The view from my veranda

Three weeks and three days

31st October 2023

Yes, I know that tonight is All Hallows Eve, aka Halloween, but to be quite honest I’m very grateful that when my children were small “Trick or Treat” was a strange custom in a far off country, as Brits say “Across the Pond”. Since what we have known over the last 3 weeks and 3 days can beat any ghoulish story, I really can’t get myself into the mood. Sorry.

I started the day with the news, spent an hour or so doing research then headed off to meet Rachel, Talia and Ayala to do our grocery shopping together. Somehow, we all need to be together. I came home, made a huge pot of soup then went to my movement class where all 7 of us managed somehow, to loosen up, partly through talking and partly through movement. I then walked home with the other participants who live on our estate, all of us back to talking about the situation. Two of the women are going south tomorrow to gather the harvest before it rots on the vines and on the trees, and then walking in the door, I switched on the news to find out that two beautiful boys, both in the Givati fighting unit, had died in Gaza. Bang I was back, my shoulders tense, my heart breaking anew. I know there will be more grieving parents, but every single one hurts.

Obviously, there is strict censorship on any details of where the IDF is or the tactics but this article explains what can be told.

I have been thinking about why Hamas/ISIS choose to kill almost everything that moved but chose to keep some alive, to take hostages, not just to take hostages but to desecrate the bodies of some, barely alive, to show their power. At first it seemed obvious, they wanted bargaining chips to exchange terrorist prisoners for the hostages, but then my brain kicked in and I realised that while that is part of their thinking, they clearly want to keep the hostages in an unknown place, underground as protection. They know that Israel cherishes life, will never do anything to endanger the hostages.

There is a new enemy in the game, Yemen. Yes missiles, very sophisticated, long range missiles have been launched from Yemen, yes Yemen 2,211 kilometres and the missiles have reached us, launched by the Iranian backed Houthis; drones, ballistic and cruise missiles “for religious, moral, humanitarian and national responsibility for what Israel is doing in Gaza!” The missiles fell near Eilat because they obviously felt that those who had suffered the horrors of October 7th and moved to Eilat had not suffered enough.

I want to change the way we talk about those who were moved out of their homes, those that still have homes, or simply taken out of the remains of their destroyed homes and are staying in hotels. They are not “mefunim” which is the Hebrew word for the above description, the are refugees in their own country. Do you understand what that means?

I have tried to spare you some of the worst horrors, tried not to show you pictures, and then I heard Eli Beer, President of United Hazolah Israel, speaking. His descriptions are vivid and horrifying, but, having warned you, in order to understand, in order to explain to anyone who still thinks it was “just another attack” you should hear his words.  It isn’t only Hatzolah, it is Magen David Adom, Zaka, the untiring efforts of the IDF all of whom are broken by what they saw. Take a deep breath.

I do not believe that one should compare October the 7th to the Holocaust, There was only one Holocaust, this was not the organised, cold killing of millions, this was a wild and barbaric rampage. This was pure hated and we should not compare. On which subject I utterly disapprove of Israeli Ambassador to the UN Erdan, who together with his team, wore a Yellow Star to the UN. He should have worn a blue star, a Magen David because this is not going to be a Holocaust because Israel is strong, nothing can break our promise to those who died in that frenzy of bloodthirsty killing.

Not everything is sad, I love Yosef Haddad, and here he teaches the world how to boycott Israel it’s brilliant

As I said yesterday, I have no intention of writing for the sake of filling a page, so I am almost done. I just want to explain to you what has happened to virtually all Israelis, we are overcome with a deep emotional exhaustion. We are in this together, from the Bedouin in the South whose villages are threatened and family compounds are targets, to the Druze villages in the north; from Tel Aviv to Dimona and from Nazareth to Ashkelon; we are tired of being told that we don’t exist, we are exhausted by grief and yet, and the is a huge yet, we get up and dust ourselves off because there is work to be done. It may be driving south. To the Gaza border, yes to the Gaza border, and picking the fruit and veg that I spoke about at the beginning. Then there are those who get up in the middle of the night to man the surveillance screens while others patrol the area. We all have to get up and do something even if it is babysitting for someone so that they can go to work or caring for the infirm to allow their family some respite. We are a united country, a big family, we came together to fight one of the most dangerous enemies the world has seen for 80 years. This enemy is familiar to those who fought in Afghanistan; this enemy is on your doorstep. I always said “Israel is the hors d’oeuvres but you are the entrée” and I want you to get together I want you to pull together before The Squad and their ilk win through.

For Jews, get over who is the most or least pious, it is irrelevant which denomination you belong to; Christians ditto, a united front is essential. Today I had a conversation with a very special man. Ishmael Khaldi has been Israeli consul in two American cities, served in London and in Eritrea yet he feels that as a Bedouin Moslem who served in the IDF he is considered a threat by those who do not know his history. Just because someone is a Moslem doesn’t not mean that they are part of Hamas/ISIS, be careful before judgment, but, not everyone is Yosef Haddad or Yahya Muhammid or Ishmael Khaldi. The pro-Hamas rallies must be stopped.

We will win through but it is going to be a rough ride, for us all

That’s it I’m going to bed, the time change, just one hour from summer to winter, has given me jet lag!

Sending love to all of you, whether old friends or new.

With love