The view from my veranda

United Nations, CNN, Yahya Mahamid, Chanuka


30th November 2018


Shabbat Shalom! How are you doing? I would love you to tell me what  is going on in your family or town or city! It thrills me every time I hear from you!!


I know it isn’t number one on the world news stations but it is absolutely marvellous for those of us who despise racism of any nature. Marc Lamont Hill stated during a pro-Palestinian meeting at the UN to “free Palestine from the river to the sea”. I wonder if he knows that he is talking about a full 8 miles width!! Hill, proud to be photographed with Farrakhan, has been dropped by CNN – he went too far even for them! Despite the oppression which is apparent in the PA Hill identifies with the Palestinians, which is ludicrous because he claims to be a “liberal pundit” with free access to truths, yet he chooses to denigrate one sector of society and their homeland. Liberal, methinks not even with a small l.


CNN carried out a poll amongst Europeans who decided that there are too many Jews (despite their best attempts to reduce out numbers 70 years ago) and that we have too much influence. Well, I sort of agree with their estimate of influence because, well, because we take an interest in our surroundings, try to improve the situation of our adoptive countries, and make more noise than our numbers suggest!! Jews don’t just sit back and let their lives happen – we get out there and change things.


Talking of meetings in the UN, indeed the UNGA – they have decided that East Jerusalem should be the capital of the Palestinian state. Oh really! That is really the ultimate Chutzpah. The PA already chose its capital in Ramallah (incidentally did you know that Ramallah was a Christian City?) has all its administrative building and offices there and even Mahmoud Abbas’s palace.  Ramallah is a mere 10 kilometres from Jerusalem, many of its residents work in Israel and yet, the ignorance of the United Nations wants to move all of the above to East Jerusalem without bothering to ask the residents what they want! Currently they have social welfare, socialised medicine (despite being Jordanian citizens) and the benefits of living in a big city, I have my doubts that they would want to change that and become Palestinians.


Despite the best efforts of the United Nations more countries are moving their Embassies to Jerusalem, next to express determination is the Czech Republic and this week a surprise visit from the President of Chad (a totally Moslem Country) proves that the PM’s outreach to Africa is paying off.


Amazingly Netanyahu is now not only Prime Minister but also holds the other two most important portfolios in government, those of Foreign Minister and Defence Minister. For most of us this is a distinctly worrying situation. However the political fight for power has begun, since the decision of Lieberman to leave the Cabinet, and Miri Regev’s highly controversial bill to limit government funding to those who are totally anti-Israel – not satirists or the regular anti-establishment comedy and so on – but rather those like Muhammad Bakri who’s works are verging on treason.


In most news items one hears about the “bad” Israeli Arabs, which is most unfair since there are very few of them, however some towns and villages have Imams and Sheikhs who are known to foment hatred of Israel and the Jews. One such town is Umm el Fahem, home to Ryeed Salah, who’s rhetoric is so hate filled he was banned from entry to the UK. One day a 17 year old resident of Umm el Fahem heard on the news that three Israeli boys of his own age, while out on a walk, had been kidnapped and killed. He began to think of how his own Mother would feel and that brought him to question, to discuss, to be very angry at the lies he had been fed for his whole life about the Jews. Yahya Mahamid came to Jerusalem, at first he had to seek safe houses because his life was threatened by radicals, he worked and travelled for Standwithus and then, after passing all the necessary security checks he volunteered for a “Kravi” – Battle unit of the IDF. Tonight Yahaya has a television programme all about him on national television. I am so proud to know him – he is so proud and in his unit one can see him singing Hatikva louder than any other! His smile can win the world!!!


Yet another misunderstanding throughout the world is the close cooperation between the IDF and the Palestinian police and their armed forces which don’t exist because they are not allowed an army by international law!! The two entities discuss and work together trying to keep some form of law and order and prevent terror attacks. Neither are easy thanks to the incitement to hatred of most political and religious leaders in the PA, but since 90% of attempted attacks are stalled it apparently works.


Captain Charles Cunnigham Boycott was an Irish Protestant land agent who tried to evict poor tenants from their homes when the British imposed very tough conditions on the poor Irish and they decided to remove workers from his land and refused to serve him in local stores – hence the word Boycott. I suspect we have all boycotted something at some point. My father insisted that we boycott anything German, be it camera or car, and many of us boycotted South Africa or other undemocratic countries. However today, boycott in the form of BDS has become unadulterated rcism. I have long said that apart from the few we should bring the students, easily impressed young people who’s desire to create a better world has been skewed by disinformation, to Israel to show them just how amazing this place is. One BDS’er came to Israel to fight and fell in love with a young Israeli and is moving here! I assume that she realised that her lesbian relationship would get her killed in the PA! See what Rabbi Jeremy Rosen has to say about it!!


The case of Mark Lewis, a British lawyer who tweeted that a particularly disgusting anti-Semite was a **** , Lewis was taken to a legal tribunal and ultimately fined and had to pay costs. As Jonathan Hoffman said, “A London-based Jewish lawyer, Mark Lewis, stood up to anti-Semites and as a result faced a professional disciplinary hearing. Anyone who regards themselves as an antiracist should be appalled by this hearing and verdict. The victim has become the perpetrator.’


Universities have become a hotbed of anti-Israel activities – for the above reasons. Here are two fascinating and disturbing reports.


Chanuka. What is Chanuka if one really comes down to it? Well, the Greeks, unlike most of our depressors and oppressors, didn’t want to kill us! They were tired, wanted to go home and it was just too much work to kill us off. So what did they do? They put out an edict that there was no Shabbat, no Kashrut (kosher food), no Brit Milah (circumcision) and no Jewish prayer that way we just became like them and they could go home. Of course they did some nasty stuff too like bringing pigs into the Temple but basically they just wanted us to lose our identity. Along came some brothers, led by their father Matityahu, who really weren’t happy about the whole situation and they fought, ran out of oil and, as tradition has it, won their battles.  That’s Judah Maccabee and his brothers. So, when you think about it the real miracle is not that there was a miracle then but rather that we survived and thrived but then we always do – in fact, right where the Macabees lived there are 3 wonderful Israeli towns – Reut, Maccabim and Modi’in!


This has been a better week for me personally. In fact the doctors are really pleased with me even though it all seems unbearably slow to me!! I really shouldn’t complain because there are so many people infinitely worse off than I. Tonight some Tel Aviv friends are coming to us for Shabbat Dinner. Since I am not yet up to cooking properly they are all bringing salads with them!!! I will provide the salmon!


I am infinitely proud of my Zvi who had a write up about his and Yona Yahav’s part in the establishment of the struggle for Soviet Jewry in today’s Jerusalem Post. I would have given you the link but he took it with him to his parliament!!


I am very proud that I was asked by Lena Shtern and Varda Hershkovitch, to be interviewed for the Christian Allies Caucus Television by Josh Reinstein, about the Yuri Shtern Holistic Centre. Yuri Shtern z”l was the founder of the Christian Caucus and a much loved Member of Knesset. Since I am not clever enough to cut the video to size (!!!) you will find me at 11 minutes and 45 seconds!!

I hope that you will consider donating, however small or large the sum

Pvt. Shahaf is a volunteer in the IDF, but what a brilliant IDF!!


OK now to the music!!!

Sally Safdie sent me this incredible recording of Bohemian Chanuka. I was prepared to hate it and loved every second!!!


Shalva is an incredible organisation for children and adults with special needs – but it is so much more. Just watch this performance!!


Finally – what else? Maoz Tzur the song of Chanuka!


With much love from Jerusalem, from the two of us and of course from our veranda.



If the media does not inform us we must inform the media