14th October 2015
I hate writing Mid-Week updates but you deserve to know what is really going on. Quite rightly little appeared in the media because, frankly, there are a hundred places in the world that are in infinitely worse situations. You, and I, want to know because we love this country and know that all the “hasata” incitement is untrue.
In fact, I want to start from there.
Under no circumstances has the status quo changed on the Temple Mount. We promised faithfully that we would ensure religious freedom in all the Holy sites and we have kept that promise. Indeed, the IDF presence on the Temple Mount is both limited, discreet and to prevent Jews and Christians from actually praying, rather than visiting. Yes you may need to re-read that one; we are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount for fear of offending Moslems. This is a strange city where the Jews and Christians are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount but Muezzins call to prayer is deafeningly loud!!!
Reiterating that the status quo is unchanged is essential because the Islamic leadership, in the North of Israel herself, under Sheik Raeed Salah (yes the one who dug 400 truckloads of history from underneath Al Aqsa) and from Hamas, has been running a campaign of incitement decrying the Jewish control of Islams Holiest sites (Mecca and Medina??) on Harm Al Sharif (The Temple Mount). From Salah’s words, repeated in many a mosque and heard by angry youngsters looking for an identity, the current wave of violence emanates. He cleverly used the social media to spread his poison. He is currently on trial in Jerusalem, having returned to Israel after he was refused entry into the UK as a result of his hate activities.
My preamble has purpose because without understanding the background you cannot understand the present – as any good historian will tell you.
The attacks are terrifying. Their purpose is to terrify, that’s why it is called TERROR. to bring the “Palestinian cause” back onto the worlds agenda. The script for a poor and bloody action B movie could not be written with a more complex plot. A 13 year old Arab child leaves his home with his mother’s kitchen knife, stabs an Israeli 13 year old who was riding his bicycle near home, the MDA ambulance service, including an Arab paramedic, takes the injured Israeli child to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus where his life is saved by Prof. Ahmed Eid, head of the Department of General Surgery.
A Bezeq worker (Israeli citizen working in the equivalent of Telecom) suddenly decided to use his car as a weapon, ramming into two people at a bus stop then hacking at others with a machete. A passing security man shot him to stop him, but he continued, after the third shot he finally stopped wildly hacking at the air. Only later they found his Facebook page which said clearly he wanted to be a Shahid.
Two young Arabs from Jabel Mukaber, Israelis, set off to pastoral Raanana and decided to stab anyone in sight. I love the fact that they were stopped by an umbrella wielding Israeli
Finally two youngsters, again from Jabel Mukaber, caught a bus in Jerusalem, paid their ticket, sat down then ran rampage with knife and guns, killing two and injuring several.
What is the result? Closure. Yes closure. Israeli Arabs who had total freedom of movement, will now suffer. Two lovely young men who work in my convenience store here in our neighbourhood, both Jerusalemites, are scared. They are scared that Jews will think they are responsible for the outrages perpetrated by their compatriots. Men and women will find it difficult to get to work which deeply affects our hospitals, general medical clinics, pharmacies, and many other municipal services because in Jerusalem, indeed everywhere in Israel, Arabs are an integral part of society, study and take positions of responsibility. Be it Hadassah, Shaare Zedek, Tel Hashomer, our Social Medical services all have a large percentage of Arab doctors, technicians and nurses…… and patients.
Alon Ben-David is a senior correspondent for Channel 10 television and his explanation of the situation, in a video made for Keren Hayesod, is excellent and clear https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT6CxkzfKCA
Zvi insists I tell you about my experience, which wasn’t that awful! I had cause to visit Hadassah Hospital Sunday and Monday. Hadassah, like all Israeli hospitals serves everyone, and all are in their ethnic dress too! Arab, Jew, Ethiopian, ……hijab, wigs and payot. The news was excellent and we don’t need to go back for a year but as we left Mevasseret, on our way home, Rachel saw a large rock flying in the air and we both heard a boom as it hit the car. I didn’t stop, one should never stop, and Rachel called the police to tell them. Apparently I was not the first to be hit from workers at the building site at the top of the hill. The young policemen were delightful, the car barely damaged and I got loads of compliments on my composure. Hey, we had good news from Hadassah and we got away scot free……….. that’s good no? I told them that they threw the rock because I was too old for them to wolf whistle!
Unfortunately, since Zvi was not 100%, we missed the Gala Opening – in the Knesset – of Reconectar, the organization to help Anusim, those whose family history shows that they are descendants of Jews who were forcibly baptized during the Spanish Inquisition and the following years. The purpose is to reconnect not to proselytise. We were invited by Ashley Perry- Perez, the Director. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/A-Knesset-conference-on-reconnecting-with-the-descendants-of-Spanish-and-Portuguese-Jews-421375
In the meantime, Jerusalem Hotels are full, no cancellations! Partly because Jerusalem hosted the IAF-IAC 66th Congress in Jerusalem by the Ministry of Science Technology and Space and their wonderful guest of honour was none other than Buzz Aldrin – remember his enthusiastic leap onto the moon and we all thought he would fly off into the ether! He absolutely loved Jerusalem. http://www.iac2015.org/
Next week sees the Jewish Agency Board of Governors meetings which will bring fine leaders in from all over the world, and they will brainstorm our situation and yours – it is becoming difficult to be an “obvious” Jew all over the world. A kippa makes one a target. One who will make his voice heard loud and clear will be my husband. Gosh he is clever! My amazing big sister Doreen will be here for the Gala opening, her first time meeting the PM. Even better she will get to meet Tova Ben Dov, President of World WIZO, dear friend both of Zvi and I and old friend of my family.
We went to the theatre on Monday, the shops on Tuesday and are off to a wedding this evening. Life is good, we have no intention of allowing life to change!!
I chose you songs even though it isn’t Shabbat.
The first is kinda hip, and about our love of Jerusalem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRAbW6oCgHM
The second is an ancient prayer, If I Forget Thee Oh Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its power and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth Sung by the Chief Cantor of the IDF Shai Abramson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjbuwf9wR2A
Finally, most important of all – Shai Abramson – the Prayer for the State of Israel. All have English subtitles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q5–mNIZhU
With much love from Jerusalem, the most beautiful city in the world.
If the media does not inform us we must inform the media
Sheila’s blog http://shabbatshalom-theviewfrommyveranda.blogspot.com/
Facebook Sheila Silver Raviv
Involvement http://www.impact-se.org/ http://www.yurishtern.org.il/eng/content.php?id=17