The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem


Friday the 16th of April 2010.

Shabbat Shalom!

The British Advertising Standards Agency banned an Israel Tourist poster because in one corner of the advertisement there is a picture of the Western Wall (with the Dome of the Rock) because it is disputed territory!!!! Even the BBC makes it clear that this is ludicrous – in a very Auntie Beeb manner but does so!

A British Judge deems the throwing of shoes as legitimate traditional Moslem protest and not an act of violence! Rabbi Jeremy Rosen says everything I wanted to say on the subject in his blog.

There are some British videos which make my day. The odious George Galloway walked in a London street and realised that he didn’t donate enough money to Moslem causes!

Don’t be too smug about your country and knock the UK – it is happening in a school near you! Professor Barry Rubin reports.

As the Jerusalem bribery case widens its grip, Former PM Ehud Olmert denies involvement. The arrests which took place this week, including former Mayor Uri Lupoliansky, former Deputy Mayors and Municipal department heads, did not surprise me, but I have difficulty believing that the Ehud Olmert, a man I know so very well did what the press is accusing him of. At first I thought it was my own naïveté but everyone who really knows him says the same. I have never ever seen evidence of the behaviour of which they accuse him; the police insist that he is not a “smoking gun” and state clearly that the government witness is a man known for lying and for his determination to “take down” the former PM. I am not convinced that he is involved in the Holyland fiasco and please don’t write rude letters to me on the subject because in this country one is innocent until proven guilty.

The New Israel Fund has been revealed as the funder of legal suits against Israeli in foreign countries. Shame on them!

Banning was the preferred punishment of Apartheid South Africa against activists (a large number of whom were Jewish) preventing their words from reaching the outside world. It was a harsh form of house arrest. In that most divine of all retribution Judge Richard Goldstone, who promoted the idea of Israeli apartheid through his inherently fallacious report, has been banned, by the local community, from his own grandsons Bar Mitzva in South Africa. Harsh retribution indeed, but just.

From Paris the inauguration of David Ben Gourion Esplanade and a promise from Sarkozy

In honour of Yom Haatzmaut Aish Hatorah has released a one-minute movie of Israel then and now and all her achievements. Made by Ephraim Shore- a minute of sheer pride.

I always talk about the rainbow of humanity that makes up Jerusalem – now I know it is all of Israel. Watch this wonderful tourist ad – wonder if the Advertising Standards will accept this one!!!!!!

What an interesting week. From meeting an American former marine who has seen the world and was horrified that Arab Israelis do not stand in silence when the siren wails for Yom ha Shoah – to Mamilla to see the outstanding exhibition of artwork based on Fairy Tales – where my dear friend Irit Lev exhibited among the myriad of wondrous sculptures.

On Wednesday I took my grandchildren to the Bloomfield Science Museum where they had an absolute ball. From a cubicle of mirrors to a “Heath Robinson” mechanical “thing” which lifts balls and they travel a tortuous route earthward to water play and scientific experiments. Yosef was thrilled to discover that thanks to a series of pulleys he could lift his Mummy off the ground and Talia built a bridge – even little Ayala had lots to do! Amazing!

Yesterday I accompanied my friend Judith to Mahane Yehuda – I didn’t need anything but yearned for the sights, sounds and aromas of that magical place.

Today we went to Modiin for breakfast with Zvi’s son Leor, Shiri and the little grandbabies. What fun it was! We went on Road 443 as the quickest route and as went through the check point, the exquisitely beautiful young woman soldiers smiled at everyone passing through. Not what you see on CNN eh?

I love Israel – but then you already know that. I was trying to think what really draws me and makes me so involved. While living as a Jew in the UK I was already very involved communally and in any Israel contact that I could find. I thought it was enough. I never suffered anti-Semitism and my friends were of every persuasion and I strongly identified as a British Jew – proudly so it was enough. I always knew that one day I would live in Israel because it was in my soul – one friend told me that “the stork just dropped you in the wrong tiny country” but I never thought so because we are all the sum of our past, and it was a wonderful past.

Since living here I realize that my love for Israel is everything. I feel fulfilled, satisfied and love to spread what I feel to others so that you can feel that “enough”. Now it is never enough, I cannot get enough of Israel…. even though I am filled to overflowing with this miraculous country.

Happy 62nd Birthday Israel.

You are ever young and ever old; you mourn your lost children and then celebrate the land they fought for; you never rest on your many laurels you always flourish and blossom, searching out the new and innovative; you are scorned yet hold your head up high; you are lied about yet try to rise above it; you are denied assistance yet are the first to offer it; you are my country, my only country.


This is not just a piece of music

Shabbat Shalom to you all