The view from my veranda

150821 Iran, Khaled abu Toameh, Huchabee, Trump, Tel Aviv

21st August, 2015
Shabbat Shalom from Tel Aviv! Yes here we are in Jerusalem’s smaller neighbour, enjoying meeting with friends and seeing how the other half lives!
The Israeli media is no better than your media for taking things out of proportion. For instance, Tel Aviv has a number of bridges, fairly short but take traffic over the Yarkon River. One such bridge, rather insignificant and ugly, has to be blown up, in order to prepare the foundations for Tel Aviv’s light rail (tram) system. It’s name is “Gesher Maariv” the Maariv Bridge, named for the newspaper. The demise of this particular bridge reached headlines proportion on the national news for a whole week and…….. a group of young people who have no idea of its significance or lack thereof, held a vigil demonstration at the mythical bridge!!!!! Hey guys, it’s a bridge and the only people who will be seriously affected are the businessmen near it, until the tram is in operation. We went through it in Jerusalem and it was tough but now, the light rail is incredible above all expectations. In truth I am thrilled it reached the headlines because that means nothing worse was going on – or was it?
A political earthquake is taking place in the USA over the so called “Iran Deal”.
Donald Trump has been calling a spade a shovel and while the media is horrified the public is amused and interested.
President Obama, while still in office, began fundraising one billion dollars to build a library and complex in his name when he completes his Presidency. In Israel they put Prime Ministers on trial for much less!!!!!!!
A homicide bombing in Bangkok killed 20 and injured many more. It would appear it was not just the opposition party but far more sinister.
A super terrorist whose gory job was to recruit suicide/homicide bombers, Mohammad Allan, went on hunger strike and due to his resultant medical condition he has been released from prison but held in hospital. The ethics of force feeding are explained here by the exceptional Maurice Ostroff.
Khaled Abu Toameh writes beautifully, speaks eloquently and tells the world the truth – the simple truth. The other day he wrote about the Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians – an accusation usually directed at Israel, and another excellent article which displays the ignorance created by the rhetoric of the PA to such an extent that young Palestinians join the Islamic State- aka ISIS, their oppressors
Mariah Carey came to Israel. The media made a big deal of her refusal to be swayed from this visit but then why should she? Why do we think that it is heroic to come to Israel “despite”? She came to Israel because she wanted to and refuses to listen to bully boy racists. Israel loved you Mariah, loved your performance and didn’t even complain when you began the show an hour and a half late!!!!
September 6th Israel versus Wales in Cardiff in a UEFA European Football Championship qualifier at Cardiff City Stadium. My family will be there and I hope they have a flag in each hand!!!!
The week began beautifully with a wedding. The son of Elihu and Niva Ben Onn got married and it was a truly beautiful, very Israeli affair. Food before and after a gorgeous outdoor chuppa and a lovely welcome from Elihu to their guests. For those who don’t know Elihu has a radio programme talking predominantly to Hebrew speakers all over the world about what they do and where they are. Well worth listening into him on Reshet B.
We came to Tel Aviv for a few days, visiting friends and generally enjoying life. I will not have to cook Shabbat dinner because we are going to Eilata and Shmulik for dinner but not before popping in on Gloria, glorious Gloria Goldstein for a Shabbat kiss. Today we visited Orly and Yossi, yesterday we saw Irit and Yitzik, tomorrow Zvi’s cousin Dalia and the weather has calmed down a bit so it isn’t too bad.
Both yesterday and today I had the honour of getting to know our friend Flory Haritons family. Her Mother Dalia is such a delight, as is her Aunt……… indeed I thoroughly enjoyed being with them. My only problem about being in Tel Aviv is that I don’t get that special Shabbat feeling. I don’t see the grandchildren, do not drive past the incredible panorama atop Samuels Tomb, can’t watch the city going to sleep, no sunset from our veranda…… yet, don’t let anyone tell you differently, Tel Aviv also goes into Shabbat mode!!!
Sure you feel the sense of a real Shabbat more in Jerusalem but Tel Avivim also have a siesta before families meet up for a Shabbat meal. Tel Aviv also slows its pace, sure many go clubbing afterwards, but then in Jerusalem too.
No recipes this week so I will try to find you better music instead! The first video isn’t musical but is music to my ears. The Shabbes Project is a wonderful worldwide project for people to try a real Shabbat just for one day to know how it feels.
Idan Raichel is an amazing musician and his Project exceptional. Here they sing a song for Shabbat. The words are simple.  On Sabbath day I shall praise the living God of my salvation and I shall make sacrifices of spices on the day of the return of my temple.
A little more traditional (!) is a beautiful niggun – music without words. Most of the niggunim are written in the minor key and tend to be somewhat maudlin, but this one is called the Happiness Niggun so I thought I would leave you with a smile on your faces!
With much love from Tel Aviv – after Shabbat we go back to Jerusalem and feel the fabulous fresh mountain air on our faces. After all these years the climb up – the Aliya – to Jerusalem still gives me goose bumps of the best kind. The anticipation as we begin to see the white city before us is inexplicable and exceptional. Love it!
Shabbat Shalom to one and all, whatever you are, whoever you are, from whence you come is irrelevant – what matters is the path you choose.

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

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