The view from my veranda

151106 EU decision Israeli goods, HardTalk, JNF America trip


6th November, 2015

Shabbat Shalom dear friends.

The celebration of a man who tried to blow up Parliament on November 5th hundreds of years ago, has been and gone (Guy Fawkes Day) and the celebration of a group of settlers who were oppressed and fled their homes is yet to come in November, Thanksgiving, yet those event which are taught in our history books are still relevant today. They say that History is actually HIS-story, the view of the person who wrote it, which means that we had better get writing because history as we know it is being re-written.

Insane weeks are the norm these days, and our lives are no different from others. We heard of an aeroplane crash over Sinai, the plane just fell out of the sky according to the Russians who don’t want to pay the insurance costs; was shot down by ISIL, ISIS, Al Qaeeda (take your pick) among the Sinai Bedouin who couldn’t be more different to Israeli Bedouin and provided a video of the incident mid-air;  but for the second time in one week the voice of reason came from Al Sisi of Egypt who stated that there was a mid-air explosion probably from a bomb.

The European Union decided, in its wisdom, disallowing the label “Made in Israel” for all products made over the green line, in other words in disputed territories. This removes the decision from Israel and puts some 20,000 Palestinian jobs in jeopardy.  They will not receive sick leave, vacation pay, overtime and travel expenses, that they get exactly as Israeli employees receive, they will not receive their current Israel wage of $50.50 but will get the Palestinian average of $24. Europe again chose the wrong side based on their natural bias.

Yesterday I had a great idea (if I say so myself) and sent it to President Rivlin!!! Why don’t we put a label with the Israeli flag, on everything, including drugs, computer parts, stents, cellphones and MRI’s, security innovations on aeroplanes, indeed EVERYTHING that is either invented or made in Israel. Then let’s see who boycotts us then! Anyone with influence who wants to help me put this forward – you know where to find me!!!

In fact I want them to boycott all of these products!!!!

Unfortunately I watched some of BBC’s HARD TALK (usually excellent viewing) in which Stephen Sakur interviewed Saeb Erekat. I have not heard such lies and calumny in many a year. This is what I wrote

I am so angry, me who never gets angry, find it hard to breathe!!!!
Saeb Erekat did his “Look into my eyes Mr Netanyahu” basically blaming the PM for the vile acts of stabbing over the last weeks. He claimed that for 22 years he and his President Mahmoud Abbas have proven their moderate stance by offering everything and getting nothing. I have never heard such calumny
1. 22 years ago it was Arafat not Abu Mazen
2. 22 years ago it was Yitzchak Rabin
3 THEY walked out of a very good deal with Ehud Barak
4. THEY agreed to the exceptional deal (98% of their demands) proffered by Ehud Olmert who discovered they had scarpered in the night.
5. THEY claim, in English, to recognise Israel, but in Arabic condemn us to death
6. THEY spit vitriol in every direction on Israel, take us to court for human rights violations while sending young people to their deaths in order to wreak terror in Israel. Stabbing 80 year old women and 13 year old children with equal hatred.
Why wasn’t he questioned on his lies instead of leaving it as the highly inflammatory closing of Hard Talk????

I brought it to the notice of BBC top personnel but don’t hold my breath.

Not the only idiocies this week.

The High Court in Gaza made a very important decision that shwarma (doner kebab) could not cost more than 5 shekels! One Gazan who has a shwarma restaurant in a posh neighborhood was spoke to Israeli television. He said that he uses prime products for his rich clientele and 5 shekels is insane. What are the anomalies in the story? There are rich neighborhoods; they use shekels and that the High Court of a beleaguered little country bothers with Shwarma! The interviewee expressed his annoyance in perfect Hebrew.

On Sunday my lovely friend Judith, originally from Glasgow, came for lunch. We had our favourite soup, with everything in it but the kitchen sink! Vegetables, lentils, barley, turmeric, cumin slowly simmered for ages and this and warming and satisfying.

On Tuesday morning I again headed off to the Jerusalem Press Club in the beautiful neighborhood of Yemin Moshe, overlooking the walls of the Old City, for a talk on Foreign Policy. The director and found of Mitvim, which analyses Israeli Foreign policy and its effectiveness both within and without Israel, Dr Nimrod Goren, presented the facts shown in the following link. Fascinating.

From there I went to meet Rachel and four little girls at Amirs Riding Stables in Ramot, for a picnic and fun riding horses for Ayalas 7th birthday. We succeeded in beating the imminent rain and it really was fun to see the faces of the other children who were first timers on a horse. Amir always takes great care of us.

Wednesday was my first participation as a member of the Municipal Committee on the status of women. A varied crew indeed, from strident feminists to powerfully feminine – a very different stance. I was thrilled to hear two women students of the Hebrew University who formed a group to break the silence on sexual harassment, on very real sexual harassment. They are determined, clearly spoken, unhysterical and made me very proud. Then came Tom. In Hebrew Tom is a girls name too. While she was a student at Maaleh Film School, Tom Dadon-Mishaly made the film about her own experiences, coming from a caring, loving family and her inability to tell them what happened to her when she was cruelly raped by someone in authority. It is cleverly made, sensitive to the viewers sensibilities yet shook me to the core. Tom was with us and told her story. . When one of the Meretz feminists began to attack her motives, My friend Yehudit Zvidetsky (Advisor to the Mayor) and I tried to shut her up and then simply went to Tom and hugged her.

That brings me to yesterday. Yesterday we got up at 05:45 (after having people for dinner the night before) and set off for the waiting coach to go North to the Western Galilee (there is no Eastern Galilee). The trip was arranged for the entire Jerusalem Parliament by Zvi’s friend Eitan Carmon and the wonderful Avraham Kalman, of JNF America. JNF America should be justly proud of every project that Shahar took us to. From the wonders performed by the staff of the Maarag Centre which is a school, craft centre, restaurant and simply beautiful project for people with disabilities who have aged out of the regular system. It is a day centre that serves the entire community irrespective of race, creed or colour. We were taught how to make mobiles by students of the centre.

We went to the Stern Winery, to Booza Ice cream factory, we learned that the biggest kosher dairy producer in Israel is in the Arab village of Dir el Assad and the in the North there isn’t “du kium” which has no real English translation but means two living as one, but rather just living – everyone intermingled and intertwined. We had a brilliant explanation of glass making by Israeli glass artist Danny Calderon. We visited a beautiful garden of a Moslem Israeli where he built a memorial to Yitzchak Rabin because Yitzchak Rabin was everybody’s Prime Minister.  We arrived back in Jerusalem rather late thanks to the torrential rain in the Capital!!!

This morning we met with old friend and  good man, Paul Haines. Paul has remained a true friend to Kinneret Chaya and a staunch supporter both Israel and his native America. Paul came with his two grand-daughters, very strong Christians, who heard a different historical perspective on our land and our faith fro Zvi, the learned historian. I tried to explain to two ardent and very bright teenage girls that the future of our world depends upon accepting difference – remember the Hebrew word – SOVLANUT – tolerance? We have to accept that others think differently to ourselves and that does not make them wrong, or us!

We live in many realities, even the reality of the father of a girl who died as a Shahida (martyr) rushing to the father of a Shahid at their funerals asking that the boy marry the girl so they could be together in heaven. Yes you read it right, two dead martyrs’ fathers joyfully proclaiming their dead children married!!!!

Not only – but also, Israel pays over 1 billion shekels p/a in social security to Arabs living in the Old City, many families strangely living at the same address! And to end the anomalies, the young terrorists from Jabel Mukaber are actually Hebron citizens who moved to Israel (Jabel Mukaber) during the Intifada swelling the neighborhood from a few houses to 10,000. Hebron is the greatest hotbed of terrorism in the entire vicinity yet these areas receive all the social rights of Israelis while wanting to kill us.

Phew that was another long one!!!!

Now for music!

First is the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco at Massada. If you think it is not as operatic as it should be it is because after the third encore conductor Daniel Oren turned to the audience and conducted us, which is what you hear!

Our beautiful young people

And finally, Hatikva and Shalom Aleichem. May peace be with you this Shabbat.

May peace be with Israel, finally, finally.

With all my love from Jerusalem



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