospital) doctors may have contracted Omicron’. Unsurprisingly, Israel is reacting individually to the Omicron threat. Hopefully – and presumably – we are in constant contact with the international community and authorities on this subject. Right now, like most of the World, we’re in panic-mode. Lots of knee jerk reactions. E.g., we have Miss Universe competition here next week in Eilat. We’re banning ALL foreigners as of yesterday, with the exception of the beautiful ladies, most of whom are already here, undergoing almost daily tests. (Miss France has tested positive).

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So why not cancel the competition? Obvious…

A) We need the publicity, despite the incredible attempts by BDS etc. to influence individuals and governments to boycott Israel. (Poor Miss S. Africa is coming under enormous pressure from groups like ‘Africa for Palestine’, led by Mandela’s grandson. But she remains defiant…and here).

B) It is relatively ‘straightforward’ to oversee the protection for this tiny group of people, all of whom have every interest not to defy the authorities. There are no ‘anti-vacciners’ among the involved.

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Yes, as of yesterday, we have closed our borders to all foreign nationals. But Israelis can travel and return. That includes Aviva and me, who have booked to be in Thailand for 2 weeks from Dec 7. Of course, the trip is now ‘in the balance’. Is it stupid of us? Rhetorical question under these circumstances. We have our happy reasons, one of which is to spend time with Michael Grant, long-time and dear friend, on his ‘GreenMe’ organic farm. Look it up…

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‘Abbas: Save two-state solution, recognize Palestine’. Poor Abbas (the Palestinian Authority President, not the leader of the Arab party in the Israeli coalition). Many or most of his predecessors and followers voted against the UN two-state resolution in 1947, and have steadfastly stuck to their guns, literally. Most of the Palestinian schoolbooks of today show the area as 1 country, Palestine, with no Israel in sight. Whereas Israel officially voted for the partition. Too late, my friends. You’re being left far behind.

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And Abbas has support from Abdullah, Jordan’s king – whose father literally and practically occupied the West Bank for 19 years, and whose army massacred the Palestinians during Black September in 1970.

‘Erdogan planning steps to improve ties with Israel’. No thank-you. Not yet.

“Will Channel 14 boost Netanyahu’s popularity? This guy can and should look back on many positive achievements for Israel. But, in the process, he has become a very modern version of a political leader. And that’s very bad.

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Take the case of UK politician, Sir David Amess – yes, that is the correct spelling , but not the correct pronunciation. He was stabbed to death in mid-October. You and I had never heard of him, yet he was an MP for nearly 40 years. I can imagine that, like most politicians, he started with a vocation or wanting to do good, to make changes for the good of society etc. etc. Well, read up about him, and that’s just what he did. He was liked by most, and, from the back-benches, achieved so much. But….he never went for power, for leadership. He therefore never needed to elbow his way through the corridors.Yes, he may have accepted or given out a few back-handers, but the words ‘bribe’, ‘coercion’, ‘manipulation’ and ‘corruption’ were rarely if ever associated with him.

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Remember the book/film ‘Primary Colours’, in which the Clinton character, while still a presidential candidate,  was asked by an admiring staff-member why he had ‘crossed the line and done something nasty’. His response was that, to get to the point in politics when you have the democratic support (power) to follow up your manifesto promises, you have to ‘use the elbow’.

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Netanyahu has, to put it mildly, used the elbow. This ‘Channel 14’ story focuses on one small aspect. In 2014, the late multi-billionaire, Sheldon Adelson, invested around $50 million in a national Israeli daily, Israel Hayom, handing Netanyahu immediate ‘popular support’. This time, it is Georgian Billionaire, Mikhael Mirtilashvili, who has ‘invested massive sums’ in the new ‘Channel 14’, which was launched here in Israel on Sunday. The opening broadcast was an interview with Netanyahu, denigrating many of his political opponents.

There should be a limit on the power that can be bought….

Stephen

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