The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

September 3rd 2010.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Shabbat Shalom as we enter the last period of Atonement before the New Jewish Year. Actually it is a misnomer because it is the seventh month of the year but as always, in Judaism things are not as they seem – but for very good reason!
Everybody’s eyes are on Washington as we watched King Abdullah, President Mubarak, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas come forward to the rostrum with President Obama able to temper our cynicism with another portion of hope. Every one of the four Middle Eastern leaders came to the table aware that despite American pressure this dispute will not be settled in a day, a month nor a year.

PM Netanyahu spoke brilliantly of his willingness to go far in return for a secure and true peace and reminded those present of the heinous killing the day before next to Kiriat Arba, of Yitzhak Ames and his wife Tali, Kochava Even-Haim and Avishai Schindler. He knew that one of the first people on the scene was a ZAKA volunteer paramedic who discovered that his wife Kochava was one of the victims in this cowardly attempt to scupper the talks.
May their souls rest in peace and their families, especially the 7 orphans, know no more sorrow.

What complicates any attempt at a peaceful solution, is that Hamas, quite apart from encouraging children to celebrate in the streets over the “success” of killing Jews, has declared its intent to continue the killings.

All four of the leaders present at the Washington talks are serious – they all face the same enemy, including Mahmoud Abbas; they face Hamas, Hezb-Allah, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeeda, Moslem Broterhood….. fundamentalists who are bent on changing the face of the M.E. and then Europe and the USA- all supported by Iran, the new and proud owner of a nuclear facility.

Among the elements which must be considered before any agreement can be reached – Before considering the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees to the 4th generation – the rights of 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries who have never been compensated; before recreating history -historic rights, biblical rights, national rights; before talking of human rights – oppression, corruption, ethnic cleansing of Christians in both sectors of the PA and violent terrorism and the abuse of children by taking away their childhood and teaching hatred and war in schools. Deputy Minister Danny Ayalon wrote “As a descendant of a family forced out of Algeria, my father and I – and the millions of other Jews from families who were expelled from Arab countries after 1948 – are entitled to redress. ” 
When I explained the elements of the dispute that are not reported in the media and oft ignored by diplomats to a friend, her response was “The PA a kleptocracy ruled by armed thugs, cronyism and corruption running rampant, etc. not to mention HAMAS. It does remind me of someone who’s delusional to make airy-fairy claims about “Peace” given the realities.” While a large part of me agrees wit every word, we must try, we must move forward and leave our battles behind us; change as Sadat and Begin did, FOR A REAL PEACE.

Israel stands ready to provide 800 trucks a day to Gaza but there is zero demand for any goods by the PA more than 140 trucks maximum.From the slightly surreal to the ridiculous. Former MP George Galloway, not satisfied with being evicted by Egypt for his Gaza escapades, is now planning a “Free Gaza” Convoy and is trying to raise funding from a Florida Mosque. Do you think someone should tell him that Gaza is free of Jews, has been for years now, and that they don’t need any food or aid because Israel is ready to provide 800 trucks of aid a day to Gaza but there is zero demand for any goods by the PA more than 140 trucks maximum. (Thanks to Barry Shaw for the statistics)

Finally on the news front to the utterly insane. Israeli Knesset Member Hanin Zou’bi: I Do Not Represent the State of Israel but the Palestinian Struggle In an interview for the website, Israeli Arab Knesset Member Hanin Zou’bi of the Balad party said that she sees herself as a representative not of Israel but rather of the struggle of the Palestinian people, and as such does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Are we crazy? A few rights have been taken from her for lying and taking part in the Flotilla but if she doesn’t represent Israel, she is in the Knesset under false pretenses and false oaths of allegiance. THROW HER OUT!!! I don’t care how many screams come from the civil rights groups she is a traitor!

On Monday I went to the movies with our dear friends Rosa and Bernardo. We went to see the movie La Rafle – The Round up, about the rounding up of France’s Jews during WW2. The presentation is astonishing, the acting excellent and the story excruciatingly true. It makes essential viewing as one realizes how easy it is to dehumanise, separate and then cull those with whom you disagree. On Tuesday I went to Mamilla with Irit Lev to see some of her sculptures which are on display. Mamilla Mall is always busy, always a hive of activity which inevitably involves eating, either sitting in the multitude of kerbside restaurants or eating the delicious ice creams as one walks. In Israel even a visit to the Botanical Gardens involves eating phenomenal salads!! Come to think of it, a visit to the Petrol Station in Nayot is a culinary delight for Zvi’s Parliament!!

Last night Zvi came back from Argentina and Uruguay for the Jewish Agency. He visited schools, synagogues, homes, community centers and spoke of Israel, every aspect, every view and answered the inevitable questions. My husband is the best and I do not apologise for bragging!! His knowledge is so broad, is voice so clear, is vocabulary so rich and he makes it all sound so exciting and interesting even when he quotes historical dates and events!!!

Jerusalem is preparing for Shabbat. The roads are emptying, the houses fill with aromas of ethnic cooking representing not only the Ashkenazi epicurean delights but those of so many Arab countries from whence the refugees came – not refugees for long because they did not need to seek asylum they came home. The people of my generation understand what it meant to live in a world without Israel; the fragility of the Jewish situation whereby “The Roundup” could happen any time any where. We have to protect our country, we have to ensure that it really never happens again, because it can and it may if we don’t stop the rot now.

For your New Years Tikkun Olam resolution, promise to stand up for yourselves, your beliefs, your rights and your people while always caring what happens to others.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem , heart of our world