The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem

19th August 2011

Shabbat shalom dear friends. Shabbat shalom from Israel, still reeling from the horror of what happened yesterday, last night and this morning. The facts are easy, detailed extremely well in this article from Ynetnews,7340,L-4110938,00.html , but it isn’t about facts. There is nothing even remotely logical about our situation, nothing that our Western morals and ethics can absorb or understand.

Imagine the scenario –
An Egged bus filled with young soldiers travelling along the road, everyone chatting, joking, generally messing about as young people on their way back to their base would do. Suddenly terrorists opened fire on the bus. Their officer told them to hit the floor and the incredible Egged drive decided to risk his own life to save the children on the bus and he just kept driving. Thank G-d this hero kept driving because one of the aims of this gang was to kidnap more soldiers
A family – two young couples, were driving south through the desert, excitedly talking about their long weekend in the beautiful resort of Eilat. Those were their last words as the terrorists picked their next targets.
A young soldier, a paramedic, running to help the injured was gunned down in cold blood – he was unarmed.
Finally an officer, a major part of the round up of the terrorists, was caught by the last round from the last terrorist alive before he was stopped.

The IDF and Secret Services believe that the attacks were the work of a large group of between 15-20 terrorists, Hamas claims they are not their people, who gained entry to Israel through our border with Egypt. Indeed when one of them tried to get back into Egypt the Egyptian forces caught him and he blew himself up taking at least six Egyptian soldiers with him.

The port of Ashdod is Israel’s largest port – and the port through which much of the aid to the Palestinians of Gaza flows. Edward Beaman-Hodgkiss reported his experiences of last night on Facebook. Sirens in the early hours of the morning, giving 45 seconds warning of incoming Grad rockets. He wrote of frightened children in the shelter and the trauma of waiting for the boom of a rocket which found its target. This morning it found a Talmud Torah, a synagogue and study hall, filled with young Torah students. One student was seriously injured others moderately – but the trauma – the trauma.

Many people have asked me for an explanation of their reasoning – why just before September? Well partly because the last thing in the world that Hamas/Al Qaeeda/Islamic Jihad/Moslem Brotherhood want is an agreement for any State which excludes Israel; they want to torpedo any chance of talks; they feel they are not on the front of peoples minds after UNWRA proved they do not need aid; they want to elicit a strong response from Israel in order to regain their “downtrodden “ status.
Above all – that’s how they think! Ways to kill never ways to build.

We fought back – we killed the perpetrators – the masterminds in Gaza. A short while ago, IAF aircraft targeted two weapons manufacturing sites in the central Gaza Strip and a terror activity site in both the northern and southern Gaza Strip.

Last night Jerusalem was incredible. The Arts and Crafts Festival a concert in Sacher Park, shops, restaurants and malls filled to brimming. Zvi and I went to the opening of our friends exhibitions, Eli Matityahu’s digital photography and Joyce Matityahu’s wonderful ceramics. A friend of Eli’s expressed our thoughts beautifully “How can one concentrate on beauty while such horror hits our lives? It is simple, because beauty and enjoyment give us hope” That is how we cope, that is the spirit of Israel which determinedly puts pain to one side which verges on the schizophrenic.This is a war of attrition, a determined attempt to break our spirit but really – if they were not so set on changing history they could learn from history – too many nations tried to enslave us, to capture us, to defeat us and most of them no longer exist whereas we survive and thrive as never before!

In general the foreign press ignored the deaths of Israelis (those pesky Jews messing up our lives again eh?) but were distressed by the fact that we responded. Some of our spokespersons have courage however…………………Tom Gross wrote – I would like to applaud my friend David Horovitz, the recently retired editor of the Jerusalem Post, for hanging up the phone in a discussion on BBC World Service radio after repeated justifications by invited BBC guests of the unprovoked murder, today, of Israeli civilians. BRAVO DAVID.

Andee Goldman sums up how we Israelis feel about Israel in this video. My Israel.
As our enemies take lives without compunction our doctors climb Kilimanjaro to SAVE A CHILD’S HEART If this isn’t ♥ LOVE ♥ then I don’t know what is!!!!!!

Even Prime Minster’s have families. Prime Minister Netanyahu has a new grandson and this morning he put down the heavy mantle of leadership and celebrated the birth of his new grandson in the time honoured ceremony of “Brit Mila” a covenant with the word. Mazal Tov Mr Prime Minister.,7340,L-4110943,00.html

This has been a week of grandchildren. We created, walked, sang, danced, experimented and discovered – but my favourite was the Peter Pan extravaganza at the Botanical Gardens! Tinkerbell gave the children wings and crowns and sprinkled them with fairy dust; Captain Hook tied up Tiger Lily and feared the crocodile – all on the peaceful lake! The little girls were thrilled and so were we!

That’s it! My mind is confused at the lack of concern for what we go through and the lack of disgust at those who perpetrate the terror. It is time that YOUR governments stopped giving aid to countries that burn your flags and despise your freedom.

I wish you all a Shabbat shalom without riots, without killing, without jealousy and without bias or racism. It will come. I keep thinking about a wonderful man by the name of Theodore (Zeev) Herzl who said “If you will it it is not a dream” and Martin Luther King who said “I have a dream” and his dream is on its way to being fulfilled. When it comes down to it………….. “Ayn li Eretz Acheret” I have no other country

The shopping mall is closed, the streets emptying, Zvi is home from his Parliament and the aromas rising from our neighbours kitchens making me very grateful that we are out to supper tonight!!!

With love and hope from Jerusalem, the most glorious beautiful city in the world.