The view from my veranda

Sanders Shoah, Boris, Reconectar and Jen from the Block

Friday, 2nd of August 2019

Shabbat Shalom everyone! I hope you are well. Zvi is home and had a wonderful time with his choir in Montenegro. They sang, visited the Capital city Podgorica, where the Chabad Rabbi organised a concert in a local stadium with a Montenegran group and Hakol Yachassi sang. They saw fabulous countryside and went to the Jewish Museum in Dubrovnik before flying home. Gosh it’s good to have him home!

Zvi and I were deeply saddened this week to hear of the passing of Jaime Liwerant z”l husband of Zvi’s cousin Sylvia and brother of Danny, Zvi’s close friend. Jaime, born in Mexico, lived most of his years in San Diego but never left the Mexican community behind. Our love and hearts go out to Sylvia, Danny and Jehudit. May they be consoled among the mourners of Zion.

Bernie Sanders, the ultimate self-hating Jew, compared Israel to the Nazis in Shoah. I cannot begin to express my anger and disgust that a Jew, indeed anyone, could speak in that manner. The use of the Shoah to make comparisons by Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and their ilk is truly a disgrace beyond words.

And so to Britain! Apparently if you don’t like the guy that wins elections or selections the first thing is to claim he’s a “Racist” or a buffoon. One reader even claimed that the fall in the pound sterling was caused by Boris Johnson two days after he became Prime Minister of the UK. Let’s tackle the racist claim first in his Ministerial appointments.

Sajid Javid – son of Pakistani Muslims – Chancellor of the Exchequer (Honeymooned in Israel!)
Priti Patel – daughter of Ugandan-Indians – Home Secretary (who was forced to leave May’s government because she met with Israeli official and wanted UK aid to Israel)
Dominic Raab – son of a Czech Jewish refugee – Foreign Minister

Minister Without Portfolio, James Cleverly – mother from Sierra Leone
Minister of State for Business and Energy, Kwasi Kwarteng – parents from Ghana
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Nadhim Zahawi – born in Baghdad to Kurdish parents
Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon – parents immigrated from the Punjab, Pakistan
Secretary of State for International Development, Alok Sharma – born in Agra, India

As to the economy, the instability caused by the indecision of Brexit caused a huge flux.

If we are already into politics, why not enter the curious world of Israeli politics? Indeed, if I may quote Alice in Wonderland  “curiouser and curiouser”.  Left joins right; the far right refuses to join the very far right; centre parties admit willingness to unite with anyone except each other and Netanyahu; parties split then join other parties – it is insane! They have to get their acts and their lists, to say nothing of their names, together within the next couple of days.

In a disgraceful incident in a hotel in Cyrpus 12 Israeli young men were cleared of rape charges against a very disturbed British woman. They were not charged with a crime but that doesn’t make them heroes, it makes them immoral. Their brains were in their pants and even though the woman framed them and her friends beat them up they were wrong on every level. The level of debate in Israel is intense and the celebration of their return to Israel simply proves that their parent’s moral code is off kilter.

The Israeli Cabinet, came to a unanimous decision to issue 715 permits for houses to be built in Arab neighbourhoods in Area C which is under Israeli rule according to international law. Of course the PA claimed that Israel does not have the right to make that decision yet they happily accept Israeli health care, municipal services and social services.

In another instance of the infinite idiocy of the Palestinian Authority, Israel has plans to build a 16 Department, 46,000 square foot hospital near Kerem Shalom for the use of Gazan residents to alleviate the terrible health care situation in the Strip. It was agreed by Hamas, under the auspices of the UN, Qatar and Egypt and the Palestinian Authority Minister of Health, Mai Kaila, announced at a meeting with UN officials that they don’t want it because they claim it is an Israeli attempt to separate between Gaza and the PA!!

Switzerland and the Netherlands withheld funding to UNWRA after reports of child abuse and corruption in that organisation. In case you wondered who is giving what to whom, here is the list of countries, contributions and payments. I was amazed to realise that Britain sends almost as much as the USA to support UNWRA

Ashley Perry had an idea; he turned an idea into a dream and the dream into reality.  Ashley is one of the lucky ones, his family was able to trace its heritage from the Expulsion from Spain, to Holland and then the UK. The dream was Reconectar. Ashley realised that throughout the Spanish speaking world there were many people who had Jewish heritage, were not Jews, many were devout Catholics but knew that somewhere in their past the tragedy of the Inquisition and Expulsion had spread to vast numbers of people. The aim of Reconectar is not to convert, nor to impose, Reconectar simply  honours ones heritage and that of millions of the children of the forced conversions from 1391.

Yesterday was Jabotinsky Day! Many forget the impact of the man and only remember the streets named after him! Well here is your opportunity to learn more about the man and the poet behind the movement to create modern Israel and the IDF. Probably the Israeli leader that followed Jabotinsky most closely in his principles was Menachem Begin. He never made excuses for being an Israeli or a Jew. In speaking to Senator Joe Biden, in June 1982, when Biden threatened to cut off US aid to Israel “I am not a Jew with trembling knees. I am a proud Jew with 3,700 years of civilized history. Nobody came to our aid when we were dying in the gas chambers and ovens. Nobody came to our aid when we were striving to create our country. We paid for it. We fought for it. We died for it. We will stand by our principles. We will defend them. And, when necessary, we will die for them again, with or without your aid.” 

In 2010 I wrote an article for an LDS magazine at the special request of Dr Kimball Taylor. The article was entitled “Why Are We Here”. I thought you may want to read it.

Jennifer Lopez is an international star of film and stage who can choose where she holds her 50th birthday party – she chose to hold it right here in Israel and brought her family with her! She arrived two days before, flying El Al, and stayed at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, really Jen from the Block!!

Jon Bon Jovi performed last week and as he got onto the stage he said “This one is for the incredible people of Israel – for their strength, for their love – this one is for them,” Just when we feel that the world is against us wonderful artistes come and remind us that it isn’t so.

Israeli street food is amazing! Anyone who thinks it is just falafel has tasted the incredible array of possibilities. Nothing wrong with falafel, but try Sabich, Shwarma, Shakshuka green and red, Humous with just about every feasible topping, Burekas filled with mushrooms, spinach and Bulgarian cheese, potato, and anything that takes the fancy of the baker, pita filled with chopped salad, humous, tehina and aubergine salad, khatchpuri – gosh I could go on forever but it makes me unbearably hungry! The best part of Israeli fast food as opposed to Western fast food is that it has resulted in one of the healthiest populations in the world!!

Zvi did my shopping for me so that there will be plenty of food for all the Ravivs that are coming for a brunchy breakfast tomorrow. They won’t let me cook so we will eat lots of Israeli salads that they will bring and use disposable everything. I just miss them all because I’m still spending a lot of time at home and thanks to Rachel’s care am doing much better and on the right track. Now he’s gone to his parliament in a coffee shop in Kibbutz Kiriat Anavim. I wonder what they will discuss. Unquestionably the latest call by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz for a unity government. Hope they come up with a solution!!

The weather has been revoltingly hot, not as bad as London or Paris but hot. Last night a breeze broke the still stickiness and I walked outside to see the twinkling lights of Jerusalem before me and the scents of jasmine and kumquat blossom. This morning I was relieved to wake up to that same breeze and wandered outside to be met with very different aromas of barbeques!! Admittedly I won’t be cooking today, rather relying on my former efforts, and I have a feeling we may just eat out on the veranda – in Israel one can sing Kiddush as loud as one wishes out in the garden or veranda without concern!

No JLo songs nor Bon Jovi, but rather something both different and familiar different for your delectation

Tradition!!! Chaim Topol as Tevye the Milkman. Make it full screen!!!

Next a song that rings true for many of us as our children grow. Arik Einstein and “Oof Gozal” which I dedicate to Zvi and to our children as their children grow up too

How can I leave you without Koolulam? Together, everyone together toward the light!

Next week I hope I will have lots to tell you about! I really want to get out and visit all my favourite places in Jerusalem then I can take you with me! Now I can see that the shopping mall is emptying, the streets are less crowded and the aromas of 120 cooking traditions are rising into the clear air of Jerusalem. It will soon be Shabbat. I must lay the table in preparation for the bride of Shabbat, her white tablecloth and candles which bring their glow of peace. Shabbat shalom dear friends, Shabbat Shalom.

With all our love