The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. Pollard, Canada recognises Jewish refugees, Crimea

27th March 2014
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. How are you? Is the crazy weather keeping you warm, cold or uncertain?
Canada recognises Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Canadian Members of Parliament joined together across party lines to concur with the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development Report on Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands. Nearly 900,000 Jews fled Arab countries without recognition. Central to the current narrative is the false notion that only one group of victimized refugee population exists, namely the ‘Palestinians’. In order to discredit the anti-Zionist narrative and pave the road to peace, it must be acknowledged that there were two refugee populations, both of which are entitled to redress. Without recognition of that fact there can be no just peace agreement. 
The worlds eyes are fixed upon the Crimea, the peninsular that brings back memories of a cruel, hand-to-hand war of yesteryear. Dr. Nir Boms has written an excellent piece about the situation, about the reemergence of the Cold War and the winning tyranny of Putin because unlike the previous cold war this is a stronger Russia and a weaker USA. Twice there was a cold war and America was weak it culminated in world wars. The only ray of hope is that Putin tyranny is severe enough to stop the Islamic takeover. What a complex world we live in.
Saeb Erekat, spokesman for the PA says that the Palestinians are not willing to meet with Americans until Israel meets her obligations. They what?? Are they kidding? Does anyone believe them? Israel stood by every one of her obligations, going even further than demanded, but the Palestinians did not fulfil even one of theirs! Erekat takes political and diplomatic rhetoric to extents never known before.He is referring to Israel’s uncertainty about the final (?) release of prisoners since these include killers with blood of soldiers on their hands. The biggest question is what did we gain by former releases other than more terror?
It has been whispered that if Israel releases these killers and assassins the United States may, repeat may, release Jonathan Pollard. Pollard has no blood on his hands, has been held longer than any spy, including those who spied for enemy countries against the United States yet we are still being played emotionally to free a very sick man. It is not President Obama it is an issue of Presidents past and present who claimed to be friends of Israel. The bad guy of this scenario is Casper Wienberger who reneged on an agreement with Pollards lawyers for a 7 year sentence….28 years is cruel and unjust. One man who spied for Israel and we are told that if we release prisoners with a great deal of blood on their hands and still plot to erase the Jewish State we MAY get Pollard back. Nu really! The release of the terrorists has been delayed over negotiations.
It is important to note that the Palestinians have nothing to gain and a great deal to lose by signing an agreement. As a dependency they receive vast amounts of aid, money and publicity without any repercussions for lying, killing and corruption.
Over 150 Israeli, Arabic-speaking Christians demonstrated outside the European Union mission in Tel Aviv, demanding that the international community stop nitpicking against Israel and start combatting the severe persecution of Christians everywhere else in the Middle East. “Nations, organizations and international missions are quick to raise an accusing finger against Israel at every opportunity,” said Father Gabriel Nadaf, spiritual father of the Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum, which organized the rally. Those same nations and organizations “don’t life a finger against the ethnic cleansing of Christians in the Middle East,” the priest continued.
Dr Tawfik Hamid, an Egyptian doctor, reformer, thinker and former bigwig in Hamas tells the truth of the situation in the Middle East. He remonstrates the world for believing the rhetoric which is extreme in its exploitation of Israel
BDS is losing hand over raised fist. Most obvious and rather exciting is the huge number of famous, really famous artistes coming to perform here, or just to visit. Here is a list of artistes who came to Israel – or just some of them. The Rolling Stones are coming in the summer, tickets are prohibitivly expensive but Israelis will flock to see them BDS Bias, Destruction and Stupidity
PA claims the Western Wall is part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and therefore off limits for Jews
And now to something completely different!!!!
Last Friday night we went to Danby and Marvin Meital for a delicious and beautifully traditional dinner. First we went to their synagogue to welcome the bride of Shabbat and heard the wonderful sermon/explanation by Rabbi Reuven Hammer who, together with the late Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs, formed the Masorti movement in London which so closely remembles the Orthodox synagogues of old. After the service we walked to Danby and Marvins home where we were joined by our mutual friends Shelagh and Baruch Shalev and a fascinating visitor. Zed is from Eritrea, fluent in Hebrew, written and spoken, loves everything connected with Judasim and is delightful, educated with perfect English too. This handsome young man has seen terrible tragedies in his life, was imprisoned in his home country for disagreeing with the administration, escaped and walked to Sinai, saw things no-one should see and came to Israel. He has been here for 6 years but his visa has expired and he will go to the camp for illegal immigrants in a very short time. Zed is a Christian who had a work visa but now the Ministry of the interior is just too swamped to review his case. Nothing is clear cut.
Omid Djalili is a very clever stand up comedian, a former barrister, and Iranian who makes it clear that he is not an Arab – Iranians are not Arabs. This skit is about seeing Arabs at airports
Prof Paul and Vivien Zimmet are a fine example to all in their dedication to Israel. Despite the tedious journey from Australia they never say “It’s too far or it’s too  difficult” – they just come! They are gorgeous people. On Wednesday we went with their group to the main depot of the Jerusalem Light Rail where we were given a tour and saw the terrific job the light rail has done in reviving the centre of Jerusalem and the incredible increase of passengers including Zvi and I! The Zimmets were stuck in deep snow on Mount Hermon-  back to the heat of Tel Aviv and on the fascination of Jerusalem on a bright and sunny day. They ate in IDF mess tents and high class restaurants with equal relish. They will be back in two months when Paul will receive a well deserved honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University.
Our other visitors this week were Pierre and Christine LaPointe dear friends of  Nancy and Harry Bloomfield from Montreal. It is their first time in Israel but far from the last. I loved their hunger for each and every fact presented and every new sight they saw. I was determined they experience the real Jerusalem for supper at Zion ha Gadol and they adored the noise and simple delights of a real Middle Eastern restaurant. Honest food, innumerable salads, freshly baked Iraqi Pitta, wonderful spring chicken, charcoal grilled on skewers and Jerusalem life. No posh restaurant could have come close to their delight both culinary and sensory.
If you believe the world hates us then watch this wonderful video shows. A Moslem choir singing the song “Haben Yakir Li”
So another Shabbat draws near. Yesterday I collected my two little granddaughters from school and took them home where the large mound of leavened dough awaited us to perform the mitzva of “hafrashat challa”, taking a small portion of the dough and burning it as an offering before making the Challot. It was so emotional, 3 generations performing an ancient tradition together. Prayers said during the hafrasha are considered very special and Rachels amazing Challa recipe will grace our table tonight.
Jerusalem is preparing for Pesach. The religious supermarkets are cleaning their shelves scrubbing and brushing, under, over and around every corner as we do in our homes. Today I cleaned the silver – my least favourite job – to get it out the way. The normal aromas of delicious ethnic food are slowly being replaced by the strong smell of cleaning fluids and bleach! Every corner is steamed or vacuumed! The shops are filled with “specials” on cleaning fluids and vacuum cleaners and clothes stores have one day sales to say nothing of the gift buying which takes place. This is a country of gift giving – everyone gives everyone else gifts- it is a major part of Israeli life!
The major shopping spree for Passover food is about to begin. If I manage to prepare the apartment in time I will get all my non-fridge food early so that the check-out queues will be a fraction shorter. Some supermarkets are open 24 hours a day for the few days leading up to Passover and queues are just as long at 2 am as 2pm!!!
“Who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once.” Robert Browning
The songs this week display the true feeling of Israelis and our innate search for peace. The first is Moshe Ben Ari together with the Sheba choir singing “Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu” Peace will come to us. The second is  Shir laShalom – a Song to Peace with Adam Lambert. The song begs to let the sun rise and the flowers grow –  a prayer for and to peace – it was the last song Yitzchak Rabin sang before his diabolical assassination 
I wish you a Shabbat Shalom and much love from Jerusalem, the city I love, the city that brings us all together yet splits us assunder through jealousies and hate. Jerusalem, the city with no less than 70 names in the Tenach including Ir Shalem (complete city) and Ir Shalom (City of peace). Jerusalem, centre of our world.
I just received this incredible video of a wedding in Havat Ronit, Israel all the way from the Ormans in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Truly magnificent singing. A must see – bet you cry!!!!