The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. James Foley, Stephen Sotloff, NATO,

5th September 2014
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope you are well and not too worried about the fate of our world.
This week we learned some diabolical truths. We learned that ISIS/Daish/Hamas/Islamic Jihad/Hezb-Allah are one and all believe that it is their right to decapitate Westerners. In their blood lust they create videos of the suffering of those about to be decapitated, be they journalists or simple people who went against the dictates of Islam according to them. We felt the decapitation of James Foley and Stephen Sotloff because we could identify with them, with their families, and they were used for hasbara purposes. Foul. Why is it taking so long for Allies to join Prime Minister Camerons call to arms to fight this foul situation? At least he is now joined firmly by President Obama but I still don’t see any action.
Talking of NATO, my home town of Cardiff has become a fortress, although today all the NATO representatives went home. The number of world leaders was enormous, the danger overt, but was it Israelis that presented a danger………….. of course not!!! Israelis do not decapitate nor threaten world leaders – we are perceived as the aggressors but…. let’s allow Matt Friedman to explain.
Matti Friedman, former AP journalist, tells the truth of the Disproportionate Focus on Israel in the media- 40 AP journalists in Jerusalem more than in the entire Arab world of the Arab Spring. Friedman says “Jerusalem is safer than Portland Oregon, one of the safest cities in the USA”. Remember that next time you cancel your vacation in Israel!!!!!
Ben Caspit is an Israeli journalist of note. Every Brit should read his view.
And another very important video by CNN talking to a former leader within ISIS.
Israel is the Safest Place for an Arab in the Middle East by Anat Berko
Do men in your village serve in the IDF? ” Yes, he said, they were Muslims but for them and their families, everyone who lived in Israel was an Israeli and had to serve. Hamas’ rockets, he said, did not distinguish between his family and ours, they were meant to kill all Israelis.” <>
The White House spokesperson, conceivably the woman with the least expression in her voice, repeatedly says that Israel must not build in the “settlements” aka Yehuda and Shomron and indeed in Jerusalem, because, and I quote “It will cause instability in the region”.  Are you kidding? Are you serious? A few buildings will cause instability in a region that has been in flames for two or three years? That is insanity. Speak quietly to the PM but to once again publicly vilify Israel for building a few houses (incidentally over 2,000 are in Arab neighborhoods) but to claim that those few houses are the cause of the instability is sheer insanity. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon and so many other regions are in a state of war and the White House chooses to once again point the finger at its closest ally. Sorry but now I am cross.  Just as a matter of interest 12% of humanity live in areas of conflict today. Why concentrate on this area?  Because Israel is an easy diplomatic target – because sadly we are the only ones who care what America says!!
My father, rest his soul, was brought up in the European Yeshiva tradition. Somewhat rebellious he was also a great admirer of another religious rebel, his friend the late Rabbi Kopul Rosen. One thing is for sure, he would have agreed with my favourite religious rebel, Rabbi Jeremy Rosen, Rabbi Kopuls eldest son. Jeremy speaks to my soul and my religious beliefs. Be prepared to love and be surprised.This week Jeremy talks about our relationship with religious leaders. It is appropriate to most religions.
This was yet another insane week! Our grandchildren went back to school, here September 1st is the official return to school date. New back packs – this year every little girl worth her salt has a backpack with a little lamb called NICI, new pencil cases and a lot of books and writing implements. Most families it is Saba (grandpa) and Safta (grandma) who do the honours! In Israel it all coincides with buying the children new clothes for Rosh Hashana. The greatest problem is fighting through the multitude of “But Safta you know I HAVE to have that one” is an international problem. Peer pressure is alive and well in Israel too.
On Monday we went to an amazing wedding. It was so fun – most of the choir were there – a beautiful traditional chuppa (wedding canopy) and of course the pre-chuppa hors d’ouevres were delicious! The choir gave a little performance since the brides Mum sings with them!
On Tuesday I met with my very special Welsh girlfriends to catch up on our lives and then raced home to prepare for the evening. 40 friends who came with us to Romania met up at our place for food and fun……. and of course music. Sasha played the violin, Adi, Yossi and Gadi played guitar and Meir played his piano accordion. Yitzchak Mossachy from Zvi’s choir made up a video of our Romania trip. There is some Hebrew but it really doesn’t make a difference to your enjoyment. Meet our friends!!!!
Yesterday we went to Tel Aviv to see our family there and take little Ella for a walk. I don’t know how anyone lives in that humidity and heat!!! Jerusalem gets hot but at least it is dry – Tel Aviv is exhausting. while enjoying the idea of “lehizdangef”to walk on Dizengoff street, it was hot hot hot. We met up with Zvi’s cousin Dalia Friedland, actress and singer,
So the bride of Shabbat is nearly here, putting on her finery and dressing for us. The food is cooked, this week I tried a new recipe for the stuffed veggies, my daughter Rachel makes the most delicious stuffed veggies so I tried it. Gently saute chopped onions, chopped celery stalks and leaves, garlic, mint – salt and pepper. Hollow out potatoes, onions, peppers and courgettes and when the vegetables are clear and cooked add a couple of tablespoons of rice and then stuff the vegetables in a wide pan. On top of the stuffed veg place a couple of celery stalks and dot around some cherry tomatoes. Add a tiny amount of water and cook over very low heat for a couple of hours. Scrummy!!!! We also have Tabouleh salad and roasted aubergine with fresh tehina. I don’t need to prepare the rest because we are with Zvi’s son Leor and his wonderful family and they are doing the bulk of the cooking. Of course Rachel’s famous Challot will be the stars too!!!!
As I came over the hill from seeing the grandchildren, right there are Samuels Tomb, I looked to my right as usual, but instead of feeling the joy of the panorama I was very pensive. I could not work out why our minute dot on the map should be so bothersome to so many!!!!
Maybe Joan Rivers could have explained it in her straight from the hip style. Joan, rest in peace knowing your last performances were for Israel. You told ’em – you really told ’em.
I warn you that this video is a 5 Kleenex job!! I love it so much. If anyone doubts the importance of Jerusalem to us. Just watch
If I forget the O Jerusalem, May my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy.…
For our special friend Canon Andrew White who has been very poorly I want to include By the Rivers of Babylon. Andrew had to leave his beloved Iraq to return home to his family for treatment. Andrew dear, I hope this make you feel a little better.
So dear friends, another week, another Shabbat.
I wish you all peace and to all members of my family who have birthdays this week – hey you know how much I love you…….arms and legs.
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem, Jerusalem slowly turning to gold and of course, the view from our veranda.