15th October 2023
I am so proud of ordinary Israelis that my heart is bursting! Soldiers left home on an instant, as I think I told you 120% turn-up of reservists even before they received their call up papers. This created a situation whereby those on the Northern border, the Golan Heights, didn’t have appropriately warm clothing, so ordinary citizens donated to get them warm clothing and then delivered directly to the bases; people who left the Southern border for relative safety throughout Israel, left with nothing, no toiletries, no clothing nothing, they now have whatever they need physically thanks to the kindness of Israelis- their psychological needs often cared for by volunteer psychologists and social workers. The soldiers claim that they are getting fat on the treats bought and baked, ordinary folk supplied. In our locale, shiatsu and reflexology are being offered free to mothers of soldiers, and so it goes on. We are an exceptional people.
I just got back from meeting a couple of young women who live locally. They put a notice on the village WhatsApp asking for clothing, men’s or women’s in good condition to give to people who have lost their homes or left without anything. Their little car was filled to the roof and they were about to take them to one of the big sorting and distribution centres, their third trip today. They had just visited a second hand charity shop where the volunteers also gave huge amounts of perfect clothing. The sheer joy on their faces at being able to do something positive was very special. As I parked on the village street I realised from the printed sign on the door that I was outside a “shiva” house, a house of mourning. When I asked who had passed away, it was a young soldier, just 19 years old May God Rest His Soul.
There are less pleasant instances after kindness too. An Israeli Arab from the town of Taibe decided to give bicycles to children who lost their homes in Southern Israel. Sadly, the next day his shop was burned to the ground.
Secretary of State Blinken’s words meant so much more than the rhetoric of a Politician/Diplomat, he spoke from the heart, as he said “as a Jew whose late father fled the pogroms of Eastern Europe” I include this for the wonderful Ellen, my Daniel’s Mother in Law https://www.youtube.com/live/jUJVYRatet4?si=tRcIl5HeDEGTsL_N
I was about to give you some facts, about the Hamas Charter, about the billions given to Gaza by the International community but instead I will just ask you to listen to Israeli/Arab journalist Lucy Aharish talking to her colleagues on CNN.
I often talk about Impact-se (www.impact-se.org ) and the work we do presenting Arab states with alternative, hate free schoolbooks, a unique organisation with enormous success with unlikely countries. Well I have two pieces of news. One is that the EU, Britain, the USA, Norway and others have rescinded their financial pledges to the PA until the hate and incitement is removed from Palestinian schoolbooks, actually written by UNWRA and secondly, very importantly we have changed our direction for a short period of time and gave ourselves over to ensuring that the news that comes out of Israel is truthful. Immediately after the horrendous events on October 7th, we formed a Concilium of about 200 journalists and photographers and ensured that major news outlets received the photographs that we, Israel, needed to get out there. I am so proud of our team, led by Marcus Sheff and Arik Agassi, who have now ensured that the machinery to provide essential news is in place. Marcus has been conscripted to the IDF English speaking spokesman’s division. Keep safe Marcus. We have some extremely important plans which are almost ready for implementation, plans to remove hate from Gaza schools. For those who doubt our ability, you didn’t think that Qatar, Saudi Arabia or Bahrain would ask us to change their schoolbooks!!Be part of the change and help us change the world. https://www.impact-se.org/support-our-work/
Many of you are asking where to donate, how to help. I will try to give you a few options.
If you live anywhere other than the USA then I suggest Keren Hayesod/UIA https://www.kh-uia.org.il/swords_of_iron/
The Hoffman Kofman Foundation is doing an exceptional job, donating their own money first and ensuring that 100% of all donations go to those who most need it. I can guarantee it because I know who is helping them, volunteering to distribute https://www.hoffmankofman.com/donation
The rumblings of anti-Semitism throughout the world are turning into a storm. On Friday I mentioned the horrific backlash on University Campuses, so that Jewish students cannot wear a Magen David or a kippa for fear of attack. Something is terribly wrong with society and it isn’t limited to Germany and Poland this time. Only by threatening to withdraw funding can we have an effect.
I want to go back to my pride in Israeli society, especially the children. Brave and strong, they show us that our future holds much better leaders than what we have at present. Here Israel’s stars sing with their children, their own children plus just about every single Israeli star The song goes – “It’s not so easy to be a child here, with news every half hour to hear on wars” But we want to see the blue sky and the purple sunset, I only want to live here, we are ours in joy and tears”
Thank you, dear amazing wonderful friends. Thank you for caring, thank you for writing, thank you for reading what I write.
With much love