The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem


12th November 2010

Shabbat Shalom!

The 12th of November is one day after the 11th of November, which seems a somewhat banal statement until you remember the importance of the 11th of November, the day on which the Armistice was signed to signal the end of World War One – the Great War, the War to end all Wars. The hope that this was the end of all wars together with the sadness of the millions who died fighting; it wasn’t. As a child Remembrance Day meant a sea of red poppies as all Brits wore the symbol of the fighting in Flanders Field on their lapel, and we all watched the sombre ceremony at the Senotaph, Londons War Memorial, on our tiny black and white televisions. It was unthinkable that anyone would go without a poppy or would not honour the fallen. Since coming ot Israel Remembrance Day holds a totally different memory, on of wailing sirens bringing a country to attention to honour the memory of the fallen. Maybe the USA, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand should introduce the tradition of a siren and attention so that one could see clearly those who keep walking because they care little for a fine history of fighting for democracy and freedom.

The US mid-term elections have been and gone and the predictions were correct, however, don’t get excited. It is common that Presidents who do badly in the midterms go on to serve two terms, one should never take any moment in history alone, it always has a past!

The discussion concerning whether or not Israel should build homes in HER CAPITAL CITY takes the headlines again, pushed forward by Mrs Clinton. I just want you to understand how ludicrous it is, forget the fact that the land on which they don’t want us to build houses was bought and paid for over one hundred years ago (Har Homa), that PM Yitzchak Rabin encouraged the building of Har Homa to “round out the boundaries of Jerusalem” and perhaps most importantly, I have not seen any demands upon the Palestinians!!!! We tried leaving entire areas (Gaza and Sinai including Yamit) and it not only brought rockets on our heads but it nearly broke Israeli society. Mrs Clinton should read the history books that her husband, Dennis Ross and Tony Blair had time for only when hey left office!

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it very clear how he feels about Israel.An excerpt “Harnessing disparate anti-Semitic, anti-American and anti-Western ideologies, it targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland, Israel, as the source of injustice and conflict in the world, and uses, perversely, the language of human rights to do so.
We must be relentless in exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is. Of course, like any country, Israel may be subjected to fair criticism. And like any free country, Israel subjects itself to such criticism – healthy, necessary, democratic debate. But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack – Is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand. Demonization, double standards, delegitimization, the 3 D’s, it is a responsibility, to stand up to them.

And I know, by the way, because I have the bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the United Nations, or any other international forum, the easy thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric, to pretend it is just being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of “honest broker.” There are, after all, a lot more votes, a lot more, in being anti-Israeli than in taking a stand. But, as long as I am Prime Minister, whether it is at the UN or the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost. Not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israeli mob tells us all too well, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are, in the longer term, a threat to all of us.”

Sadly Canada is already paying the price for her honesty and determination to stand up for what is right by losing her15 year position in the United Nations Security Council. Hardly surprising, after all who wants a dissenting voice when perpetrating a constant bullying stance against one nation. If you wish to thank Prime Minister Harper Fax: 613-941-6900 E-mail:

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Mudar Zahran is a Jordanian born Palestinian who found that Israel is not to blame for what has happened. Indeed he speaks over the world on Israel’s behalf including at the Israeli Embassy last week. Madur asserts that Israel has never practiced an apartheid policy against Palestinians or Arabs in Israel unlike Jordan, or Lebanon where thousands were slaughtered. I would go even further and say that all the Arab nations have contributed to the situation, never extending a helping hand and in Saudi Arabia they are treated as slaves.

Ariel Sharon was taken home yesterday to Sycamore Ranch, his beloved farm. It is hope that maybe the scents and sounds will awaken him but after a five year coma it is unlikely. It is a sad end to a lions life but at least he is in the palce he loved more than any other in the land he loved and fought for.

I want you to watch this video very carefully. In the world masters weightlifting competition in Poland 2010. The Israeli who won the championship extends his hand to the Iranian in second place, who clearly refuses the offer. What fascinated me was the tall Judge who in turn refused to shake the hand of the Iranian!!!!

When one man does the right thing miracles happen. Nicholas Winton worked in the Stock Exchange but in 1938 he went to visit a friend who was a British Diplomat in Prague, then Czechoslovakia. He immediately understood what was happening and moved into a Prague hotel and began the process of bringing children to Britain. Please if you see nothing else, watch this amazing video of under two minutes.

I am still almost house-bound so do not hav estories of Jerusalem for you today but I do hav eone heartwarming story for you. Deanna Sykes lives in Alberta Canada where she is a nurse. Deanna has been to Israel on Sarel and on trauma courses. During her visits Deanna fell in love with Sderot. She is here now, bringing hand made blankets of rbabies and working with the community there. Apparently it is not only the Prime Minister of Canada who has his priorities right!!! Thank you Deanna.

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom. Remember the power of one and use it!!!!