The view from my veranda


27th February 2011

Today is International Holocaust Day, a day to remember, a day to mourn and a day to reinforce our determination that it will never happen again. No more sheep – today we are proud Lions of Judah! As Zvi and I walked around the Florida Holocaust Memorial we knew that Israel gave us the right to stand proud and tall and never let anyone herd us to our deaths again.

Shabbat Shalom – I hope you had a happy Australia Day.

BBC, CNN, The Independent etc are casting aspersions on the credibility of the Turkel Committee into the Mavi Marmara Affair. Proof again of blind bias and blind judgment.
The Turkel Committee, in addition to five Israeli members, includes two highly respected international observers, Lord David Trimble, Canada’s former military prosecutor Brig-Gen. (ret.) Ken Watkin, both of whom endorsed the findings. Consultations were also held with prominent experts in the field of international law, Prof. Dr. Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg of Viadrina European University in Germany, and Prof. Michael Schmitt of Durham University in the United Kingdom, who agreed with the legal conclusions of the report. Also present as an advisor was Prof. Ruth Lapidot, recipient of the Israel Prize for international law.
The Report
The MFA Report

Israeli nurses, doctors and teams are still in Haiti, trying to rebuild that stricken country. To former Premier Baby Doc it was simply a bank account which he used for luxuries rather than feeding his people or building sustainable housing for them – just like Gaza but worse, much worse.

Rebellion hit the streets in Egypt demanding freedom from Mubarak’s oppressive regime
Russia, reeling from the horrific homicide bombing at Moscow airport, say they should learn from Israel about airport security,7340,L-4018421,00.html
Crisis in Lebanon with a Hezb-Allah PM
Wailing over the Palestine Papers – Prof. Benny Morris

Canon Andrew White’s deep belief in G-d enables him to tread where lesser man fear. He called a conference in Copenhagen, far far from Baghdad, including Moslem and Christian leaders to find a way out of the carnage of Christians in Baghdad. Through talking together a new Fatwa has been called to stop the killing of Christians in Iraq. So far so good. Here is the document and agreement resulting from the conference

Richard Quest, the highly knowledgeable and deeply irritating CNN Economic Correspondent calls Israel “The Little Engine that Could”, the only burgeoning economy in a sea of failed endeavours in this lighthearted yet serious look at the Israeli economy, speculation and housing.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority completed excavations of a tunnel, a drainage canal dating back to the time of the Second Temple, 700 meters long connecting the City of David in Silwan to the Archaeological Park and Davidson Center in Jerusalem, near the Western Wall. The canal, probably Herodian, passes underneath a main road and underneath Arab homes and has elicited cries of protest claiming the excavations are a political statement. The innate problem is the fear that any historic dig will back the fact that we were here first. It is irrelevant of course since we believe there is room for everyone, but for those who MUST be right everything is political!,7340,L-4019130,00.html

Winston Churchill said that he would be viewed generously by history; “How do you know” he was asked – “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. ” was the response! Paul and Flory Hariton took us to see the show Lansky with Flory’s brother Martin. The monologue, performed by Mike Burstyn, unfolds brilliantly presenting Meir Lansky as a businessman, an American patriot and a good Jew who saved Israel’s skin by “diverting” armaments bound for the Arabs to Israel and was deeply pained by Israels refusal to give him citizenship.

“The King’s Speech” has 12 Oscar nominations. The story of a painfully shy man with a severe stammer who is thrust by default, from the secure shadows of family country life to ruling a country at war. As King George 6th he never left war-torn London and as bombs fell like rain he and the Queen walked the streets talking to his people; his daughters, the Princesses drove ambulances, worked in factories and tilled the land while the men were at war. Eloquence does not prove leadership, example does.

I am proud to call Tim King friend. Tim and Martha King are exceptional people who raised an exceptional daughter. Anna had a blossoming modelling career which she chose to place on hold to go into the IDF. The difference is that Anna, like her parents, is Christian. Tim, one of the Founders of the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem imbued a love of Israel in his beautiful daughter.,7340,L-4019248,00.html
The Jewish Museum of Florida is a surprise and a delight. Situated in South Beach it encapsulates the Jewish presence in Florida over the last 200 plus years. Miami is a shoppers paradise, mall after mall after mall but the Aventura Mall is exceptional, the sheer immensity is mind-boggling. We met with Jacobo and Miri Eisen which was delightful as always.

The first half of our Miami stay was enhanced by David and Lauren Efron and Kathy Fernandez Rundell as David opened his home and his heart to us – despite arguments over the effectiveness of Obama and the (assumed) ineffectiveness of Bush – guess who was on which side!! Lauren is excitedly preparing herself to make Aliya in the summer – we are right with you Lauren!!!!

The other day we stopped for petrol and for some reason our credit card didn’t work in the self-service machine.
Inside the gas station sat Jesus, a Hispanic immigrant.
“Can I see your ID” asked Jesus
“Of course” said Zvi “but it is Israeli not American”
“Wonderful “ responded Jesus “my son is very involved in AIPAC and I am so proud of him”
ERGO Jesus loves Israel!!!

Rain glorious rain. Ah that we could have even a tiny proportion of the life-giving essence which falls daily from the skies over Miami!! Incredible plants grow like wildfire in the garden at the Lindenfelds. I wonder at the grace and complexity of the Banyan trees, their evolution reminding me of the Jewish people who sometimes forget our past but those tenuous links, like the feathery air roots, reach out, become strong branches and and finally large supportive trunks ensuring our Jewishness and our continuity. So desperately important on this International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Mazal Tov to my nephew Paul and my niece Carly for finding their perfect matches and Refu’ah Shlema to my nephew Steve…. get stronger by the minute darling – you have to dance at your daughters wedding!

Shabbat Shalom from Florida, where my heart is still in Jerusalem.