The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Sheila – Yehuda Glick shot, Rafiah, Silwan, Visitors

30th October 2014
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope you are not all shaking in your shoes from the spiders, cobwebs, bats and witches that decorate so many homes in time for All Hallows Eve. Believe you me, we have enough scary things happening in the world without ghosts and ghouls and things that go bump in the night!!!!
Last night a group of men met in the Begin Centre in Jerusalem for a conference on “Israels return to the Temple Mount” because Jews are not allowed to pray at their holiest of sites, the Temple Mount. As they left the meeting a motorcycle rider walked up to Yehuda Glick, spoke to him and pumped several bullets into his torso and neck. By miracle he survived and is in Shaare Zedek Hospital in critical condition. The attacker was from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor, a known member of the Islamic Jihad and possibly the perpetrator of other attacks. The police found him in the early hours of this morning and shot and killed him when he refused to give himself up. Incredibly the killer worked in the restaurant of the Begin Centre! Heaven only knows what Silwan and Abu Tor will be like this weekend.
Egypt is pulling down 800 houses in Rafiah on the border with Gaza – Egyptian houses – so that they can create a buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza – to prevent the building of tunnels inside homes. A brilliant solution but can you imagine if we did it!!!!
Brenda Katten is a clever and thoughtful woman – a real lady. I had the pleasure of meeting her in the UK and recognise the wisdom of her words.
Dr Ron Katz is a lovely man and he and his wife Rena have moved to Israel to see what it is like – and love the life! Ron wrote an outstanding article about our (the Jewish People) biggest problem – the lack of religious morality leading the way in our world and the fact that the Jewish People can now be compared to the 4 sons of Pesach. The Wise, the wicked, the stupid and the ignorant one who doesn’t even know enough to ask.
I am very pro-American. I want the USA to be the world leader in all aspects of democracy but right now I am furious! Please excuse my language but do you realise that a member of the cabal that surrounds Obama called my Prime Minister “chicken-shit”!!! How dare they? Do they even begin to understand that if anyone said that about any of the Arab leaders you would instantly have another September 11th but bigger and wider? I am disgusted beyond words. How anyone can defend the behaviour of this administration toward its greatest ally – and the only country that actually erected a memorial to the victims of September 11th.
Two American citizens died last week. A 3 month old baby girl was killed by an Islamic fanatic from Jerusalem while her family was on their way home after travelling to the Kotel on the light rail in Jerusalem and the US State Department did not see fit to console the family –  but when Orwah Hammad was killed because he was throwing Molotov cocktails on to a busy thoroughfare, endangering the lives of all who passed by, a letter of condolence was sent to his family! I find it offensive!
The entire area is burning, aflame, there is ethnic slaughter of Christians and this President and his Administration is worried about some houses in our capital city – in an area which is clearly between Talpiot and Gilo. The only housing that has ever been on this land is an absorption centre for Ethiopian Jews. Actually I went past the area today and saw, to my delight, that the Israeli Arab neighborhood of Beit Tsafafa, right next to Givat ha Matos, is expanding and lovely new apartments are going up. Is Israel complaining? Is the US telling Israeli Arabs that they can’t build on the land because it is occupied………. of course not!!!!
If the American President continues in this vein he will lose the mid-terms to the Republicans and go from important to impotent and take his wonderful country with him. Is Paris burning? Not yet but Washington is on its way.
Sir Nicholas Winton, aged 105 flew to Prague to receive the highest Czech Honour – The White Lion. Sir NIcholas saved no less than 669 children prior to WW2.
Courage in Motion held their 7th annual bicycle ride from Jerusalem to Eilat. Riders are both able bodied and IDF disabled riders just look at the photos and recognise true courage.
Last night I went to a beautiful function with my daughter Rachel, a function organised by Rosa Romanowsky. The Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi spoke and I understood that a woman can be incredibly bright, highly educated, beautiful, fashionable and deeply religious and none of the above attributes negates the other. She said many important things but she also related to the dreadful news of last week, the terror killing of  baby Baby Chaya Zissel and Karen Yemima Muscara, an Ecuadorian citizen who came to Israel to convert to Judaism after discovering she was descended from Conversos, Spanish Jews who were forcibly converted to Catholicism after 1492. Both Chaya Zissel and Karen were 3 months old – Karen because it was just 3 months since the completion of her conversion. Rabbanit Yemima said that both gone to special place in heaven for those who died as a result of terror and that Karen would take care for baby Chaya Zissel.
This week has been a marvellous week of visitors, more importantly of old friends, friends who grew their children beside mine; friends who were so close that my car used to find its own way to their home; friends- real friends. Valerie and Martin, Adrienne and David came to Jerusalem on Tuesday. I met them at the Central Bus Station and we set off to the most important place in Jerusalem – our veranda! After the veranda and the explanation of the view (you already know what I say!), we went to the Hass Promenade in Talpiot for the phenomenal panorama of Jerusalem. While there we met up with a group of Nigerian Christians on Pilgrimage. Of course I chatted to them and asked if they know of my friend and former Ambassatrix Christy Mbonu, and they asked if they could be photographed with me. It was a delight when they told us how much they loved Jerusalem. We then went on a car tour of Jerusalem including Gilo and the view to Bethlehem winding our way to the First Station car park and the bus to the Old City. It was a fun ride, chatting to the driver, the other driver who rushed into Silwan to buy his fruit and veg and to the South African passenger……..just because! We came back to the First Station and ate a wonderful lunch.
Finally we made a quick trip to the German Colony to meet up with my beautiful daughter Rachel and her son Yosef. For Rachel, Valerie and Martin were the closest thing to another set of parents a child can have. It was so wonderful to see that the love is still there and also that Yosef gave each and every one of them a “Yosef Hug”!
Today was a joy. Today I met up with another friend from Reading, Berkshire although he was a child when I last saw him. Stephen and Gaynor Ryde and daughter “Beanie”were waiting for me in the car park of the Botanical Gardens where we went for breakfast. I was deeply impressed by their knowledge and understanding of Israel and the importance of the hard work done by wonderful people like Stephen on the information front in the UK, so much so that I immediately took them home to see the view from our veranda, Zvi’s office wall of photos with every Israeli leader and for a wonderful Q&A with Zvi. I was so proud of them.
Tonight we have more people from my past coming to dinner, Adrian and Mynetta Christie who are originally from Cardiff but are now Americans. I have no doubt that the talk will turn to politics because Adrian is also very involved. Tomorrow – Friday – we are supposed to go for a trip to all sorts of wonderful sites around Beit Shemesh with Zvi’s Parliament friends, if it doesn’t rain, and then in the evening we have a family Shabbat Dinner here with Leor, Shiri and and the children and hopefully Danny and Judit Liwerant. Thank heaven I am good at cooking ahead of time!!!!
I would love to wax lyrical about Shabbat in Jerusalem and the glorious views and panoramas but I am certain that your patience is about to be tested………. this is a long letter!!!!
When I chose to go forward and come to live in Israel I identified with this weeks Torah Portion “Lech Lecha” when G-d told Abram to go to a land He will show him, after all that is what I did, I went to a Land that G-d chose. This is possibly the most relevant portion of the Torah because in this reading we see the Jewish and Moslem future set out all too clearly.
Finally music – wonderful music, traditional music to remind us of Jerusalem.
Im Eshkachech Yerushalyim “If I forget thee oh Jerusalem let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth and my right hand lose its power “ and
Shir l’Maalot, song of Ascents both of which were written right there in Jerusalem by King David who walked the very streets and lanes that we have kept in our hearts for three millenia.
With love from Jerusalem, Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Next week I will tell you all about Canon Andrew Whites lecture in Jerusalem.

If the media does not inform us we must inform the media

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