The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Rainy Jerusalem

31st January 2013
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope that you are happy and well.
On Tuesday night Israel decided to act against the clear and present danger presented by the clandestine attempt by the failing and ever more violent Syrian regime to pass anti-aircraft missiles and non-conventional weapons across the border with Lebanon and so to Hezb-Allah. A number of IAF aeroplanes flew over the Syrian-Lebanese border after firm information that the armaments convoy was on the move. Rumour has it that we also wiped out a weapons factory. Israel had already warned Hezb-Allah not to take advantage of the unstable situation in Syria to cause further unrest and danger to the area. President Assads megalomania, which included the slaughter of tens of thousands of his own people, expressed itself in his desire for huge weaponry, believed to have the largest arsenal of non-conventional weaponry in the world.According to military analyst Ron Ben-Yishai, Syria is cooperating with Hezbollah in order to prevent missiles and chemical weapons from falling into the hands of rebels.,7340,L-4338995,00.html
The Iranians responded to the Israeli action as “The Zionist enemy interfering in the clear attempts by the Syrians to find a peaceful path to stability” Words fail me!!!
I am an Ex-Pat Brit, born and raised in the UK, the country which gave safe haven to my parents and so many other Jews fleeing the oppression of Eastern Europe before and during WW2 and was always a just society, in my memory. This week I was ashamed of the country of my birth as never before, when the Times newspaper saw fit to publish the diabolical cartoon by Gerald Scarfe, world famous political cartoonist depicting PM Netanyahu as an evil bricklayer building a wall using the blood of Palestinians for mortar; an evil twist on his famous cartoon of Pink Floyds “The Wall” with clear reference to the Blood Libel. Not only did the Times publish the cartoon but they did so on International Holocaust Day. Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Times and faithful supporter of Israel apologised immediately as did the editor. Scarfes apology was a disgrace, he simply apologised for the inappropriate day on which it was published.
Two people wrote about the disgrace to British society
Please write and express your dismay, politely and concisely, to – or directly to Gerald Scarfe at
International Holocaust Memorial Day, was on January 27th, the date chosen to coincide with the liberation of Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The 30th January was the 80th anniversary of the rise of the Third Reich to power as Adolf Hitler was handed Germany by Paul von Hindenberg on that date in 1933. This article published in 2008 shows a terrifying resemblance to the world of today.
For those who still believe that populist anti-Israel events occur only in Britain or Europe, read Prof. Alan Dershowitz essay about Brooklyn College The international campaign to delegitimize Israel by subjecting the Jewish state—and the Jewish State alone—to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) has now come to the most unlikely of places: Brooklyn College. The political science department of that college has voted to co-sponsor a campaign event at which only pro-BDS speakers will advocate a policy that is so extreme that even the Palestinian Authority rejects it.
Jerusalem, Capital of Israel: An Islamic Prophecy by Ali Salim. Jerusalem is the capital of the Children of Israel, now called the Jews; and it is forbidden for Muslims to demand it, just as a married woman belongs only to her husband. Is it possible that Allah, who on His infinite mercy, calls them the Chosen People, and promises them the Holy Land, also plans to murder them, using the Muslims in Palestine as His intermediary? Every Muslim knows that Allah does not break His promises.
Maccabi World Union is close to my heart and through Zvi’s involvement with that amazing organisation I had the good fortune to meet some wonderful people. Among them is a truly exceptional man and this week it was announced that he will be rewarded for his work. Roy Salomon is the Co-President of the 2013 Maccabiah Games to be held this July in Israel. We just heard that Maccabi Canada is proud to announce that the Montreal Cummings Sports Celebrity Breakfast will honour Roy with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his lifetime commitment to the community in a gala event in Arpil. We are so proud of you Roy – you truly deserve the honour.
I was concerned at Yair Lapids lack of experience in the political world, but then I heard his speech to a group of Haredi students at Ono College! It is 25 minutes long and addresses many of the internal problems in Israeli society with exceptional respect and truth. In addition, in his meeting with President Peres, who decides upon whom to place the responsibility of forming a government, Lapid said that the honour should fall upon the shoulders of PM Netanyahu.
The finals of Israel’s Master Chef took place this week. A young religious woman, a young Moslem woman and a German who came to Israel, became Jewish and married a religious wife were the unlikely trio in the final. The German/Israeli won to the delight of all the German TV stations who finally had a great story for their news.
I received this wonderful video about the REAL Israel from Rafael and Becky Guttin. Watch it and kvell!!
The shkediot are blossoming!! You remember of course that I am talking about the glorious almond trees which fill the Jerusalem Hills. Even the empty lot next to our apartment, usually just a hill with weeds, looks exquisite, covered in the gentle pink and white clouds. For three days now the skies have been grey and the life-giving rain has been verging on the torrential. This morning I couldn’t even see Jerusalem as the rain, sleet, hail and snow fell. Most importantly the snow on Mount Hermon has increased. This is going to be a great winter for the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee, as the rains and melting snow serve to refill the huge water deficit and allow this wonderful inland lake to return to her former beauty.
I left the best news til last – Zvi’s eldest son Amiad and his wonderful wife Noga gave birth to a little girl last Saturday morning. Ella (emphasis on the second syllable as in EH- LAH) came into the world weighing 3.25 kilos and is simply beautiful. I haven’t seen her yet since I am stuck at home with a very annoying cough but we intend going to them for Friday night supper with all the family and of course I will take the food! They requested their favourite, Kubeh Soup, that delicious concoction which came all the way from Kurdistan with the Jews who fled the oppressive regimes. A slightly spicy, slightly sour veggie filled broth with wonderful kubeh ( dumplings made of bulgar wheat paste filled with ground meat) inside It may sound strange for this very Ashkenazi family but here in Israel we share our recipes as well as our lives.
I was looking for a new Shabbat Song for you when I came across this and I got goosebumps – it is a prayer, a longing, a yearning for peace. Peace, the one thing that the determination, initiative and innovation of Israel cannot seem to achieve.
With so much happening in an ever disintegrating world order I return to the song which gives me hope and reminds me of who and what we are. It is a song that took me through my toughest times. It raises my spirit and I want to raise yours. Of the honey and the sting. Al Kol Eleh – Above it all.
I wish you a wonderful Shabbat filled with hope and joy with all our love from the most gorgeous city in the world. Just for you the sun suddenly came through the clouds to say hello!