# 61 – Don’t Let Terrorism Win by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 61 – Don’t Let Terrorism Win

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

July 30, 2006

An Israeli bomb has destroyed the lives of many people. Many children among the many killed in that village.


I am in Vancouver, visiting my brother and his family. Mine are still at home. The 10 hours’ difference make a difference. Eliana did not even know about the bomb, despite it happening many hours ago. She had got up as usual in the morning and had gone to work. Graphic design. There, the news is not necessarily the top priority in every dept. She had an appointment after work. She comes home. She cooks dinner. Aviva is out with her sister. I call from the other side of the World. Now she knows.


I hear the news, still lying in bed. The Canadian news. Now they are interviewing 2 gentlemen; one from the Jerusalem Post, one from a Beirut newspaper. They are both eloquent, educated, intelligent speakers. Yet they are from opposite sides of the World.


I try, I really do try to remain objective. But I cannot separate myself from the view that this is unfair; that Israel is caught in this horrible spiral of events that goes back to their desperate need for a home in the 40s, the stupid and suicidal way the lands of the Middle East were divided up (by the British, French and the disinterested World Community), and the consistent refusal of the Arab neighbours to accept this increase of Jewish presence in their vicinity. “They can come here to die. But once they come here to live, well, that’s another story”.


Everyone has a right to at least one home/country where they feel safe. Palestinians also; although, if the other Arab and or Moslem countries were as generous and as decent as society (not Human Nature) dictates they should be, they should feel safe in any of those countries. And Jordan is, practically, Palestine. Do I have to remind the World that Israel is one of the only countries in the region where Palestinians live in relative peace and prosperity? There are NO places in Israel referred to as refugee camps, like in Gaza, which happens to be, at least in their opinion, their real home.


(August 1st – I have not been able to finish this, nor send it). In the meantime, a strange limbo in the war region. No bombs on Haifa in 3 days, yet many on Nahariya and other villages close to the border. A slowing down of aerial bombing by the Israelis, but plenty of ‘air cover’ for the ground forces now going in, with the intention of taking over Lebanon south of the Litani. And then what? Israel will not want to repeat the years of quagmire after the ’82 invasion. This time, an international force with a clear and forceful mandate has to go in and ensure that country is rebuilt with weapons of peace, not war.


So, back to those 2 journalists. Not once does the Lebanese criticise, just a little, the Hezbollah (how do you spell it??). He refers to Israel’s continued occupation of lands, including the Sheba’a Farms, another little postage-stamp-sized piece of land like Taba, which should not and cannot be an obstruction to peace talks. He seems to seriously believe that it was Israel threatening Lebanon, and not Hezbollah threatening Israel, and so on. Where was he during the 6 years of build-up in the south?


Another reporter states that, as a result of this tragedy in Qana, Hezbollah will come out of this with more support and Nazrallah, more of a hero.

If that’s the case, then what hope is there? Only the peacemaker should have any chance of coming out of this smelling of roses. If that’s Nazrallah, then my aim in life is clear. And my opinion of World Opinion will have sunk into the Deep.

Let’s not let terrorism win.




August 2nd – I just glanced at some comments on my last e-mail. Their theme appears to be exactly why I try so hard to ‘tell the story as it is’. They wonder why those in the Middle East can’t make peace’, they’re as guilty as each other, the one cannot be separated from the other.


I just finished Clinton’s autobiography, so often focusing on the Middle East and his attempts to solve the situation. I really believe he tried his best, and that, as a diplomat and a politician, he had to appear impartial. (Actually, Arafat, with 14, was Clinton’s most frequent foreign visitor).


Israelis in general do NOT hate their neighbours. The very fact that 1.2 million Palestinians live as co-citizens, despite 58 years of wars, attrition and, yes, hate, from so many of their neighbours, proves this. They may not pray to the Israeli flag nor sing along to the Israeli national anthem. But they do live better, with more rights, than they would get in most of the neighbouring Arab countries.


The day the World realises that there is more than meets the eye here, that’s the day when terrorism is sidelined, loses popularity and, maybe, just maybe, is replaced by something better.


August 4th – back in Israel – I referred before to the book. Now I have been reading it on the flight home: “The Israelis – Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land” by Donna Rosenthal. Many interesting views already, including those of the situation vis-à-vis the northern border, Lebanon and Hezbollah.


And I read yesterday’s Jerusalem Post – my first Jewish/Israeli view in 2 weeks of the current situation. E.g. –

  • We ARE still ‘respectful’ of Hezbollah’s potential, and remain ‘apprehensive’ about possible attacks on Tel Aviv. I live in those northern suburbs. (Bomb just landed in Hadera – half-way between Haifa and here, about 45 km. north).

  • We ARE wondering how come we continue to advance, yet more Hezbollah Katyushas landed in the last 2 days than at any time during this war. Can you imagine the underground infrastructure they have prepared?

  • Human Rights Watch ‘s report that the casualty numbers of Qana were initially greatly exaggerated, and the international media smoothes over this news. Of course, 1 civilian death is 2 too many, but the way the media jumps at figures must be mentioned. (Now, today, another such catastrophic mistake, and again bad for Israel. 600 Katyushas in 3 days will never seem as much as 1 wayward Israeli bomb).

  • One letter to the newspaper recalls WWII and the necessity of destroying several French towns next to the Normandy landing beaches before the ground forces were ordered to move in.

  • The leaflets dropped by the IDF (Israeli DEFENSE Force) on southern Beirut – and Nazrallah’s subsequent threat to bomb Tel Aviv if we touch central Beirut – are a reminder that we have not touched central Beirut, nor the other 70% of Lebanon where Hezbollah has not settled in. Just as cameras rarely show the normal side of Israel, so too, they avoid the untouched parts of Lebanon.


And so on….


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