The View From My Veranda
Sheila's Letter From Jerusalem
1st January 2009
New Years Day
I am leaving New York today, returning home having achieved our objectives of seeing our wonderful little grandson Joshua, our children Daniel and Karen and all the family, our friends and shopping far too much!!!!
This has been a difficult trip, our concern for what is happening at home paramount. I suddenly got to see what you see, Anderson Coopers insinuated clever accusations against Israel “Poverty stricken Gaza is hit once again and many civilian casualties”, similar and worse from many of the ABC and NBC commentators, for commentators they are not journalists or reporters, and Jon Snow of ITN described Israel as “lucky to have Sderot to engender sympathy”. Now I feel sorry for you that you never, or rarely hear the truth – no wonder you look forward to my letters!!! Yes, I hear you say that truth is never objective, everybody tells and hears the truth through filters, but even when analysed throught he gimlet eye of a highly trained legal mind, the truth of this war, and war it is, is clear. Please read this excerpt from a brilliant article by Harvard law Professor Alan Dershowitz Israel’s Actions Are Lawful and Commendable
The firing of rockets at civilians from densely populated civilian areas is the newest tactic in the war between terrorists who love death and democracies that love life. The terrorists have learned how to exploit the morality of democracies against those who do not want to kill civilians, even enemy civilians. In one recent incident, Israeli intelligence learned that a particular house was being used to manufacture and store rockets. It was a clear military target since their rockets were being fired at Israeli civilians. But the house was also being lived in by a family. So the Israeli military phoned the house, informed the owner that it was a military target, and gave him thirty minutes to leave with his family before the house was attacked. The owner called Hamas, which immediately sent dozens of mothers carrying babies to stand on the roof of the house. Hamas knew that Israel would never fire at a home with civilians in it. They also knew that if, by some fluke, the Israeli authorities did not learn that there were civilians in the house, and fired on it, Hamas would win a public relations victory by displaying the dead civilians to the media. In this case, Israel did learn of the civilians and withheld its fire. The rockets that were spared destruction by the human shields were then used against Israeli civilians.
Most of the Arab States agree with Israels actions, Hamas is a thorn in the side of all except Iran, Syria and our old friend Muammar Khadaffi. Most of the Arab States are ready to move on toward a better future, admittedly and ambivalently funding many of these organisations.
Israel has the right to defend herself, United nations Charter 51 clearly states that every nation has the right to defend itself against armed attacks; the Arabs, however, have found a loophole – proportionality. By screaming that Israel’s response is disporportionate they can claim her response to their aggression as illegal and a more than willing United nations complies with their wishes = after all, there are some 50+ Arab States and only one of us!!!!! That was their cry in Lebanon 2, and it is their cry now, we cannot allow them to get away with it. Next question is why do the majority of the media accept their cries, why do the majority of journalists turn things around (in Hebrew we say Hafuch al Hafuch) and make Israel the big bad wolf? In truth, it may well be because we let them! Mark Regev, Media Spokesperson and Advisor to the Prime Minister, is a clever and able man. Mark manages to turn even the most aggressive of foreign journalists questions to Israels favour, even if his responses never reach your eyes……… but YOU buy the papers and watch the reports!!! How many letters to the editor have you written lately? How many times have YOU called the television news station to complain? For those of you who advertise in both the press and the media – have you ever threatened to remove your advertisements because of bias? I amnot talking about honest reporting of events where Israel has made a mistake – I am talking of the clear and present bias in all our media. I want us all to work to stop the overt and subliminal bias which spurts forth its poison from our television and newsprint thus changing perception of our wonderful Israel and creating a far greater threat than any Arab terrorist.
I want to mention two special journalists who keep my hopes and mood up and realistic – Bob Parks in the USA and John Vause currently in China. These are good men who are prepared to stand out and tell the truth.
Make a New Year’s resolution to be pro-active in preventing the greatest pandemic disease of all time – disinformation
and to see the pinpoint actions of the IDF http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk
Remember that at this moment there is a terrifying comparative between the aims of the insane megalomanic leader planning to kill the Jews from his bunker and another megalomanic leader with the same aims who sat in his bunker 63 years ago. The difference is in the methodology and the religious imperative, yet the final aim is the same – just replace Aryan with Moslem.
There is always a strange dichotomy, almost schitzophrenic manner to Israelis during wartime – we feel the need to be normal! We go out to parties, we listen to concerts and we laugh and live life even when under enormous tension. I was thrilled to read that communities in the South of Israel – those in the line of fire – threw big Sylvester parties!!!! http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3648733,00.html
Sunday morning – no matter what – will find me in Mahane Yehuda Market – hopefully with my beautiful Arlene and Rachie – somehow it feels much more me than Century 21 or ToysRus!!!! I cannot wait to see our grandchildren and watch their faces as we unload our suitcases with the gifts we brought from “Der Goldeneh Medina” all of which could have been bought in the Jerusalem mall!!! I cannot wait to see my view, my wonderful view of Jerusalem – as I return to gaze each morning, noon and night from my veranda over the most glorious city in the world and dream of the day I can tell you that this precious city is not under threat.
Wishing you a wonderful year filled with quiet voices and generous friends, close family and kind thoughts. Maybe this will be the year that, as Golda said “They will learn to love their children more than they hate us”