The view from my veranda

Three weeks and four days

1st November 2023

Three weeks and four days

Even the heavens are angry today, even the heavens are crying huge tears. The unseasonal thunderstorm reflects our mood.

Until now 15 IDF soldiers gave their lives during the battle in Gaza. In this tiny country, everybody knows everyone and each soldier is everyone’s child. Zvi is currently at the funeral of Adi Leon, the grandson of our dear friend Raya Perlberg. I am amazed at the strength of Adi’s parents, as with the families of the other 14 soldiers who have lost their lives fighting so that Israel will continue.  Lavi’s grandfather, the late Shaul Perlberg was saved from the Nazis when he was very young. The Nazis came for them and his mother handed him over the balcony of their apartment and gave him to their Christian neighbours. When the Nazis sked if Shaul was a Jew, to drop his trousers to check, the Christian couple’s dog barked and barked at the Nazis and they ran away. Thus Shaul z”l was saved and he came to Israel and went on to become a fine doctor at Hadassah Hospital, but sadly the current equivalent of Nazis killed his grandson. Thousands came to the funeral, to honour yet another fallen hero. May the beautiful souls of every one of those who lost and sadly will lose their lives in this front line battle for freedom.

President Isaac Herzog is undoubtedly our best diplomatic spokesperson and despite his quiet, polite manner he is showing his upbringing very clearly as the third generation of Herzogs to speak up for Israel. Here he is interviewed by Lyse Doucet for the BBC but not only did he record the session so that they could not edit his words, he opened very strongly by stating exactly what he thought.  Of course, this segment was not aired!

Australian Senator Jacquie Lambie doesn’t mince words. None of the oh so polite doublespeak of many politicians, she says exactly what she feels and I love her for it!

I was amazed to see that this company mapped every instance of slaughter on October 7th. Not pictures, heaven forbid, but they give a name to every person that Hamas/ISIS killed

I have the horrible feeling that even if we succeed in destroying the last remnants of Hamas, indeed all the ISIS like terror groups, the puppet masters in Iran will still keep the hatred alive. Just in case you thought that someone, anyone in Hamas might feel guilt about the slaughter of the 7th of October, just watch this short video translated from the Arabic by MEMRI

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin was speaking to Israel’s Minister of Defence Yoav Galant and told Galant that he had fought ISIS and that Hamas is even worse. I agree. However, we have to recognise that the puppeteer of terror, of fundamental Islam, or the intent of world domination, is Iran.

James Max is a British radio personality and a highly successful businessman, but I had never heard of him until Rachel sent me this video. It’s about 10 minutes long but worth every second. Khalid calls in to his radio programme and tries to convince James Max that everything is Israel’s fault, of course.  Absolutely brilliant  Yet again the Palestinian cant of ethnic cleansing. An insanely fallacious claim since the population of Gaza has grown about 60 fold!!

I thought I would continue with your Hebrew lesson since many of you enjoyed the last one, the problem is that many of the words have the guttural ch, which unless you are Welsh you will never manage. Chayal – soldier, Chayalet – girl soldier, Mefaked – officer, Mefakedet – female officer, Ma’avak – battle, Gibor/Gibora – hero, Pluga – platoon and that will do for today. Why those words, because the battle we, our soldiers, are fighting now has caused every Chayal to be a gibor. The mefaked/et of each pluga is leading his/her chayalim into the ma’avak of their lives. Chatufim, literally the taken, the hostages, right now they are at the top of our priorities. Finally, a very important word, miluimnikim (mi-lu-im-nik-im) – those who already served their compulsory military service but are always on stand-by if needed, on a purely voluntary basis. 320,000 offered themselves to serve, from Privates to Generals as they enlist for miluim (reserve duty). They are the backbone of the IDF, bringing with them experience and leadership, but, and there is a but, that means that 320,000 able-bodied workers are not working, everything from company CEO’s to shopkeepers, municipal workers, doctors, everything, and it deeply affects the economy. The cost of war is not just the cost of Iron Dome, or tanks, or aeroplane payloads, to say nothing of the loss of precious life.

I spent the morning with my daughter Rachel buying goods, and goodies, to fill Shabbat booty bags for refugees from Ashkelon. Her father Philip and his wife Barbara donated the money and we managed to put together beautiful bags, wrapped in cellophane, with cakes, cookies, crisps, sunflower seeds (garinim) individual packs of tea and coffee and sugar, little Shabbat candles in special silk bags, in fact everything that one needs for a hopefully quiet Shabbat afternoon for the family. It really was a labour of love and 8 families will be very pleased, other friends of Rachel’s will be doing the same. Tomorrow she will bake a whole load of challot (plaited sacramental bread for Shabbat) which will go to the same families. As I have told you before, everyone is pulling their weight in whatever manner they can.

As I was driving back home from Rachel’s, listening to the dreadful news of lives lost, I was struck with the irony of driving alongside a number of cars whose drivers were in uniform, miluimnikim, hearing the news and as I stood at the lights, watching the Arab municipal workers planting rows of beautiful multi-coloured flowers along the central island. As I drove from Rachel’s past Samuel’s Tomb and the glorious view of Jerusalem, I look left. To the left, abutting the main road all the way from Givat Ze’ev, following the main road are Arab towns and right up until the Jerusalem suburb of Ramot is of Ramallah. Tall, new, residential buildings, commercial centres, everything they claim they don’t have.. Many of you don’t understand the proximity because Israel is so tiny that everything is next to everything.

OK I’m signing off before anyone sends me any more links to even more video clips, although I admit that most of them arrive from at least 10 different sources! I am going to sit down, with my feet up, and after a light supper of cauliflower cheese souffle which was perfectly browned on top, together with a chopped salad containing fragrant fresh tomatoes that our neighbour Yoram picked today in the Gaza Envelope where he takes a car full of volunteers, I will have dessert – a bread pudding to my Mummy’s recipe! Wonderfully brown and cinnamony, full of raisins and sultanas, I just fills the need for something cosy.

Be well dear friends. We Israelis are a strong bunch, we have to be, look at our neighbours!!

With much love