The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Sheila


4th February 2009.

The Kassams and Grads are still falling on Israel,,7340,L-3665905,00.html although Hamas claims not from them. Extremism begets fanaticism and just as Fatah begat Hamas so Hamas begat factions who believe that Hamas “sold out” to the West by accepting a cease fire. The Egyptians have already set up CCTV scrutiny and guard posts on the Egyptian side of the Philadephi Corridor. Too little too late; but a step forward nonetheless.

Incidentally, now that are accused of war crimes with the media as judge and jury UNWRA ADMITS WE DIDN’T BOMB THEIR SCHOOL IN GAZA!

NGO Monitor has labeled the current spate of suits against IDF Officers as Lawfare – Please read

By the way, remember Dr Mads Gilbert who was interviewed by all the major stations as an “independent observer” after his visit to Gaza? Well apparently he is an Al Qaeda supporter who believes that 9/11 was justified!

I received a deeply distressing video from Bernardo Romanowsky which I sent to my hasbara list which others, including Naomi Ragen forwarded. A San Francisco demonstration could be in pre-war Germany. The dehumanisation of Jews is reaching 1933 levels and if YOU do not fight back it will get worse. How ironic that this demonstration was held in San Francisco when the PA and Hamas, like the Nazis, kill and torture homosexuals.

Surely it is time to lobby our politicians to ensure that the 1st Amendment be tempered by an incitement to hatred clause.

Gilad Schalit – Israel sees no victory in Operation Cast Lead without bringing Gilad home. Hamas has broken every one of the Geneva Convention laws on captives and has not allowed the Red Cross access, but they have finally admitted they know where he is and that they control his release and are willing to talk.,7340,L-3666458,00.html

In Caracas, Venezuela the constant incitement by Chavez and his cohorts paid off when last Saturday night a group of thugs went into the Caracas Sefardi Synagogue daubed the walls with hate graffiti, pulled Sifrei Torah from the Ark and unrolled them on the floor. Chavez denounced the act, but since has publicly and loudly derided and berated the Jewish community, especially those who helped him gain power the responsibility lies with him. Chavez chose to lay down with an Iranian dog and now he has fleas. They use Goebbels propaganda methods to dehumanise Jews before killing them – in a much less sophisticated manner than the press, but it works.

However – on Monday Chavez announced a public holiday to celebrate his 10th year in power and ordinary Venezuelans took the opportunity to paint over the graffiti on the Synagogue and clean the façade.

The USA, Europe, the UN, the Arab States demand an end to Jewish settlement on Arab lands (of which there are vast tracts). Tiny Israel however is planning to build a new Arab town in the Galilee region of some 2,000 living units. This begs a question which no-one ever asks. Why are there demands that Jews remove all traces of their existence from Moslem lands when Jews accept Arabs as partners in our only dot on the globe? It is essential to know that in 1,300 years (from the 7th Century to the 20th Century) only one town was built by the few Moslems on this land, even during the Ottoman period. That town was Ramle, which was their capital city – not Jerusalem which they considered too awkward to reach and too much of a backwater. All the towns and cities in Israel, including a large number of Arab towns, were built over the last 60-70 years. Compare Israel’s and Moslem colonial Wars to see who the “settlers” really are.

Tu b’Shvat, New Year for Trees falls on Sunday 8th February. Traditionally all schoolchildren, indeed all of us, plant a new tree, ensuring our future climate and soil, but we have a problem – we do not have enough water to sustain young trees. The glorious weather continues and rain is scarce. We are in the middle of a water catastrophe. Here are some lovely tree photos of trees with history in Israel.

The other day Zvi and I watched a report of wealthy, educated New Yorkers who plunder supermarket waste bins and find perfectly good food which has reached its sell-by date; thrown away, yet perfectly edible. We both commented that here in Israel that would never happen. There is an outstanding organization called Table to Table which collects all such food, including untainted excess food from banqueting halls and hotels, which they distribute to the needy. This wonderful organization was founded by our friend Julie Kotchitsky and it has gone from strength to strength. Their work is essential, especially in the current economic climate.

After the Davos walk-out of Turkish PM Erdogan and the resulting anti-Semitic events in Turkey, that country lost its huge Israeli tourism. The Turks cannot give away their hotel rooms and almost all flights are cancelled. Why on earth should they show such anger at their closest ally in this region? Hear President Peres eloquent, honest and powerful speech which begins at minute 39

Life goes on in a round of events as we try to avoid the Political Party Broadcasts which last a minimum of half an hour, one after another. The problem is that as they speak one must read between the lines and try to remember their history and veracity! Admittedly the idea of women as Prime Minister, President of the Supreme Court and Speaker of the Knesset appeals to me! Explanations and list of parties

A month ago Jerusalem lost one of its oldest (89) and best known “characters”, Danny Angel of Angel’s Bakery (pronounced Ann-jels, not like cherub) Danny was the eighth generation of his pure-blooded Sefardi family (Samech tet) who believed that “wealth is not a dirty word” and could be seen all over Jerusalem drinking coffee with his patrons. When asked after his health his response was always “Gan Eden” the Garden of Eden, even throughout his long fight with cancer. Danny built what was a small local bakery into the “bread of Israel”. When he met dignitaries he handed them his business card which declared him “the head of the Mafiah” (bakery in Hebrew is Ma’afiah)! Jerusalem misses Danny Angel and although Zvi’s parliament will continue to meet each Friday morning at Angel’s in the petrol station – sadly Danny won’t pop in to chat and drink café hafuch. May his soul rest in peace.

Shabbat Shalom. During the Amidah when you pray for dew, ask for rain, rain, rain!

With much love from beautiful, blossoming Jerusalem,