The view from my veranda

180608 Oh What a Messi


8th June 2018

Shabbat Shalom everyone. I hope you are well.

To most of the world when one says football one refers to the game where one only kicks the ball with one’s foot – hence the name! Well this week a friendly football match between Argentina and Israel became a foul and disgusting trick by a bunch of thugs. BDS

We are all very good at playing the blame game. Usually, if not always, the wrong person is blamed. Lionel Messi is not to blame, indeed he has been to Israel on several private visits; Minister of Sport Miri Regev is not to blame either, the fact that she wanted the game to be held in the Malha Stadium is valid, that’s her job; the sport is definitely not to blame but there is much more than the BDS movement behind this. In Barcelona, where Messi plays, groups of thugs, very well organised thugs, waved Messi football Tshirts, with red paint spattered on his face, in front of him. These thugs threatened his wife and family and Messi himself. These thugs threatened the lives of the Argentinian players and you may well ask who was behind it all? Jibril Rajoub, the Palestinian Minister for Sport who is a criminal who was sent to prison for attempted murder and a pathological liar. Jibril Rajoub who has a vast fortune, his ill gotten gains from a corrupt society, stashed away in Israel, in an account in Bank Hapoalim under his pseudonym Gil Regev.

If you want to blame anyone, blame the man who organised the demonstrations and threats to Messi in Barcelona. Mario Firmenich was an ultra-left Peronista activist (violent) in Argentina, imprisoned for his crimes. His son, following in his fathers ugly footsteps, is the one who initiated and ran the vile demonstrations in Barcelona

The Independent newspaper wrote that the stadium on the site of a formerly Palestinian village – well it isn’t!! The stadium is at least a kilometer from the once Arab village of Malha which was built on the ruins of the Biblical village of Manahat!!! How do I know? I live in Manahat!! I need you to write to the Managing Editor, politely, and point out his diabolical errors.

In the meantime, guess which country was the first to send aid and assistance to Guatemala?, well I can promise you it wasn’t the Palestinians!

I am tired. I am so sad that so many countries are fooled by the narrative that Israel is the bête noir! I am sick and tired of Jews who just don’t get it or are not willing to stand up and fight back – with words not actions. The more we do, the greater the outreach, the aid to third world countries and yet they still hate us!

Our fields are burned, vast quantities of crops lost and wild animals burned to death in violent arson attacks and somehow, we are blamed!!! Goerring is alive and well and living in Ramallah. I say that, yet, in order for the lies to stick one has to have willing ears. I wouldn’t be surprised if none of you have heard that Erdogan, the Turkish megalomaniac, has seized churches and is making life for Turkish Christians unbearable.

Friends – our world is upside down! Good is bad and evil is praised!

Just 51 years ago a wonderful Israeli General, the Chief of Staff, made his way through the Lion’s Gate to the Western Wall and we all heard the words “The Temple Mount is in our hands” – well it isn’t! The sheer joy of that moment – the knowledge that after 19 years of Jordanian occupation; 25 years of the British Mandate, during which they tried to appease both sides and all the others too; 400 years of Ottoman occupation; we were back in King David’s beloved city. We were so full of hope and the world was with us 100% well, the Western World anyway!  Ephraim Kishon presaged our predicament when he wrote the brilliant satirical book “So Sorry we Won”

Despite my depression at the world outside Israel we had a truly magnificent week. It began on Monday when Avi and I took two of my favourite people to meet with our friend Ehud Olmert in Tel Aviv. Kathleen and Earl Cox are true friends of Israel, which comes from the goodness of their hearts. The meeting was arranged by the ever loyal Rachael Risby-Raz who is another exceptionally loyal friend. I was so thrilled to see the former Prime Minister looking trim, happy and well and I finally got my hug. He wrote a beautiful dedication in Zvi’s copy of his best-selling book, a dedication which moved me to tears. It is wonderful to know that one’s friendship is appreciated. After a short but sweet visit Zvi and I left Earl and Kathleen to interview the former Prime Minister, and to recognise what a gracious man he is. We went off to the Interdisciplinary Center – commonly known as the IDC Campus to meet with Jonathan Davis, Director of the International School. Since it is a private University the IDC is known not only for its academic excellence, gorgeous campus, but for its insistence on Zionist/Jewish principles. Young people from all over the world, and Israel, study the varied and fascinating curriculum, but it is an Israeli school through and through.

The purpose of our meeting was to introduce Jonathan to Robi Croiterescou and to Gabriel ben Tasgal – and “Ha Tsad ha Sheni” the Spanish speaking information tool , in the hope that they can work with the incredible young people of the IDC who reach the young Tweeters and FB’ers at their own level. Truthtellers of Israel.

Tuesday was Goldman Day! We collected our Australian/Maccabi friends Tommy and Di Goldman from their hotel and went off on an adventure! We walked through Mea Shearim, getting very angry at the pro-Palestinian and openly anti-Israel posters on the walls yet sensing the warmth and comfort of old traditions. We really loved being with them although I had to cut my part of the visit short for two good reasons. One reason was that I wanted to be available to help Rachel (why is in the next paragraph) and because we couldn’t have fitted the Pozniaks in the car!!! Zvi continued his incomparable tour then came home to change before heading off to Ramat Gan for a concert with his choir.

Now for the best part of all. Talia, Rachel’s beautiful daughter, is Bat Mitzva and Rachel made her the most magnificent party in her in-laws garden, when I say magnificent I am not exaggerating. My daughter not only prepared almost all the food, created unbelievable decorations, a fabulous ball gown piñata and an awful lot of little girls danced the night away to a DJ!!!Actually all the Mums had a ball too including me! Mazal Tov Talia Beautiful.

Yesterday I met my Cardiff friends in Modiin, always a very special time. We grew up together and our parents knew each other and most of all we love and protect each other. Special. From Modiin my friend Madeleine took me to her home where I waited for Zvi because we raced to a wedding in the evening!!! Our neighbours stunningly beautiful daughter married the love of her life. Neta was a Scout leader, then after her army service in the border guard she chose to stay and work in that proud branch of the army as an officer in personnel. Wonderful.

Now I am talking to you and telling you about our very normal day, I went to pick Talia up from school and take her home, kissed all the children and my Rachel and came home to prepare Shabbat. Tonight we have guests, surprise surprise, very welcome guests. Faye and Sheldon Pozniak from Australia, Ruth and Josef Dudzuik-Justitz soon to be from Jerusalem and Irit and Itzik Lev who are coming all the way from Tel Aviv with Itziks famous chopped salad!!! We have Orange soup, Fresh salmon, fish balls in spicy chraime sauce, about 7 salads and roast potatoes and for dessert we are having home made cakes and cinnamon spiced poached peaches and apricots. Hopefully we can sit out on the veranda, contemplate the view and drink freshly picked herb teas and talk about anything but politics!  Tomorrow – tomorrow is a day of rest!!!

Today is a very special day. My beautiful, incredible, gentle and clever sister Doreen, aka Dordi, is 80 years old. My sister is a freak of nature in the best possible way. She is slim, despite 4 children, beautiful, agile and kind – and I love her!!!

This is not only the anniversary of our return to the Old City of Jerusalem, this is also the week of the Torah reading Shelach. Shelach speaks of the spies that Moses sent to scout out the land of Canaan. He sent 12 spies and 10 came back saying that although the fruits and crops were abundant the people were giants and we couldn’t fight them. Only Caleb and Joshua were brave enough to lead the Children of Israel home as G-d had commanded. The people began to weep that they would prefer to return to Egypt than keep going – and were condemned to 40 years of wandering in the desert for doubting G-d’s word. Why? Because the Diaspora mind-set meant they couldn’t overcome the challenges set for them so a generation of brave warriors who understood their own strength, could emerge.

So what music should we play?

This song, by Arik Einstein, which is traditionally sung when our children go off to the IDF, to watch over us, but leave us behind to worry – yet it could be in almost every situation. “Fly freely but remember that there are eagles in the sky”

The next clip isn’t a song but it is Arik Einstein and is brilliant! It is called “The Lul” and basically is the story of each Aliya

How could I not give you the ultimate Jerusalem song, the celebration of our return to the Old City. Ofra Haza z”l and Yerushalyim Shel Zahav

We have been through worse, we have always survived, but we must stand up to lies and calumny. If we just allow it to happen around us, if we are not willing to risk opening our minds and hearts and defending our right to exist we are lost.

Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Shabbat Shalom dear friends, Shabbat Shalom