The view from my veranda

Sheila’s Shabbat Shalom Letter


7th of May 2010.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends

Another Moslem turned upon the country that gave him safe haven, but thank G-d there was no harm to the thousands of innocent folk in Times Square. It seems the press is concentrating on the fact that it was a foiled and amateurish attempt rather then on the fact that the perpetrator found it terrifyingly easy to place an explosive filled car in the centre of Manhattan.

Racial profiling is against everything the democratic West believes in but it is illogical to refrain on moral grounds when it saves lives. If we don’t begin to spot check those who fit a specific type we are lost.

It looks like the Conservatives have won the elections in the UK. Let’s hope they will stand up to the Europeans who are trying to drag the UK down with them. If they get a clear majority it could bode well for Israel too. Each day of the EEC I thank G-d they don’t want us!

This week Member of Knesset David Rotem told a wonderful group of Mormon doctors (more of that later) a story of how he discovered tat the fact he was Israeli was registered with a triple x on his entry to the USA. Triple X? Hi risk visitor. He questioned the people at the entry point asking how many Israelis had ever hi-jacked a plane and flown it into an American building or bombed tourist areas…his questions were met by silent determination.

The Goldstone Report caused dismay at its lack of balance or logic. The Richard Goldstone presented to us was a fine jurist who tried to be even handed although rejected by Israel. South African friends said he was the only one of their community who did not work to bring about the fall of Apartheid. Goldstone’s actions during the Apartheid era show that he always does as he is told not as he should. Yediot Aharonoth reports

“Jurist Richard Goldstone was responsible for sending at least 28 black South Africans to death when they appeared before him during the Apartheid regime.
Goldstone, who headed the UN committee which investigated alleged war crimes perpetrated by the IDF during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, handed down the sentences while serving as a judge in the South African Court of Appeals. Goldstone presided during the 1980s and 1990s, and wrote in one of his rulings that the gallows are the only deterrent for killers.
He responded to the report by saying that he was a part of the system and had to respect the laws of the state, occasionally having to enforce laws he was opposed to. The former judge was also responsible for sending four men accused of violent acts to receive lashes alongside the upholding of other racist laws.

“I was just following orders”. Heard that somewhere before?

Zvi thoroughly enjoyed Israel Day in Shanghai!!! David d’Or sang and the Hora Jerusalem Dance Troupe danced. Apparently the Chinese sense of organization left a great deal to be desired but the Israel Pavilion is a true reflection of the innovation and imagination of this tiny but phenomenal country. file:///C:/DOCUME~1/Raviv/LOCALS~1/Temp/Israel%20Day%20at%20Expo%202010%20in%20Shanghai%206-May-2010.htm

Our beautiful friend Dr. Kimball Taylor brought a terrific group of 75 LDS doctors from Canada and the USA. One of his aims is to bring understanding between the two faiths, Jews and Mormons.

The group travelled the length and breadth of Israel (not difficult) and met with Israeli doctors and studied health care in Israeli hospitals. On their penultimate day Zvi and I met them in the Knesset. Zvi explained the history and workings of the Knesset and then MK David Rotem spoke and answered questions followed by Jerusalem gynaecologist and MK Rachel Adato who has devoted her life to health care in general and women’s health care in particular. Dr Adato told the group how in Israel it is irrelevant whether one is rich or poor, Christian, Moslem or Jew, the system is equal to all as is the treatment. When serving in ER she ad sewn up the self-inflicted wounds of failed suicide bombers with equal care to Israeli patients.

Professor Arieh Eldad is on the far right of the political map but he too, as a plastic surgeon, had treated Arabs from the PA with equal care to Israelis. Prof. Eldad explained that it was as a surgeon, seeing the horrors of terrorism and violence during the Intifada came to the realization that he wanted to change our world and to do so through the political arena. Today he and Dr Adato sit on health related Knesset committees, irrespective of party or creed – even with MK Dr. Ahmed Tibi!

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon spoke on the political and international level of Israel’s current position under the new restraints of the Obama government. He likened us to Czechoslovakia during WW2 when Chamberlain convinced the allies that if we just gave Hitler the Sudetenland he would be satisfied and we would have “Peace in our time” Czechoslovakia crumbled as Hitler’s megalomania became apparent – the only world leader to recognize the danger was Winston Churchill. We have absolutely no intention of becoming the modern day Czechoslovakia and the West Bank is most certainly not the Sudetenland, but the megalomania of our enemy is the same. We came home and we will defend that home as we see fit. The world must recognize that Jordan is the de facto state of Palestine in the original 2 state solution before any rational decisions can be made.

As Zvi was preparing to leave the house for his China flight we heard the bang banging of a suitcase coming up the stairs! Michael Grubner came all the way from Vancouver to volunteer with Magen David Adom as a paramedic and was staying with us before his course began… the problem was his lovely Dad Claudio forgot to say when he was arriving! Michael and I had so much fun – he is a terrific young man who has chosen to begin by devoting himself to MDA, to interviewing with the IDF to see if he is able to enlist and to find himself a gorgeous Israeli wife!!!

Dee and Keith Beville of Melbourne called to say they were in Jerusalem and invited Michael and I to go for lunch at Zion ha Gadol. They are marvelously involved people who would love to see changes in the elitist structure of the Jewish world. They know that young people are put off by the fact that the top levels of KH, UJC, UIA and the Jewish Agency are taken by a hierarchy which depends upon huge donations. They recognize the need for change whereby the Jewish Diaspora becomes much more inclusive and young people see a future in which they play a part.

Tonight I will eat Shabbat supper with my little grandchildren. I finished cooking for Zvi’s Mum Ala and my veranda is looking phenomenal after a week of work. Michael helped me move the tree, yesterday I planted masses of petunias to provide summer colour and added two baby tomatoes and two peppers to the fruit and veg. The lobby of the apartments now sports a mass of Bizzy Lizzy I planted at the huge windows which overlook Jerusalem.

Next week I will have fun with Andrea, Larry, Nici and Sol who came all the way from Toronto – Andrea and Larry’s first time! Tey want to see my Jerusalem – Mahane Yeuda, Gilo, downtown, the shopping mall and Shouk Ramle.I called to see how they were doing and Andrea said “This is the most amazing country in the world. Beautiful, historic and so much fun! I can’t wait to come back and I haven’t even left yet!”

Shabbat Shalom from the most amazing country in the world.