The view from my veranda

Day 6

Day 6

12th October 2023

This morning I received a WhatsApp from our dear friend Ian in Melbourne Australia sending me an article written by a South African journalist by the name of Gareth Cliff. The first paragraph goes thus.

“I am not a Jew and I’m not a citizen of Israel. I haven’t even visited Israel. I don’t trace my religion back to a holy site in Jerusalem and I don’t have a problem with Arabs or Muslims or Christians. I’ve read about Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon; the Umayyads, the Abbasids and the Ottomans; I know about the British, the Balfour declaration, Ben Gurion and Golda Meir. I know a bit about the Six-Day War and the Intifada. I might not have any personal stake in the Holy Land, but humanity certainly does – and I’m a human being.” Please read on

Yesterday was a somewhat disturbing day for those who receive updates from Pikud haOref, the National Emergency Portal, directly to their telephones. I turned the app off, the constant reports of every single Red Alert throughout Israel was not good for my emotional. Anyway, as I said it was a disturbing day when the alerts said that our area had Red Alert but the sirens didn’t sound, it was a failure in the overworked system, we were safe, for now. Much worse was when the entire north of Israel was told to go into their safe rooms or shelters because a drone carrying a Hezb-Allah operative had landed “somewhere” in the North. After 2 hours it was found to be a false alarm. Of course, it is far better to obey the instructions only to find out there was no need than to ignore them and find it was real.

Most of us watch or watched Fauda and admired the acting of Lior Raz, the main character. Well Lior, in real life, served in the elite unit called Duvdevan, who undertake some of the most important actions in the IDF, including going under cover, just like his Doron Kavilio. In our moment of need Lior immediately volunteered to serve his unit as a reservist on the Southern Border. He won’t get any special privileges; he goes back to being part of his original unit. That’s the spirit, the Ruach, of our incredible country. It is irrelevant whether one is an international star or the road sweeper we all serve together.

Finally, and at last the Emergency Cabinet has been formed. General Benny Gantz, the battle-wise soldier that he is, refused to give up, kept his cool and is now the adult in the room. I hear the cries of “But he was cheated last time, why is he willing to take that chance again?” The answer is simple, he is the one who is thinking of his country and his soldiers, not of his personal glory.

Anthony Blinken, US Secretary of State just landed in Israel, on his way to Jerusalem and meetings with the newly formed Cabinet. Tomorrow he will meet with Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Mazen, the aging leader of the Palestinian Authority. Hamas is a direct threat to Abu Mazen, to his leadership which is already weakened. President Biden’s message is of absolute support but also that we have to open a humanitarian passage to the people of Gaza. I understand why. If we continue to cut off supplies then we will lose popular support as CNN and BBC show pictures of suffering little children in the Strip.

I have to explain something to you. I’m often asked, why exchange the gentle rolling hills and glorious beaches of Wales for life in Israel. Well, I’ll tell you.

Life here isn’t easy, we are surrounded by enemies; the sheer intensity of life is draining, everything is extreme, pain, fear, love, anger, politics; rather than watching life go by, I am part of it, I live it every day, my every move matters, with all the pain comes a sense of belonging, a sense of a greater purpose in life. Yes, I could have chosen an easier path but I cannot imagine living anywhere else

Gareth Cliff ended his writings “I’m afraid there are only two sides in a war – your allies and your enemies. On September 11th 2001, I knew whose side I was on. I feel the same today.”

With love from Jerusalem.



Kfar Aza was one of the communities that was devastated, decimated, on Shabbat. I received this from Leor, Zvi’s son, who is working hard to help those in need

Kibbutz Kfar-Azza is fighting for its life.

A thriving community of 1000 people, men and women, was brutally crushed within 48 hours.

Whole families, parents, bothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, were murdered in cold blood. Their houses were turned into piles of earth and ashes, and their lives as they knew them – destroyed. They lost their homes, their livelihoods and all their property. They lost tens of neighbors, both relatives and beloved friends, in one of the greatest terrorist attacks in history.

Those saved from the slaughter were trapped for two days under fire until they were rescued with only the clothes on their backs.

It is now time, in these difficult hours, to give a hand and help the families with their immediate physical and spiritual needs, and to already begin to rebuild their beloved kibbutz.

It will take time. But this wounded, bleeding community needs help today, now.

Please help us bring life back to our beloved Kfar-Azza.

Here is one way to help:

Or directly to:

Kibbutz Kfar-Azza

Bank Mizrahi-Tefachot Number 20

Branch 420

Account number 626354

Bank transfers:

Kibbutz Kfar Azza

Mizrahi Tefahot

Account number: 626354

Branch number: 428

IBAN: IL 550204280000000626354

Swift code: MIZBILIT

For a tax-refund receipt, please send an email with the details of your donation to:

For significant contributions please contact directly:

Chen Amales-Kotler +972 54 779 1001

Noa Shinar-Ron +972 54 498 9617

Sagit Mor +972 50 821 5018

Thank you for your generosity, your support and your open hearts!

The Kfar-Azza Community