The view from my veranda

171222 Jerusalem vote UN, Shikaki, Malcolm Hoenlein, Yosef Barmitzva


22nd December, 2017

Shabbat Shalom and  Blessed Yuletide greetings

The United Nations, after many years of proving its bias and uselessness, has put the final nail in the coffin of its relevance.

I will not write at length about their decision, or of an American President that was willing to go out on a limb and his representative in the UN who has shown great eloquence and bravery before that once august organisation – instead I will say – I don’t give a damn! It is irrelevant where their Embassies sit and the predominantly Christian countries have condemned their own faith! Jerusalem is not only Jewish, the Christian connection to Jerusalem is of paramount importance and they have thrown it away with their stubborn Arabist leanings. I am ashamed of the country of my birth, Britain. Although not surprised I am deeply disappointed in those countries that abstained. Cowards.

For many years I said that the only way that the Middle Eastern countries will follow the USA lead on Israel is if the US administration decides to defund any country that burns their flag. Yes, as I have been told ad nauseum, it isn’t illegal to burn the American flag but it is a sign of utter disrespect and why on earth would the American people fund a country that encourages its people to burn the flag and in the case of President Obama, to represent him in graffiti as a monkey.

Senator Newt Gingrich, Father of the Embassy Transfer Law said, as Ehud Olmert, Zvi and I stood in the Senate on that day in 1995 when the vote was taken to move the Embassy to Jerusalem “We have Embassies in 193 countries and the only country where we do not have our Embassy in the capital city chosen by the country is our best friend and ally”

Yesterday in Melbourne, Australia, a SUV ploughed into a crowded street of Christmas shoppers. At least 19 people were seriously injured, the driver had a clear agenda but the authorities claimed “He was mentally unstable”. Of course he was – it seems most of the world is mentally unstable! An Australian Afghani. Why can’t they just say it? Instead of stating the obvious Australia simultaneously abstained from the vote in the UN. So sad.

I’ve just about had it with confident condescension of the anti-Israel, ergo anti-Semitic puppets of the West. I expect it from the Moslem nations, even understand their wish to stick together, but……………………. Anyway I am moving on the good things!

Last Monday Zvi and I went to hear Khalil Shikaki, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, speak at the Jerusalem Press Club. Dr Shikaki, who studied at Brandeis, conducts accurate and fascinating research into highly relevant areas of Palestinian life and his studies make fascinating reading. A quiet, charming, eloquent man he explained many of the results, it wasn’t until he said “Palestinians feel that their education curriculum fairly portrays Jews and Israel and yet the Israeli curriculum portrays Palestinians in an unfair manner. That made me question everything I heard before and I challenged him because I am a minor cog in the fascinating wheel which has translated the Palestinian curriculum and the Israeli curriculum and performed academic research of its own on Tolerance in Education which was presented to UNESCO. Shikaki was both taken aback.

Monday evening we went to the Menachem Begin Heritage Centreto applaud this years recipient of the Israeli Nobel equivalent – The Menachem Begin Prize, our dear friend Dr. Malcolm Hoenlein. Malcom is a powerhouse of innovation, initiative and determination to ensure that the case for Israel and of course the American Jewish community is brought to the attention of the Administration. Malcolm’s ability to bring together Jews of every persuasion to Israel for the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organisations, to hear, see and understand our connection is a feat of gigantic proportions. A worthy recipient indeed. I hope that the Begin Centre will publish his speech – it was stupendous!

Tuesday was the first day of our week of excitement! I stood at the airport, excitedly waiting as the flow of passengers came through the doors at Ben Gurion Airport – yes Ben Gurion Airport because it isn’t Tel Aviv, it is in Lod as always!!! Why was I waiting and what was so exciting? My eldest son Daniel was arriving for Yosef Eliyahu’s Bar Mitzva!!! I miss my boys horribly, even though they are now grown with their own families and to see his smile as he walked across the greeting hall toward me was wonderful. Of course we went directly to Rachel’s to see the children and as Daniel teased Yosef that he was getting a book for his present- he opened his suitcase to reveal a remote controlled camera drone!! Yosef’s ultimate dream!!  In the night between Tuesday and Wednesday Gideon arrived to my absolute delight and by 05:45 we were in the Synagogue in Givat Zeev and Yosef was ready to get up and read his portion of the Sefer Torah. Oh my goodness he did an amazing job! His voice was clear and confident, he has a beautiful voice and was well practiced. My grandson is now a man in Jewish law. He is responsible for his own actions and has the responsibilities to his community and his parents that become a Jewish man. To me he is still my baby! We were thrilled that Peter Cooper, who has known my children since they were little, got up at the crack of dawn to be there. Yosef was surrounded by family and his Mummy, my Rachel, did us all proud with a fine “seudah” meal, for all the attendees.

Obviously the main reason that the family came for far and wide is to be with Yosef on his big day, but last night Daniel, Gideon, Philip, Barbara, Zvi and I went to Sima restaurant for supper. Gideon chose his very favourite food Meyurav Yerusahalmi – a Jerusalem Mixed Grill which he ate with gusto!!! After the meal we went to “Mahane Yehuda by night”. When the market is over, the stalls are closed to reveal the wonderful graffiti on the metal blinds which close the stalls, the night life begins. Charis and tables come out of their storerooms, and from about nine at night until the wee small hours Mahane Yehuda becomes one big coffee shop/bar/night club/ music and nargillas as young people come from all over Israel, including from Tel Aviv, to have fun! I love it!!!

Anyway – it is time to get our bags packed and go to spend Shabbat in Givat Zeev. Tonight we will go to Igal’s parents for Friday night Shabbat dinner, the entire family has been cooking for this, then tomorrow morning Yosef will read from the Torah and we will go back for Shabbat lunch, and finally back home after Shabbat to rest.

I am very disturbed this Christmas. The UN vote took away hope for the Christian sites, Christian life in the Holy Land. When Dr Shikaki spoke he said that the Western Wall would be accessible to Jews if the Palestinian State is formed – but that the Temple Mount would never be for Jewish prayer. What about Christian prayer? The Temple Mount is Holy for Christians too. Anyway I am sorry to be such a wet blanket.

Of all the music and rhyme that we share, perhaps King David’s poem, the 23rd Psalm is the greatest. Written right here in Jerusalem it is sung throughout the world

Finally, the morning prayer that is said by every Jew. “Modeh Ani” I am granteful.

I wish all our Christian friends a truly magnificent Christmastide filled with joy and blessings. Please pray that the world will understand and regret what they do.

Shabbat Shalom, with much love from Jerusalem, Capital City of Israel.