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How to win friends and influence border policemen

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The Jerusalem Post reports that 25 West Bank settlers have completed a three-month course, based on the teachings of Dale Carnegie, to help them be better spokespeople for the cause. One recent graduate, Yehuda Shimon, explained how the training helped him defuse a tense situation with the border police. 

One morning, Border Police officers arrived with a bulldozer on the outskirts of the Gilad Farm outpost in Samaria,  where he lives.

Fearing their homes could be destroyed, he and other startled settlers raced to the scene, Shimon said.

In the past, he typically would have shouted. He would have crossed his arms or waved them in the air. All of these are gestures that he now understands alienate the other party.

As an attorney, he would have demanded to see their written authorization. It was a situation that could easily have gotten out of hand, he said.

But that morning, with the words of his Carnegie instructor still ringing in his ears, Shimon decided, “I’m going to try this tactic of smiling.”

The large man, with a black beard and skullcap, relaxed his body, tried to have an upbeat outlook, and beamed at the police.

To his surprise, it worked. The police relaxed a bit as they spoke to him. Soon it became clear they had simply come to the wrong place.

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