The view from my veranda

150612 Orange CEO, Dersh on BDS, Kay Wilson TED, Tosca, London


12th June, 2015

Shabbat Shalom from London!! Yes I am in Blighty, land of my birth, to see my gorgeous grandchildren, children siblings and cousins with a dose of friends thrown in. No I don’t go to shows or do the  tourist things, I just immerse myself in the grandchildren.

We are all agree that BDS is idiotic, self-destructive and causes unemployment in the Palestinian Authority and the disputed territories but this week the sheer idiocy of those involved in BDS came to a high point, acme, apex, peak all together in one enormous act of stupidity!!! How? Well, California is in the middle of a horrific drought and Israel has offered the technology to prevent such droughts in the future. That’s good isn’t it? Well the California BDS people don’t think so – they want to ban Israel’s assistance!!! Oh dear, such ignorance, such foolish racism. \here’s the good news.

Professor Alan Dershowitz spoke beautifully concerning BDS

Professor Dershowitz also spoke about the American Supreme Court decision which stated that a child born in Jerusalem cannot claim his place of birth as Israel. Are they insane or inane – I haven’t decided. Ignorance is not likely, insanity is unlikely, so what is likely that any group of exerts I jurisprudence could come to such a decision – and more importantly, why should or did they?

There was a huge Brouhaha over the statements of Orange CEO Stephane Richard in Cairo. He claimed that what he said was that Orange, a major cell-phone company, was retracting from its concession companies, which include Switzerland and Israel, and everyone jumped on his words and his apparent singling out of the Israeli subsidiary Orange/Partner. Monsieur Richard then visited Israel to sort out the faux pas, which became a diplomatic incident causing Prime Minister Netanyahu to demand Richards castigation by the French Prime Minister. Indeed the positive aspect is that the unlikely alliance of Haim Saban (major shareholder in Partner) and Sheldon Adelson came together to fight any smell of BDS.

Kay Wilson is an exceptional person. She suffered a horrific machete attack, an attack in which her walking companion was slaughtered, and lived to tell the tale with incredible humour. Her TED talk is entitled “Step By Step: The Idiot’s Guide To Surviving A Machete Attack” Kay endorses Kinneret Chayas statement that she is not a victim, she is a SURVIVOR

If you are either confused or fuming about the case in the USA of the Belz Hassidim banning women from driving  then read this excellent explanation (?) by my friend Jeremy Rosen. Jeremy also reminded me of a famous quote, which he certainly got  right and I simply approximate, “ Countries don’t have loyalties, countries have interests” It is undoubtedly true, however, (hey this is me so there is always another hand) I cannot see how the interests of the great United States could be enhanced by an alliance with Iran. It has been said that the American President would  prefer to have Iran on our side than against us. What? I fail to comprehend a policy that romances the loyalty of countries that burn ones flag and swear to ones destruction! Surely Americans natural allies in this region are Israel, Jordan and Egypt. Am I being unreasonable? I understand that the Allies prefer to allow the foul and detestable President Assad to continue slaughtering his people rather than the Islamic Rebels (as opposed to the good rebels) who, if they defeat Assad would wreak unimaginable havoc in the region.

I cannot forget the words of King Hussein, that if the West causes the fall of Saddam Hussein it will open the Pandoras Box of radical Islam. At the time it was al Qaeeda, now Al Qaeeda seems almost tractable and submissive in comparison to the horrors of ISIS and others of that ilk. King Hussein was right and now his son is fighting for his reign, his only ally being Israel.

I am thrilled to tell you that Roger Waters is feeling very upset and disappointed. The stars visiting and holding concerts in Israel is increasing, escalating, nay proliferating!!!! Art Garfunkle was there this week and every week someone else comes and has a ball to the delight of their Israeli audience. The latest to announce a future concert is Jon Bon Jovi, who I love

That announcement was closely followed by Pharrell Williams – Happy!!!!  This video is the very best version – the very, very best!!!

The week began with a delightful Friday night dinner at our home with Julio and Monika Jarak and their lovely friends. You are already familiar with our traditional Shabbat Dinners and they loved it. By the way, Zvi did sing Eshet Chayil, gosh it is such a beautiful prayer and blessing and since I told you I wanted him to sing it he had no option!!! During Shabbat we had a lovely visit with Zvi’s cousin Elizabeth and friend Sylvia who were on a Mediterranean cruise and came with an entire shipload of passengers on a day trip to Jerusalem. I found it fascinating and while Zvi spoke Spanish with Elizabeth and Sylvia I spoke with an Australian at our table, originally from Germany. He knew quite a lot but had a thousand questions which I was thrilled to answer. He understood the full horror of the rhetoric and propaganda against Israel, perpetrated by the PA and executed by the media, when I explained that the PA uses the methods of Goebbels. Oh yes he understood.

Saturday night we set off with Amir, our lovely driver, to Massada. Julio, Monika and friends, and us in a very comfortable mini-bus. Why Massada? Because we were on our way to the annual opera festival at the foot of Massada.This year it was Tosca, not my favourite but somehow, sitting in that historic and exquisite site, surrounded by so many places mentioned in the Bible, everything is wonderful

We were thrilled to see many of our beloved Tel Aviv friends at the pre-show reception, and as we sat down in our seats I looked up and the view took my breath away. Above the gorgeous stage set, Massada stood, lit from underneath with an eerie wash of light, a constant reminder that we have always been persecuted, have always fought back and all those great empires that sought our destruction are long gone.

I then packed my bags to leave for London. Please, do not be cross if I don’t call. I immerse myself in the children and my family. I will see everyone I can and will try to call but – hey – see you in Jerusalem!!!! I will go to Cardiff to see my loved ones but other than that I just enjoy holding and loving my children. I admit to making an exception for Yaffa Glass – my lovely Israeli friend who lives in the UK but has her heart in Israel, and we met for a quick hug and breakfast at a great Kosher Canteen restaurant in Brent Cross.

Rachel, my wonderful daughter, told me a story that I love, and insisted I put it in the Shabbat Shalom letter! Her local supermarket has a “special Tuesday” on vegetables and several basic goods. A whole selection of fruits and veg at 1.90 shekels a kilo (that’s about 50 cents for 2.2 lbs of produce). People come from afar for this bargain, especially from Ramallah!!! So, friends, next time you are shown pictures of bedraggled Palestinians standing in lone to cross into Israel, remember that scene of Palestinians from the PA merrily coming to do their shopping in Israel – not just in Israel – in a settlement on the occupied West Bank!!!! Now that’s the truth!!!

My wonderful daughter-in-law Stephanie and I have finished cooking for Shabbat, the table is set and the expectation of a beautiful Shabbat with the children is building. I can’t wait to see their faces as they light the Shabbat candles together with their Mummy and Safta (me). As I always say, traditions, traditions. It’s what keep us together.

For a change I want to give you two songs from the same show, Tradition and the beautiful May the Lord Bless you and Keep you from Fiddler on the Roof, because after all, in the final analysis, there is no other hand.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. With love from sunny London