The view from my veranda

180309 Uri Lubrani, Nikki Haley, Embassies


9th March, 2018

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I have no idea if you are getting this missive or not because Gmail has been playing games with me and many of you are not receiving my news. I have finally found someone really good to build my website, thank you Renee, so hopefully it will all be sorted out soon.

If there is one thing that Israel learned from the Intifada, apart from how to defend ourselves, it is learning how to deal with trauma, for the injured, for the by-standers and for the families. A team of Israeli psychologists went to Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida to hold sessions with the teachers and educators of that school in trauma management for their students.  Such sessions take place wherever and whenever needed. Once someone I know laughed at the idea that Israel could possibly provide aid to Canada – well we offer aid to many countries who are bigger and richer than us as well as to those smaller and poorer. Israel is a tiny country with a big heart and many volunteers who are ready to go anywhere in the world to provide succour, be it practical or emotional.

Guatemala is not the biggest country in Latin America, indeed most Westerners have no idea where it is at all, which is a shame because Guatemala is a brave and principled country that is the second to pass a decision to move its Embassy to Jerusalem – apparently Greece is next.

The United States has chosen a propitious day to move its staff and physical Embassy to Jerusalem, May 14th the date that Israel declared her independence. The Embassy will run on skeleton staff at first, in the current Consulate in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem, while a more logical site will be found. It is said that the former Diplomat Hotel is under consideration.

The first time I went to the Diplomat Hotel was in 1971 when it was still a 5 star hotel, even if they didn’t know how to soft boil an egg for baby Daniel! The hotel later became an absorption centre when the former Soviet Union opened its doors and let our people go. The Diplomat was also the site of the emotional ceremony the day after Operation Solomon when we met and welcomed the beautiful, dignified Ethiopian immigrants on the morning after their escape. I can never forget the deep respect and love they showed toward the person behind their Aliyah, Uri Lubrani, who passed away this week. The speed of their flight was so great that they were told to bring only the clothes on their backs and up to one and a half kilos of hand luggage, that’s all. They stood in their white Shabbat robes clutching the red roses we were all given as Uri Lubrani walked in each and every one of them, in silent homage, held out their rose toward him. I still choke up when I think of the dignity of their gratitude. Uri Lubrani, you were a hero. May your soul rest in peace.

So Prince William is coming to the Middle East. He will visit Jordan, Israel and the PA, the first official visit of a British Royal. They have come privately, both Prince Charles and Prince Philip but the Foreign Office, about as friendly toward Israel as the US State Department, has always vetoed an official visit because of political alliances both past and present. What fascinates me is not the fact that Prince William is coming but who persuaded the FO to organise it? Have they actually woken up to the reality of who their genuine allies are? This article puts forward a fascinating perspective.  Equally fascinating is the open letter to Prince William written by Michael Dickson, the wonderful Director of Standwithus Israel.

A wise man once said that

Freedom of speech does not absolve a man of responsibility for what he says.

I believe that we, in the free world, took the freedom and forgot the responsibility. As children we were taught that once a word has left your mouth you cannot take it back and it can cut a person into shreds just as efficiently as a scalpel but leave greater scars. So it is with incitement, the ripples of the words thrown so easily onto still waters can kill and maim. Hatred, once thought to be a two way street has become rampant, conceivably the worst pandemic disease of our century.

Among the rhetoric of hate from Palestinians, Farrakhan, Sharpton, Hamas, and many more,  one voice stands out above all others,Ambassador Nikki Haley. If one reads her biography one begins to understand why her loyalties stand so firmly with Israel. Nikki Haley comes from a Sikh family. Her real name is Nimrata Randahawa and her parents were born in the Punjab, India. Called Nikki since childhood she upholds the principles of her parent’s faith and is unafraid of those who would deny her a voice. When told to “shut up” by Saeb Erekat Nikki Haley stood tall and said that not he, not anyone, would stop her standing up for what is right.  Here she speaks at AIPAC  or if the full speech is more than you wish to listen to, try this one “I always knew what the capital of Israel was. I tis not created by the position of the Embassy, America did not make Jerusalem the capital city, President Trump simply did what American Presidents had the courage to do what others did not”

For International Women’s Day I wrote
I am the daughter of one of the strongest and sweetest woman of all time, my Mother, Betty Glicker Silver who passed away 55 years ago, long before her time, yet managed to teach, by example, how to be a good and loved woman through WIZO, through chesed, through her elegance and humility and through the unconditional love she showed her children. She taught me that each human being is worthy, irrespective of his/her provenance – including me.

I am the daughter in law of Alla (Lia) Raviv Hendler, Mother of Zvi Raviv, who during her 97 years taught an entire generation of children how to be good people and showed me that kindness and love can teach a child to be a mensch whereas force can never do so. She survived great sadness with a smile and a hand held out to all in need.

I am a lucky woman. I hope they made me who I am today. I am no less proud of the next generation and the one after that with great confidence that the chain of strong women will change their world.

History has taught Jews very little. What? How can you say such a thing? Oh easily and the wonderful Brenda Katten says it so much better than I. Jews of Europe and Israelis who choose to live there – you are sitting on a time bomb.

Just in case you think nobody is helping the Syrian civilians………..

Prime Minster Netanyahu had what appears to be excellent meetings in Washington, particularly with President Trump. The accusations and investigations deepen but affairs of State must go on.

To take us away on a flight of fancy, Zvi organised a fantastic two days of choirs from all over Israel and from Sweden. It culminated in a fantastic show last night and a seminar this morning. He did a phenomenal job as always and the theatre was full to capacity. The biggest surprise was when the Swedish choir, almost exclusively non-Jewish, sang in Hebrew!!!!

When is a perfect segway into this weeks music!!!!

If there is one prayer on the lips of everyone in Israel, it is that our children and grandchildren will not need to serve in a Defence Force – that we will not have enemies. A dream, a prayer, a plea

International Women’s Day has nothing on Jewish tradition. Every week, on Friday night, the head of a Jewish household is expected to praise his wife for all she does, that her worth is great than pearls or precious gems. Imagine having the entire IDF choir around your table when they sing Eshet Chayil

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I wish you a week of joy.

With love from the View from our Verandah