The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Sheila


27th March 2009.

Shabbat Shalom!

The question on everybody’s lips is “Did Israel bomb the arms convoy in Sudan?” Well, of course we did and it is hard to keep quiet about such an excellent achievement! If your country discovered an arms convoy heading for your towns and cities what would you do? The previously used route for the armaments from Iran is by boat to the Sudan where they are offloaded and transported by 17 trucks to the Egyptian border with the Sudan and from there through Egypt and smuggled into Gaza. This was the third attempt. One cargo exploded in Iran but no-one knows the reason; one cargo was offloaded during “Operation Cast Lead” and taken in 17 trucks to the Egyptian border before crossing into Egypt, where, to prevent a diplomatic crisis with Egypt the 17 trucks were blown up by an air strike – that is the one in the news; the Iranian boat subsequently returned loaded with weapons and was sunk in Feb 2009 with all its cargo. So when you are asked “Did Israel blow up the arms convoy in Sudan?” you better believe it!!!

We are constantly distressed by those Israelis who justify the fact that they left Israel by publicly supporting and sustaining the condemnation, debasement and humiliation of Israel. The inevitable distress at the injustice of world condemnation is tempered by the equally public support we received recently from Arab Israelis, mostly Bedouin and Druze, who see Israel as she is not as she is painted.

Nonie Darwish in the Wall Street Journal Likud’s party member and hopeful Minister Ayoub Kara

Khaled abu Toameh Israel’s Consulate in San Francisco Deputy Consul General Ismail Khaldi

All of these people understand the difference between democracy and theocracy; tyranny and free speech. They know that as Israeli citizens they have the kind of freedom they could not achieve anywhere else. Apartheid indeed! Such misuse of the terrible suffering the real apartheid caused in South Africa and causes today in many Moslem countries is a disgrace to humanity.

Yesterday we celebrated 30 years since the momentous descent of Anwar Sadat from his aeroplane at Ben Gurion Airport. Anwar Sadat met his old counterpart Menachem Begin as both men thought of their countries and not of their egos. Anwar Sadat stood before a crowded Knesset Plenum and declared “Ring the bells for your sons. Tell them that those wars were the last of wars and the end of sorrows.” and Menachem Begin, fighter and grandfather said the immortal words “No more wars, no more bloodshed, and no more threats.” The “peace” with Egypt is not complete and is rather cold but nonetheless the meeting of those two old warriors gave us breathing space and saved the lives of many a young soldier and billions of dollars in defence. Of late Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has chosen to take an active part in the “Peace Process” but mark my words, his actions are not altruistic, he and his country are more fearful of Hamas and the Moslem Brotherhood than Israel ever need be.

Benjamin Netanyahu is slowly putting together his Government. As usual everyone begins with a declaration of who he will or won’t sit with and then when offered a good enough deal it all changes! Now Barak wants in despite sitting with Shas and half of his own party is up in arms that he is sitting with Lieberman. But let’s be honest, each will join the government for the sake of a Cabinet seat…excepting Tsippi who has been constant in her moral stand. The prospective government has some strange bedfellows but maybe that is a good thing.

Just as I predicted the cases against the Prime Minister are slowly falling from the agenda and the likelihood of prosecution dims. Yet another case has been dropped for lack of evidence – that of the house on Cremieux Street. “Someone” in power was able to convince those who hold the legal reins of this country to publicly and openly pursue a public officer in an unprecedented manner, turning an entire country upside down with doubt and concern. It is my sincere wish that once Mr. Olmert leaves office he will hunt down those detractors and ensure their prosecution. Incidentally – talking of Mr. Olmert stepping down…. How dare citizens of another country try to change the make up of our Cabinet? Just because I didn’t vote Likud does not give me the right to denounce Mr. Netanyahu’s choices nor foreigners to do same.

54 politicians were chosen as the world’s most beautiful women in public office and Israel had 4 of them!!! Ruhama Avraham, Orli Levy, Pnina Rosenblum and Anastasia Michaeli all made it to the list!!! Brava!!!!,7340,L-3692645,00.html

Pesach (Passover) is approaching faster than my hands can clean!!!!! My big sister Eddie lives in Toronto and has a great friend called Andrea who sends me great jokes. This week she sent me a marvelous joke about the origins of Gefilte Fish which is fished by matzo bait – and I thought you may like my response!

“For the last few years I have broken from the tradition of shallow water fishing for my gefilte fish – I send out my hunter (Zvi) to the large black sea of Mea Shearim (religious neighbourhood) where the Haredim (Ultra-orthodox) produce a secret form of the famous fish through genetic engineering. It is a long roll – about 25 centimetres long – and comes with separate and diagonally sliced, carrot since the fish cannot catch the carrot in even pieces. This genetically changed creature can be either sweet, very sweet or grey carp…….. quite a scientific breakthrough.
Incidentally, another excellent modification of this particular scientific sect is the take home cholent (stew). This can be either vegetarian or fleishig (meat) and comes in its own shell – otherwise known as a saucepan of great proportions. When the cholent is finished one takes the pot back to the black-clad owner who then kashers (makes kosher) it anew! The other option is Jerusalem Kugel (a solid mass of vermicelli!)- Lockshen, sultanas, about six litres of oil and……… lots of pepper and sugar. This comes in a similar large pot – which is returned in the same manner! Personally I think this last innovation was an unnecessary addition to the calorific content- but then who am I to hinder progress!!!!!

Today I was highly honoured. I was allowed into the inner sanctum of those who know everything before it happens; who predict the future and change the past; who always knew the facts even if it appeared otherwise; who could run the country, nay the world, far better and with greater ease than those who do so today or indeed at any time…….. Zvi’s Parliament! Admittedly they are predominantly journalists but I am always staggered by their confidence in their own powers!!!! They sit in Angel’s Coffee shop – yes the one at the back of the petrol station – with nary a glance at the gardens with the fine modern statuary so deep are they in their view of the world and their convictions. I love just sitting and listening – and thanking heaven that they sit in the coffee shop and not in government!! On second thoughts…………….

I wish you a Shabbat Shalom, Gut Shabbes, and the ability to sit in a coffee shop and loudly express your opinions – there are too many places on this earth where they do not have that luxury.

With much love