The View From My Veranda

Sheila's Letter From Jerusalem

Lies, Damned Lies and

By sheila | July 12, 2024

Lies, Damned Lies and Qataris?

12th July, 2024

279th of October

6th day of the month of Tammuz

Shabbat Shalom!

Did you know that Joseph, son of Jacob, he of the multi-coloured dreamcoat, was both born and died on this day? The 6th day of Tammuz nearly 2,000 years BCE? It is also the anniversary of the slaughter of the Jews of Seville, Spain in 1391, when the Jewish Quarter was burned after lies whipped up hatred by a Catholic cleric. The vast majority endured forced conversion to Christianity (Conversos) in order to survive. This has nothing to do with my opening paragraph today but worth mentioning to put everything into chronological perspective and to understand that nothing is new under the sun.

Another reminder, 2,000 years ago, Rome wasn’t built in a day but it was built on the remains of the vanquished Jerusalem. It was the Romans who changed the name of this blessed land from Judea and Samaria to Palaestina; they had less success in changing the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina.

We have talked in the past about our collective trauma following the 7th of October, the sheer violent savagery of that day, and our dismay at the inaction of this government, but when all else failed we felt utter confidence in our army, in the IDF. That confidence in the soldiers, in the subsequent 300% volunteer response that saved us, in a report given yesterday, not only the administration but also the military leadership failed us miserably by not reading the warning signs and not reacting to the invasion. So far, the reported internal inquiry into those failures revealed that the response to the massacre and the invasion of Kibbutz Be’eri took 6 hours. 6 long hours of rape, slaughter, untold cruelty, torture defended by a small group of kibbutz members who fought loke tigers and many gave their lives while the IDF was delayed by confusion among the leadership.

Please understand, the IDF, whether intelligence, ground troops, artillery, tanks, police, each and every one of them is everybody’s son. They are our pearls, our children and we promised to keep them safe and bring them all home after victorious battle; they don’t have to be there, yet even after dreadful injuries all they want is to return to the battlefield to defend this beloved country. The IDF is our reputation for fair warfare and precision battle, how on earth could this have happened? Perhaps complacency? Perhaps this unfamiliar unpreparedness filtered down from the top? If we look back into the formation of Hamas we can find some of the answers.

For years, Netanyahu governments (plural) divided power between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank bringing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to his knees while propping up Hamas. The idea was to prevent Abbas — or anyone else in the Palestinian Authority’s West Bank government from achieving a Palestinian state. Indeed, once given this acceptability Hamas slaughtered any Fatah representative they could find in Gaza. Misguided is the understatement of the year and basically led us to the fiasco of October 7th.

I’m not letting other governments off the hook, nor am I excusing the complacency of the military leaders, but one must find the source, the root cause in order to repair the hearts and minds of the people and the soldiers.

The irony of the situation, of the abject poverty that is the symbol of Gaza, is that under the watchful eye of the world, Ismael Haniya and Khaled Maashal, the two leaders of Hamas, are each worth over $4 BILLION! They sit in ultimate luxury in Qatar, a safe distance from the action. Incidentally, remember that the latest report by Impact-se on the Qatari schoolbooks shows an increase in anti-West, anti-Semitic content that has prompted the State Department to issue a statement condemning the incitement to hatred therein. The Qatari’s, and to some extent the Egyptians, are not allies of the West, they speak with forked tongue.

The other issue which is deeply disturbing to most Israelis, is the question of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) conscription. The Supreme Court passed a law whereby 18 year old Haredi males, like all other Jewish 18 year olds, are subject to national conscription to the IDF. It has become a question of whether or not they recognise the State of Israel. I refuse to generalise, there has been a great understanding of the need among the young, including a slow but clear increase in recruitment, and some Rabbis have agreed that only the most brilliant of Torah, Bible, students should be relieved of conscription and some have taken to the streets in violent confrontation with the police.  I believe that when one lives in a country, any country, one should show loyalty and they must accept the establishment of the State of Israel, the need to defend the State that cares for their needs, even if they believe that Israel should not exist until the coming (whether first or second time) of the Messiah.

As I told you last week, Hezb-Allah has been bombarding the rural beauty of Northern Israel with hundreds, upon hundreds of missiles destroying small towns and kibbutzim. This week a young couple, parents of three small children, were driving along a quiet country road when a missile landed on their car. A single car on a quiet country road, fate put them in the wrong place at the wrong time and they were killed.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided that he will go to Washington to speak before Congress despite the current uncertainties surrounding the elections for President of the United States. I’m not sure this is the right time to go amid turmoil at home, a Court case hanging over his head and without an invitation from President Biden. His arrival is a clear statement for Trump and it is not our place to be involved. His visit was carefully timed to coincide with his son Yair’s birthday. Yair was virtually exiled to Florida after several unsavoury interviews and incidents. If you want to know more about that, write to me personally and I’ll try to answer.

I bet you have never heard about Captain Ella! Captain Ella is a Moslem, from the predominantly Moslem Israeli town of Calansua, a decorated army officer who received the President’s Award of Excellence in 2015 and the Outstanding Award from the Head of Operations Division in 2018. Ella is the voice of the IDF to Israel’s Moslem and Arab community. She made the decision to enlist in the IDF after watching Al Jazeera as a child. She wanted to report the truth in Arabic and in addition to being a decorated soldier, she is quite a star of social media

Good things still happen to good people and this week Yair Green was the good man whose contribution to society was celebrated in a spectacular manner. The award ceremony and spectacular took place in the recently built cultural centre of Jerusalem, the dream come true for Ehud Olmert who drew up the plans way back in the 90’s during his tenure as Mayor of this City. His dream of revitalising the centre of Jerusalem was ignored by two subsequent Mayors, Lupuliansky and Barkat, but brought to fruition by Mayor Moshe Lion, who was praised on every level by Ehud Olmert. Anyway, back to the man of the moment. Yair Green is a successful lawyer, sits on the Boards of virtually every imaginable cultural and educational organisation, predominantly in Jerusalem, but all over Israel, supported by his wife Gabby and children and grandchildren, all of whom sat proudly in the hand-picked audience. Above all other titles and roles, Yair loves Hora Yerushalyim Dance Troupe. He danced with Hora from the age of 8, and determined that Israeli Folk Dancing was an essential expression of Israeli culture and his enthusiasm hasn’t waned over the years. His decision to retire from almost all of his multitude of positions at the age of 80 does not prevent him from being involved! His award was an exquisite 3D interpretation of all of the performing arts created by our friend Eli Matityahu.

This has been an interesting week. Zvi had rehearsals most evenings and two performances, both folk singing with Hakol Yachassi and his Classical Choir. I have been busy with many activities here in the village, miracle of miracles I am enjoying water aerobics, not only because we are a great group of women with an excellent teacher, but because although limited, I am able to do things I never even dreamed of with the encouragement of friends and wonderful doctors. Perhaps it began with the Mind and Movement Class, where I began to move around to music, at my own pace, immediately after my most recent surgery. I suppose the moral of that story is, never give up, never too late!! Once friends left to go back to their various countries, I had time to spend with Rachel and the children and today we will be with Leor, Amiad and their families. Despite the ghastly heat of the current Hamsin, today will be at least 37 degrees C, we manage to get out and see friends, especially those with Air Conditioning.

Idan Amedi is a hero. A highly popular Israeli singer, he put on his uniform, got in his car, almost as the announcement of the Hamas invasion came on the radio, and drove South to volunteer for active duty in his front line unit. He was very seriously injured when the building they were destroying caused a secondary explosion and, as he said himself when he was ultimately discharged from hospital, he looked like a piece of burned coal. Yes, indeed, Idan Amedi is a hero, along with all the other 30,000 injured. Here he sings his story, A Soldiers Song.

I always say that for us, each soldier is a child of all of us

For many, a belief in the Almighty has helped them get through the last nine months. This is a sad, hopeful song by Israeli stars Omer Adam and Ishay Ribo. Perhaps Omer Adam’s casual dress expresses our pragmatism most clearly. I love this song.

“Stand By Me” together we can do anything, beat any hatred, fight evil and support good. We really can but only if we unite to spread kindness. I love this song!

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Be well, be kind, be brave, remember to tell your loved ones that they are just that – loved. Remember that one kind word can build a child, and an adult.

With much love from our home to yours


© 2018 The view from my veranda | Powered by Studio Homage