The view from my veranda

The View from our Veranda – Soldier stabbed, Philippines aid, Iran, Kerry,

14th November 2013
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Shabbat Shalom

Picture a young illegal, crossing your border to search for work, illegally, and deciding that if he doesn’t find work that day he will kill a soldier so that he can go to an Israeli jail, get himself an education and be fed well (Halal food of course) and his family will be given recompense by his government for their brave sons work with the clear knowledge that he will be freed in a short time because a third country tells you to. Well read on dear friends

Other passengers cried as they told of the incident – “We just couldn’t stop him in time” What kind of insanity is an education system that incites to such hatred?? Well look at the link for IMPACT-SE and click on the Palestinian Authority textbooks

While the USA and UK send warships to help in the Philippines, Israel sends people. IsraAid is already on the ground and the IDF sent over 150 personnel to set up field hospitals in the stricken areas. The Philippine Ambassador thanked Israel and her NGO’s for their instant aid and assistance.

Diane Steinfink, our friend, sent this report of the debt Jews owe to Philippines during WW2

The Orient Express from Mecca to the Vatican. Christians in the Cross Hairs by Reuven Berko tells us more about the chronic, tragic situation of Christians in Moslem countries.

Israeli Ambassador Alan Baker wrote a letter in response to John Kerry’s claim that “settlements” are illegal

Still on the subject of John Kerry, It would appear that Kerry is the kind of friend that created the joke “With friends like this who needs enemies” as he tells senators to ignore Israel when making decisions on Iran. Gee thanks Mr Kerry – happy you lost the vote!

I try not to go into politics but right now it seems that since the USA has lost control of Iran and other areas of the Middle East the easy way out is to blame Israel for anything – to make Israel the scapegoat – since we are the easy target. Don’t condemn murders and oppression, condemn a few houses as scuppering the “PEACE” talks. Sounds familiar eh?

The media frenzy in the wake of a Swiss laboratory report on Yasser Arafat’s remains has all the mystery, suspense and false trails of a detective thriller; an Agatha Christie style “whodunit”. More seriously it illustrates the unfortunate prevalence of irresponsible and lazy reporting in mainstream media.. The excellent Maurice Ostroff responds

When a UN interpreter thought her mike was closed she utter words of truth. Anti Israel votes are a bit much!!!

Zvi has been so busy with the WZO and the Jewish Agency meetings this week that I have hardly seen him! I think that he becomes frustrated that new voices suddenly come in and believe they reinvented the wheel. At one point someone started speaking about joint ventures with communities in the Diaspora to bring young people from Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular, together. Brilliant eh? At one point Zvi simply said that the plans are in place, the procedures passed but that it all happened when he had hair and Jack Smorgon’s hair was black……………. in other words everything was in place some 36 years ag but no-one implements it! So frustrating.

Some great news!!!! Our dear friend David Efron has become the Honorary Consul for Israel in Puerto Rico. David, who is a true and proud Zionist, has done so much to put forward the case and cause for Israel, sometimes in hostile environments, that he truly deserves this honour. In addition his daughter Libi made Aliya to Israel two years ago so he has even more impetus! Kol ha Kavod David – proud of you. I have one problem… I have to call you “Your Excellency”??

This morning I met with a dear old friend in the quaint Jerusalem neighbourhood of Baka. Andrew Stonewas my madrich (leader) in Habonim (scouts) when we were both infinitely younger and living in Wales. Our paths have both diverged yet run parallel on so many issues, maybe because we both have a deep moral sense, and I love talking to him or rather listening to him. These two Welsh Jews have become, on his part, a Judeo/Buddhist/Vegan who sits in the House of Lords playing a very active role but keeps his heart in Israel where he fights the only fight worth fighting – to bring peace and justice to this fraught area. Then there is me, still a Jewess, not much changed there, still proudly a strong Zionist who lives right here in Jerusalem. I sit at my computer rather than in the House of Lords but I too fight the only fight worth fighting – to bring peace and justice to my home. In other word – Tikkun Olam, leaving the world a better place than you found it. Both of us agree that Norman Berg was our Israel catalyst through Habonim, but my parents were utterly and totally committed Zionists from day one and my Mummy was a leader of WIZO. We talked of fond memories of our childhood, of our children and now grandchildren and if you were to ask either of us to burst in to song it may well sound like this – well a bit gruffer but –

Talking of things Welsh, Sir Tom Jones, aka Jones the Voice, came out against the evil BDS which blackmails artistes into boycotting Israel. There’s lovely Tom Boy!!

Last week Debby Bettsak was in Jerusalem – I adore her enthusiasm for this city and for the organisation she so loves – the Friends of the IDF. A truly amazing organisation.

Shabbat is coming – coming to bring a calm over Jerusalem, a sense of family and beauty. The Hebrew date of the passing of the woman who taught me the meaning of Shabbat has been, with the traditional lighting of a memorial candle but the historic Gregorian date is yet to come. It is now 50 years since the 22nd of November 1963, infamous as the date on which an American President was assassinated but for me, the moment my darling Mother passed away. “Eshet Chayil mi Yimtsa”? Regina (Betty) Glicker Silver was a true Eshat Chayil and while missed every second of every day she left all of her children, indeed everyone she touched in life, with a sense of love and kindness, of warmth and generosity rarely seen. I am a very lucky woman that I had 17 years to absorb the righteous, funny, gentle presence of my Mother. May her soul rest in peace.

So, in a short while, Zvi will go off to his Parliament, after collecting the graduation certificate for his course at the Hebrew University, and I will make my way over that very familiar peak, past the Prophet Samuels Tomb, past the fields of olive trees and the tiny vineyard, collecting the incredibly aromatic Challot from Nehamas bakery, into the gates of Givat Zeev to spend time with my daughter Rachel, who is feeling much better, and the grandchildren as we prepare her home for Shabbat.

May each home be blessed on Shabbat as the children of Tevye One of the most beautiful Shabbat Songs is Yedid Nefesh a poem of love for the Almighty written by Rabbi Elazar Azriki

So dear friends, I wish you a Shabbat Shalom from our veranda – a veranda I am leaving for a few weeks. I will try to keep in touch and tell you tales of far flung places and close friends.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem


For those of you who still have not seen the movie “The Wave” then I strongly suggest you sit down for 45 minutes and understand our world as it is right now.