The view from my veranda

150116 After Charlie and the snow, Nigeria, Canon Andrew White

16th January 2015
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope and pray you are feeling safe this week, safe to go to your schools and synagogues without fear and without needing police protection.
I am not Charlie. I have never insulted Mohammed, never drawn a picture of him nor am I ever going to, and truthfully I found most of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons quite vile but then that is the job of a satirical magazine. Jews and Christians didn’t come out very well in their magazine but we didn’t go on a rampage of blood and gore to avenge the honour of our leaders. On my FB page I wrote Je suis Niger, je suis Syria, Je suis Bali, Je suis Sydney, Je suis Israel, Je suis Phillipines, Je suis Iraq, Je suis……………. etc.
I am horrified that nearly 3,000 innocents were butchered by Boko Haram in Nigeria this week and the Western media barely mentioned it. Why, because they are innately racist and care only about those who look and think like them, Western Pinko Wets (to quote Margaret Thatcher). Many of the major media news outlets have created the situation we now find ourselves. Their clear lack of condemnation, indeed the condemnation of the victim in the Middle East has been carefully and methodically turned into the aggressor and the aggressor into the victim, a wily, consistent and arch plan by those who don’t want to lose their Arab funding. If there are more terror attacks then BBC, CNN, France 24, to say nothing of the NY Times, Guardian and LA Times, need to take their portion of the blame for not having the courage to tell the truth.
Al Qaeeda took the momentum created by the Charlie Hebdo incident to carry out their plan to attack a Jewish School but when one of the terrorists had a car accident he killed the policewoman who stopped him and went to the nearby HyperCasher instead. It was not by chance because that was a very Jewish neighbourhood. Four people died in that attack, although one must say that the worker who saved the lives of others by pushing them into the cold storage was himself a Moslem, as were two out of three policement that were cruelly killed.
It has been suggested by Francois Hollande, that Mr Netanyahu hijacked the events but when the four families asked to have their loved ones families buried in Jerusalem, how could he refuse? If anyone hijacked the solemnity of the march it was Mahmoud Abbas who grinned his way to the front of the marchers, without telling anyone that in the PA they celebrated the killings.
The French Prime Minister on the other hand, spoke out that there was not enough outrage, mourning is fine, standing up for free speech is fine but outrage is sorely missing.
This is an open Letter to the French President by A Palestinian Journalist in Ramallah. The writer remains incognito for his own safety
Last night a massive terror attack was thwarted in Belgium – should we all say Je Suis Verviers
The US Consulate in Jerusalem is a most unwelcoming place for Israelis and their most recent move is to replace their Israeli guards for Palestinians. It is against Israeli law to arm Palestinians but apparently the Consulate is above the law.
And to think we were worried about corruption in Israel when the ultimate corruption is in Argentina. President Christina Kirschner’s Foreign Minister Hector Timmerman, who was saved by Israel during the rule of the colonels. A severe critic of Israel he then led the cover up of Iran’s part in the terror attack on the AMIA in order to “make a geopolitical move closer to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and to establish full economic ties” and to help alleviate “Argentina’s energy crisis through a ‘grain for oil’ deal.”  
Stephen Ryde’s Letter from London Here is his latest fortnightly blog for the Jerusalem Post from the 11th January.
Since we are talking of London, or of Britain I was distressed to read this article from the Telegraph newspaper. Somewhere between the Holocaust and 2015 it became OK to blame Jews again
This video made me happy. It is called I know which side I’m on – thanks Sally Safdie
On Monday I met with Sari Singer, my dear friend from Bedford, NY. Sari has been in the States for many, many years but her heart is and always will be in Israel. It was fun to see her with our grandchildren and to talk of Kinneret Chaya who will always bind us together. I love Sari.
Last Friday night’s meal was deferred to Shabbat lunch. Jerusalem was cut off from the world by about 2 centimetres of snow!!! Actually I am very proud of the police who decided to close the main roads to Jerusalem, the roads are wide and excellent but Israelis do not have special tyres nor do they have the experience of snow driving. While the night and early morning proved lethal, roads covered with ice, the day warmed up and the sun came out and our guests arrived. Sadly Canon Andrew and Terry did not make it to the synagogue in the morning because I told him not to leave home until the ice melted so he prayed at home. They came to us which is all that mattered!!
I made all his favourite foods and the very few friends who came to eat were entranced by him of course. We also had our lovely friend Prof. Gabby Barkai because a) he is fascinating and b) he helped Andrew and I enormously in the refurbishment of Ezekiels Tomb in Iraq. If I don’t tell you that Harry and Nancy Bloomfield came back from Herzliya specially to come to us for lunch I would never be forgiven so now you know that they came together with Shauli and Rochele Lotan and Daniel and Jill Meron and of course Terry and Hanna. My only major gaffe was that although I made tsimmes, potato kugel, chicken soup and kneidelach that he loves, Andrew was very upset with me and refused to start the meal until I brought out his favourite – gefilte fish with chrane (horseradish sauce) – and the other men stood by him! I thought they were going to start chanting and making posters!!! Of course I found a trust jar of very good but ready-made gefilte fish and good humour returned to the table!!!
One visitor, a diplomat, told me something that horrified me. He said that he was in Washington when President Obama came into office and was staggered when friends in the American Foreign Service told him that the first White House directive to them was to remove the words “Islamic Fundamentalism” from their lexicon.
I had a wonderful birthday!!! The day began with Rachel, Yosef, Talia and Ayala singing and then with a phone call from Amman, Jordan and the really melodic tones of Canon Andrew White and Terry Jones singing Happy Birthday!!! The day continued filled with blessings and singing from the other grandchildren – Sammy, Olivia, Zachary, Amit, Ori, Gili, Joshua, Callie, Ella and I would be lying if I said that baby Yonatan sang because he is only 8 months old, but I am sure he smiled!
According to our tradition I went to lunch with my girlfriends, Betty, Dana and Frida, to the Botanical Gardens of course! When I arrived I managed to grab a table next to the lake, the beautiful gentle winter sun warming my body. The other three arrived and we ordered our amazing Oreganatto Salads and a delicious long focaccia served with fresh tehina and began to eat and chatter. Suddenly the chatter turned to chattering teeth as the sun went behind the most enormous cloud so we looked at one another and grabbed a table inside – looking out of the window at the lake instead!!!!! In the evening we went for dinner with our lovely friends Rosa and Bernardo Romanowsky and we raised the average age in the Sushi Bar by at least 200%!
I sometimes forget that most of you don’t know what an amazingly entertaining city this is, quite apart from the museums, Biblical sites and antiquities. The best restaurants, fun clubs, great bars (yes even a number of Irish bars sporting Guinness) and a general nightlife of promenading. We, like all Israelis, love to go out and enjoy a good coffee, a great meal, be it a fine white-tablecloth restaurant or a felafel or schwarma on the street. We love life and our children come with us – babysitting is not a huge business in Israel because we take out children with us!!!!
I think that is the basis of the difference between us and our neighbours. It is the reason we have succeeded where they live in poverty. We love life, we honour life, we determinedly lead our children to be better than us, we push ourselves to be better than our forefathers and we are constantly busy with Tikkun Olam.
I wish you Shabbat Shalom from a cloudy Jerusalem where even the clouds are beautiful!
With love
By the way, Canon Andrew gave me an autographed copy of his book Older Younger Brother – The tragic treatment of the Jews by Christians. a fascinating read.

If the media does not inform us we must inform the media

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