The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem- 6 Day War, Turkey,Bobby Kennedy, EUFA under 21,



Friday, 7th June 2013


Shabbat Shalom dear friends.


Do you remember where you were on this date in 1967? I was glued to the television set, awed by the successes of the Israeli Army as the mighty forces of 6 countries battled to push us into the sea. I lived in Cardiff, South Wales and our Young JNF group tried to work out how to raise money for Israel without asking for actual money – and came up with a plan. We chose to ask people to empty their “Blue Boxes” and each house that we went to not only gave us their boxes but added to it and then spoke to their non-Jewish neighbours who pushed money at us thrilled at our – Israel’s – military genius. What a wonderful and different world it was.


The Jewish world rejoiced indeed the whole world rejoiced when after 19 years of Jordanian rule Jerusalem was taken in a fierce series of battles culminating in the words of General Motte Gur “Har haBayit beyadenu” The Temple Mount is in our hands. In the words of Chief of Staff Yitzchak Rabin
“I felt truly shaken and stood there murmuring a prayer for peace. Motta Gur’s paratroopers were struggling to reach the Wall and touch it. We stood among a tangle of rugged, battle-weary men who were unable to believe their eyes or restrain their emotions. Their eyes were moist with tears, their speech incoherent. The overwhelming desire was to cling to the Wall, to hold on to that great moment as long as possible.”


The 1967 Israeli song contest had just taken place and a beautiful song, written by Nomi Shemer and sung by Shuli Natan, won the hearts and minds of the entire country. It sang of our yearning for Jerusalem – Yerushalyim Shel Zahav – Jerusalem of Gold. Here the late Ofra Haza sings of our longing including the final verse, written after the Six Day War, which talks of our return to the alleyways of the shouk and the road to Jericho and of course the Temple Mount – which is not in our hands but………… in our hearts


Israeli woman wrestler Ilana Kartysh met Enas Mostafa of Egypt met for the Golden Grand Prix wrestling championship match in Italy. From the outset, Mostafa refused to shake hands with her Israeli rival. During the fight, she broke two of the Israeli’s fingers and bit her in the back – causing her to bleed. At the end of the match, unsurprisingly, she refused to shake hands with her again. Showing her true colours – blue and white through and through – Ilana won the Championship!,7340,L-4386942,00.html

Having spoken to friends in Turkey I understand that the demonstrations in Turkey have two sides. During the day the natural demonstrators are the middle class, enjoying a “Woodstock” like experience while expressing their dislike for the current administration – demanding the repeal of the edict banning kissing in the street etc. At night the more violent rebels hit the streets and that is what you see on the television news. Turks enjoyed enormous freedom, not just religious but civil freedom, and they will not give it up easily. Erdogan may just have met his match in his own people. His reign may well be over. He failed to bring Turkey into the EEC; he failed in his decision to align with Syria; he failed in his choice to malign Israel to curry favour with the Arab world and his policies are bringing Turkey to economic disaster.


The Israeli Foreign Ministry just issued the following announcement expressing sorrow that Austria is withdrawing its UNDORF presence on the Syrian/Israel border

Israel regrets Austria’s withdrawal from UNDOF
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel was notified today (6 June) by its Austrian counterpart about the decision of the Austrian government to withdraw their soldiers from UNDOF. While appreciating Austria’s longtime contribution and commitment to peacekeeping in the Middle East, we nevertheless regret this decision and hope that it will not be conducive to further escalation in the region.
Israel expects the United Nations to uphold its commitment under Security Council Resolution 350 (1974), by virtue of which UNDOF was established.


Robert Kennedy was a 22 year old reporter when he came to the nascent state of Israel and for many years his words were lost. He describes a situation little recognised and it was what he learned then that made him a huge supporter of Israel and ultimately caused his violent demise as a Palestinian shot him and deprived the United States of a truly fine President.


Yesterday the European Football (Soccer) Championships for U21 (under 21yrs old) opened at the new and beautiful Netanya Football Stadium. Over 150 countries and an estimated 200 million people will be watching the tournament as it takes place in Israel. I congratulate the European Football Association (UEFA) for not giving in to BDS-Pro Palestinian pressure which wanted to boycott Israel and have the championship in another country. The Israeli U21 team is composed of the best young Jews & Arabs playing soccer in Israel Soccer League. Hopefully it will be televised internationally so that you can yell for our team!!

The IsraAid team come to the rescue again! They are leading in the clean up after the disastrous tornadoes that ripped apart wide areas in Oklahoma. Volunteers who arrived after the first tornado were trapped by the further tornadoes but it didn’t dampen their determination or enthusiasm to help those in need and join the clean-up. Israel – the country that gives back. This video shows the extent of the disaster and the love these Israelis give and get .


Knaidel, kneidel, kneidle, knaydel – what is the right spelling and why is it important? Because that is the word that won Arvind the national spelling bee in the USA!!!!!!!


The Jerusalem Light Festival begins on the 13th of June. Trails through the Old City taking you to incredible sights and sites…… laser shows, holograms, shows and everything imaginable to celebrate this beautiful city!


I dare you not to laugh when the extremely effective Minister of Education, Rabbi Shai Piron, got a fit of the giggles during his speech in the Knesset. We are so used to seeing fights and insults from around the world’s parliaments that this is a delight!!!!


Last week, when I spoke of my delight at having my family here with me in Jerusalem I didn’t tell you the whole truth. My greatest delight was when, straight off the plane, I took Steve, Claire and Jake to meet their little cousins and watching Yosef, Talia and Ayala hugging and kissing them, thrilled to discover family that comes to Israel! They really enjoyed the most important sight in Jerusalem – The View from our Veranda!!!!

My family kept me company for the first part of Zvi’s journey to Italy, which he loved although it was tough. I have no doubt that he was the star.. will have to check with Danby on that one! He came home with invitations to visit some of the group in the North – Arab women and a Bedouin couple – all of whom were taking the same University course and enjoyed my husbands humour and knowledge in equal parts!!!!



So my friends, this Shabbat we should all pray for that most elusive of states – peace. So much pain and torment around this tortured globe – yet the world seems to concentrate on us, as usual pointing at the easy target while leaving the big bullies with nothing but a wagged finger. Maybe we should pray for justice rather than peace because with even a smidgen of justice in this world peace would come of its own volition.


I suddenly thought, before June 1967 the View from our Veranda would have been a somewhat treacherous sight. Beit Safafa would have been split into two and families separated for 19 years and we would have been looking down at Jordanian troops who had no compunction in shooting at us. How odd – those Jordanian enemies are now our allies (unofficially) and the families of Beit Safafa are only separated by the brand spanking new road which will run through, with a walkway over the top so they can still visit each other with ease!!!!!


Shabbat Shalom and much love



PS The Ilan and Assaf Ramon International Airport has begun construction!!! In the desert sands at Timna it should prove to be a wonderful alternative to the already overcrowded Ben Gurion International.


PPS Apparently Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow was not in vain…………. Putin has delayed the delivery of missiles to Syria. That’s worth a bed or two!!!