The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem


14th October 2010.

Shabbat Shalom

A further building moratorium or not? The United States President reneged on the Administrations promises to Israel on many levels and now makes yet another demand on us. Ten months without results and we are asked to serve another period where Israel pays the price but the Palestinians do not. I have said a hundred times, Israelis will accede to the US demands if the equivalent demands are made upon our enemies. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to continue the building freeze on one condition, acceptance of our existence. It is like suggesting that a 62 year old woman who has dedicated her life to Tikkun Olam and excellence was never born and only if she pulls her home down will the world accept her being as a fact.

Silwan is part of Jerusalem, in the valley beneath the Old City, the Biblical Ofel, and populated over the last 70+ years by itinerant workers who came to the newly blossoming land and stayed. It is a quiet place of rare rebellion, predominantly Arab but not generally troublesome. Still photographs in the media showed a “settler” driving wildly into an innocent child throwing him into the air as if he intended to kill him. This video gives a whole new meaning to throwing your children under the bus. Lenny Ben David analyses the film clip, the photographers who just happened to be there, the organisers or producers of the scene and the people surrounding the children

Why are the worlds “human rights” activists and the left wing media obsessed with the Palestinians yet close their eyes and hearts to the horrors of Darfur and the extreme human rights abuses of the very people who they proudly support. This is one explanation.

George Galloway, the insanely opinionated former British Parliamentarian is back with another boat for Gaza – maybe we should call it Galloway’s Galleon – this time no money, no medicines just people who hate Israel and love Gaza. Galloway’s problem is that he has nowhere to land, nowhere to stay since both Jordan and Egypt have expressed their refusal very clearly and no-one to listen. Several crew members have left the ship leaving only the rat.

Ahmedinejad is continuing his state tour by repeating his implausible fabrications in Lebanon, this time stating that Israel controls climate change and of course that we killed assassinated Lebanese President Rafik Hariri , repeating the foul accusation that 9/11 was a US plot to detract attention from the economic state of the country. His megalomania now includes staking Iranian claim on Christian Lebanon, speaking as if he were the President of Lebanon not Iran, with Hezb-Allah his emissaries – the final nail in the Lebanese coffin?

The world watched the rescue of 33 Chilean Miners in a truly brilliant operation. As each man emerged from the tiny elevator to a great reception and I was amazed to see relatively healthy and rounded men. Miners are a special group of people, tough, determined and brave and this particular group were strengthened by another quality, a deep religious belief; as each man reached the light the first thing he did was fall to his knees and cross himself.

Personally I think we should bring the G-d fearing miners to Jerusalem and send Galloway and Ahmedinejad to spend a couple of months down a Chilean mine!!

Canon Andrew White will receive the Civil Courage Prize for his phenomenal work in Iraq, Baghdad in particular, to find the common denominator between all peoples, working together with Moslem leaders to bring some kind of sanity in an insane situation. Dearest Andrew we are beside you in your losses and so proud of you, your work and your outstanding successes

British Author, journalist and broadcaster Howard Jacobson, self-proclaimed Proud Jew, won the Booker Prize for his book about “Ashamed Jews” entitled The Finkler Question – here is a wonderful quote
“Every other Wednesday, except for festivals and High Holy-days, an anti-Zionist group called ASHamed Jews meets in an upstairs room in the Groucho Club in Soho to dissociate itself from Israel, urge the boycotting of Israeli goods, and otherwise demonstrate a humanity in which they consider Jews who are not ASHamed to be deficient. ASHamed Jews came about as a consequence of the famous Jewish media philosopher Sam Finkler’s avowal of his own shame on Desert Island Discs.”
“My Jewishness has always been a source of pride and solace to me,” he told Radio Four’s listeners, not quite candidly, “but in the matter of the dispossession of the Palestinians I am, as a Jew, profoundly ashamed.”

“Profoundly self-regarding,” you mean, was his wife’s response. But then she wasn’t Jewish and so couldn’t understand just how ashamed in his Jewishness an ashamed Jew could be.”

The new academic year began a week ago at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. This video was a tribute to the students by the students. Very funny, very clever. LipDub “Somebody to love”

Latma has the knack of saying just what we all think but don’t know how! Latma news – in Hebrew with subtitles The real Churchill. and the shooting of the US soldiers by a Palestinian.

The steadily rising profile of Israeli wines reached a global crescendo last month when Carmel Winery garnered the 2010 Decanter World Wine Awards trophy. The winery won the award for its red Rhone varietals in the upper price category.

On the 10/10/10 at 10:10 Zvi and I arrived at the Sigd ceremony at the Presidents Home – the 25th Anniversary of Operation Moses, the first Ethiopian Aliya. I was elegantly strolling across the lawn, admiring the surroundings, when I equally elegantly stepped into a deep pothole in the lawn and found myself sitting down…….elegantly!!!! I was even more elegantly helped by a wonderful young Ethiopian Scout-Master who gently helped Zvi to lift me up as the rest of the guests went about their business. The problem was that I turned in the unexpected act of sitting and my leg didn’t! I really didn’t think it was serious, just very very painful so we asked the paramedic to check me and he announced it wasn’t broken, I had no intention of missing this historic moment and they carried me through a side door and sat me down with my ever growing ankle up on a chair.

I am thrilled that I didn’t miss the ceremony, their stories of suffering and determination to come to Jerusalem, heroic, epic, harrowing and incredibly determined andPresident Peres response to each and every one of them honouring their Aliya. They are an exquisitely beautiful people and among those who arrived as young children to become Israelis were lawyers, doctors, professors and of course officers in all three “Chayals” (Army, Navy and Air Force)
By the time the ceremony was over everyone realised that I was in trouble and they let Zvi bring our car in through all the security to the reception hall and off we went get me x-rayed which I thought was a superfluous operation. We ran an impromptu entertainment programme during our hours wait for the x-ray and then amused the doctor during the x-ray, laughing until he announced that my ankle was well and truly broken!!!!
I am confined to bed for at least another 2-3 days and to the house for 2 weeks; Zvi is making me meals and decorating the tray with flowers, coffees and teas on the hour every hour and doing the washing and hanging the clothes and making sure the dishwasher is filled and cleared, girlfriends are visiting and my beautiful daughter is coming in to bathe me!

My consolation for being in bed is that I see Jerusalem from my bedroom window, my other veranda, white and beautiful in the autumnal sunshine. A few minutes ago that magical moment when the sun turns everything red made me catch my breath as it has for twenty years. Golden City, City of Peace, old and new, rolling endless hills and strange stepped housing to utilise every inch of what is ours, our Jerusalem. If we never build another building, are vilified and unrecognised it can never change the fact JERUSALEM IS THE CAPITAL CITY OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL, HEART OF THE JEWISH WORLD AND THE ONLY JEWISH CAPITAL CITY IN THE WHOLE WORLD.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends, Shabbat Shalom

With love from Jerusalem