The View From My Veranda

Sheila's Letter From Jerusalem

090109 Gaza Update 7

By sheila | January 9, 2009

> 9th January 2009.
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> Gaza Update 7
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> This morning we heard the news that the United Nations Security Council, during an overnight debate, voted overwhelmingly for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza; the vote was 14-0 and United States abstained. Of course Resolution 1860 infers an Israeli pull-out in the full knowledge that Hamas missiles will still rain down on towns, kibbutzim and villages every day since Hamas is not beholden to the United Nations. The Prime Minister has responded to the UN resolution with strong words that Israel will continue to defend herself until such time as she is secure. Foreign Minister Livni said “Israel has acted, is acting, and will continue to act only according to its calculations, in the interest of the security of its citizens and its right to self defense” The outstanding political analyst Professor Gerald Steinberg in the Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231424896098&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
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> Life is tough for those who are given the job of putting Israel’s case forward to a hostile word. They suffer abuse and even violence. Whether it be in Fort Lauderdale, Toronto, New York, London, Paris, Wellington, New Zealand or Scandinavia they put forward facts and are beaten down by antagonism, mendacity and irrational rage. The MFA professionals have enlisted the help of some eminent speakers but their intelligent and heartfelt words fall on deaf ears. Israel has given each time; Israel has put peace on the table every time and been rejected; Israel is the one which sends aid to Palestinians when in general their own ignore them; Israel suffers from all of the above. It does not help to have right on ones side when perception and truth are poles apart – they do not want to hear that as a direct result of the Oslo process the first missile hit Sderot on April 16, 2001. I just want to thank, honour and strengthen those of you who work so hard to put forward Israel’s case and receive brickbats in return. Professor Michael Baum is one who stands out. Mike could have kept quiet and rested his laurels on his reputation as a great medical man but he stuck his neck right out in the UK to help Ambassador Ron Prosor, and is distraught at the anger he faces from a disinformed BBC public.
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> I am not angry that President-elect Barak Obama is thinking of holding low-lever diplomatic talks with Hamas. If one does not make contact one cannot express ones anger or distaste with their credo and terrorist activities – I pray he will, vehemently.
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> Many thanks to Ya’ara Saks-Zeligson in Toronto for sending me this article DAMNED IF THEY DO BUT ISRAEL’S DEAD IF THEY DON’T by Ralph Peters in the New York Post. Ya’ara is doing great work in the Toronto community – until her return home!
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> http://www.nypost.com/seven/12292008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/damned_if_they_do_146263.htm
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> Rabbi Jeremy Rosen is an exceptional man –in every sense; his intellect, his sensitivity, his ability and his love of life. Go to his weekly blog and see what a left-wing, peace loving, intelligent Rabbi has to say about Gaza. http://www.jeremyrosen.com/blog/
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> Memri is an outstanding organization which brings us video proof of what enemies we face. To understand Hamas watch their video http://www.memritv.org/video.html
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> Alan Dershowitz is arguably the most erudite protagonist in Israel’s defence. In this article he elucidates the attitude of CNN and their ilk. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/story.html?id=1149129
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> Earl and Kathleen Cox are exceptional people. I first met them about 7 years ago when we were introduced since Earl wanted to found a radio programme to the Christian world (and anyone he could reach) expounding the trials and tribulations that Israel faces but with great warmth and love of the country. Earl did not need or want money, he retired from a fine career in Washington, Earl wanted to ensure that Israel’s story got out there to as wide an audience as possible. I am proud to say that Zvi and I played a small part in setting up “Front Page Jerusalem News” and introduced Earl to Prime Ministers, Ministers and spokespersons on both left and right. The most important aspect, for me, of this excellent news form is that Earl and Kathleen have no interest in proselytizing nor do they have a hidden agenda. Earl and Kathleen lived a year in Jerusalem during the Intifada, Earl spent months praying at 05:30 every morning at the Kotel (Western Wall) where the religious Jews accepted and welcomed him and his genuine love. For the past two years Earl and Kathleen have been providing concrete bus shelters for the people of Sderot. Earl is not a man who talks the talk without walking the walk and we are proud to call him friend. Please watch this video of Earl being caught up in a missile attack on Sderot and you will understand what the people of Sderot suffer every day. Don’t be fooled by the media claim that these rockets are “just home-made and ineffective” http://www.vimeo.com/2765103
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> I hate shopping malls- I really do but they are a convenience that one cannot avoid. Yesterday I was in the local mall three times, once to the supermarket, once with my daughter Rachel to find her a skirt and once with Rosa and Bernardo to go to the movies. What struck me was the (usual) ease with which Jews and Arabs mix in such surroundings. Despite what is happening in the South and Gaza, not one of the shoppers would deem it correct or moral to shout abuse or exclude someone of a different creed from that shopping mall – yet we are expected to accept exclusion from entire countries and the United Nations and most of your countrymen agree with and abet that premise!!!
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> We will survive, but your input is of the essence. Your telling of the situation as it is, who and what Israel faces every day, that despite our bravado (some say machismo) we are a teeny, tiny country surrounded by enemies, some vast, and in a world of hundreds of Moslem countries we are the only Jewish State ratified by the United Nations before it was overtaken by the hundreds. We are not here because of the Holocaust. The Holocaust may have been a generational catalyst, but this was ours before we were expelled and we never truly left. This is Israel, this is the land of the Bible; this is the Holy Land; this is the land of milk and honey. We paid our dues, let us just get on with the job of living.
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> This Shabbat I pray that we are given the words to convince humankind of our right to live and give, to survive and thrive.
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> Shabbat Shalom from our Jerusalem.
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> With all my love
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> Sheila
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