The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem


Friday, 26th August, 2011

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope you had a peaceful week with lots of love and joy. Israel has lots of love and joy but sadly not such a peaceful week. Your media have probably not reported the fact that the rockets have been pouring down on the South of Israel – despite the much vaunted “cease-fire”. Israel has said “If you stop aiming rockets at us we will stop reacting” of course according to the CNN, BBC and all the rest of them – Israel is in the wrong, the rocket attacks are not reported and we are the aggressors!
After last weeks deadly terror attacks the Islamic Jihad (Hamas says it is not them!) and Al Qaeeda (remember them?) killed 8 Israelis and injured many more then attacked us from the air killing and maiming more. Here is a short report of attacks with thanks to Norman and Lola Cohen of BIG.
ISRAEL UNDER FIRE – (What you won’t hear on the news )
AUGUST 19thA synagogue and school in Ashdod were hit by rockets fired from Gaza.  One person was seriously injured and ten wounded. There was extensive damage to the buildings. August20th  Two rockets hits in Beersheba, one Israeli civilian killed, four critically wounded various degrees of injury caused to three others.  One house severely damaged. Four Grad rocket hits in the region of Ashdod, ten civilians wounded, three critically, one sustained minor injuries and one was treated for shock, several structures damaged. Three  rocket hits in Ofakim, several people, including a four-month-old baby were injured.  Severe property damage. August 21stproperty in Beersheva was damaged by a Grad rocket. August 24thSome 20 rockets were fired at Israel’s southern communities on Wednesday night. In Ashkelon a 9-month-old baby was hit by glass splinters when a rocket exploded near a house. A car was destroyed and damage caused to several structures.
The ordinary people of Gaza did not pay as a result of the attacks on Israel by their leaders. Border crossings continue routinely despite the fact that several rockets landed near them, aid and supplies continue to enter Gaza. In addition, more than 100 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip in need of medical treatment entered Israel.
Israelis in southern areas, about 1,000,000 people, have been warned not to venture more than 15 seconds away from a bomb-shelter.
Edward Beaman-Hodgkiss wrote to me of his experiences, living in the southern, port town of Ashdod. The fear of sleeping, the fear of showering, of shopping, of eating – even the fear of going to the toilet – how do you prepare yourself race to the shelter in 15 seconds? 
Glenn Beck was in Israel. Glenn Beck, the man the left loves to deride, came with the sole purpose of supporting Israel, reminding us that we are not alone. This trip was at great personal expense and under dire threats, but he came and he brought some people of exceptional character with him. Jon Voigt went to a hospital in Ashkelon to visit the injured from the attacks and was amazed to see the number of Palestinians who are being treated there alongside the Israelis. If Jon Voigt didn’t know then how can you? During the rally in Caesarea our friend Pastor Mike Evans spoke out for the first time of his painful childhood and his special connection to Israel. Pastor Mike understands terror attacks and was one of the first to meet Kinneret Chaya – teaching her to turn her scars into stars. He sent me this video, telling me it was too painful for him to watch himself, you should.
Appreciating Glenn Beck has nothing to do with being on the right or the left – please read what Alan Dershowitz says about Mr Beck. 
Give Peace a Chance is a fascinating and informative video which gives us so much information to counteract the disinformation all around us. From San Remo to today. Again well worth listening. . 

Colonel Khadaffi, former firm favourite of the Western leaders, is still evading capture. He is still defiant and apparently still in Tripoli. He urges his followers to resist “Crusaders and Unbelievers” Hey Guys – that’s you and me!!!! In the CNN report of his supposed capture they put a map on the screen clearly marking Tripoli with a great big arrow. The only problem was that it pointed to Tripoli in Lebanon not in Libya!!!!!! It actually looks as if Tripoli is in Jerusalem. I hope you can see the proof – I couldn’t have made that one up!!!!  file:///C:/Users/Sheila/Downloads/Tripoli%20in%20Jerusalem.htm 
Pastor Adaboye was a university lecturer in his native Nigeria when he chose a different path. The pastor now brings huge groups to Israel to see their Biblical roots and to support Israel. I was thrilled to see the lobby of the Dan Hotel in French Hill filled with wonderful colourful outfits and smiling faces. I spoke to one gentleman in the lift (elevator to you) asking him if Israel was everything he expected “Everything and so much more. Everyone here is so welcoming and kind , the biblical sites are respected and Israel is a miracle” There are those who abandon us and those who support us – and give us a boost of love and confidence that are impossible to quantify! I went to the hotel gym and what I saw did my heart so much good, nothing to do with exercise! 
Finally and at last, the light railway carries passengers. Since the journeys are free for this month every carriage is filled to bursting with children on vacation and happy parents who finally found something their children like that doesn’t cost money. As you will see at least half of the passengers seem to be journalists!!!! This first line runs between the modern neighbourhood next to Mount Herzl, through the centre of Jerusalem and out the other side to Shoefat, Beit Hanina and Pisgat Ze’ev. Jerusalem’s light railway is for ALL of the cities residents, indeed most of the drivers are Israeli Arabs.

I love people. I love my family and my friends. Indeed like most of us I love those who love me just a little more than I love others but I never hate. The reason I don’t hate is because my parents taught me tolerance. Tolerance, the most important gift any parent can give to any child. Mummy used to read from “The Water Babies” and stress over and over again MRS DO-AS-YOU-WOULD-BE-DONE-BY. So many children around the world are not give that gift, they are given the curse of hatred instead.

As a child, I had a “madrich” – leader – in my Zionist youth group of Habonim. In many ways our paths have taken us in diverse directions but in even more our paths meet and run together. Andrew, Lord Stone of Blackheath, is going to hate what I write now, because he is an innately modest, nay, humble, man who changes the world he lives in, little by little, practically and honestly. I took Andrew to the Hebrew University to see the work of IMPACT-SE which monitors the education of 6-18 year olds here in Israel (in all sectors) and in our neighbouring countries too, reporting on their findings to ensure that children are taught tolerance and acceptance of the “other” in accordance with the rulings of UNESCO. Tolerance is what Andrew and I come together on more than anything else. We both believe the future of our world is only safe when we all understand those who think differently to us and accept the difference. Different is not wrong! Anyway, the purpose of the preamble is to tell you that Andrew came up with wonderful and innovative ideas to help IMPACT-SE and that I am very, very proud to call him friend. Thank you old friend.

Zvi has taken his little grand-daughters, Amit and Gili, down to the shopping mall where there is a huge shady area with blow-up castles and climbing equipment in order to tire them out so that we can rest too before Shabbat!! Last night they slept at our home and I loved the way the little one kept finding her big sister in her sleep and curling up with her for comfort. That’s how we should be – you and Israel, Israel and you. We should cuddle up to one another, support one another and be the best friends to one another. Accept our differences………….. actually no……….. celebrate our differences!

Here in Israel we learned to celebrate our differences through culinary delights!!! From the Yemenite fire-eaters delight “schug”, to the Moroccan sweetmeats, the Kurdish spicy fish, the Polish chicken soup, Syrian pitas, Turkish lamb kebabs, goulash, chicken paprika and all of the above aromas are reaching out to me from the veranda! Friday is the day for cooking and for preparing our homes for Shabbat. Tables are laid, white tablecloths spread, on tables which sit on sparkingly clean floors, the traditional terrazzo tiles shining, reflecting the fine tableware. Shabbat is special, Shabbat is family, Shabbat is another time when we pray to Jerusalem.

I wish you all a Shabbat Shalom, a truly peaceful Shabbat. I pray that Israelis in the South will get to light their Shabbat candles and welcome in the bride of Shabbat, to eat their Shabbat meal and sleep peacefully through the night.

With love from the most beautiful city in the world – wish you were here.