The view from my veranda

160108 Khaled Abu Toameh Award, North Korea,Germany rapes, Tel Aviv Terrorist, IsraAid

Friday, 8th January, 2016
Shabbat Shalom everyone. How are you? How’s the weather where you are. Right here, right now I think our veranda is about to take off the winds are so strong, mixed with sandy, horrid air – most unusual for this time of year.
This week I decided to begin with some lovely news, then go to the sad reality and bring you right back up with my Jerusalem stories.
Khaled abu Toameh is an exceptional man, an honest, brilliant journalist who has never feared telling the truth of this region’s complexities.  Khaled has received many accolades but to receive the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism is true recognition. Mazal Tov Khaled, Kol ha Kavod
Surprisingly, Khaled says that although he receives many threats for his outspoken reports, few come from our neighbourhood, most come from the United States.
Martin Indyk made a very public statement that Mr Netanyahu, in an aside at Yitzchak Rabins funeral, claimed that had he not been assassinated Rabin would have gone down in history as a mediocre Prime Minister. All well and good but for one thing, Indyk did not sit anywhere near Mr Netanyahu at the funeral! Obviously covering his own inadequacies.
North Korea tested an H Bomb which caused an earthquake throughout the region and a tremor of fear throughout the reasonable world. John Kerry said “North Korea has been carefully watched over recent years” Sure, just like the head of the IAEA that “watched” Iran was a member of the Moslem Brotherhood! North Korea is such an extreme dictatorship that her people have to smile, clap, bow and react exactly as demanded or die! When there is a vacuum in world leadership, that vacuum is filled with strong but evil replacements, sucked in by our inadequacies.
Germany is coming to terms with a diabolical attack on her women. Over 1,000 Moslem men are under suspicion and being arrested for organised gang rapings of German women. Similar rapes took place in Switzerland and Austria – all on New years Eve which led to the police recognising it was organised. It is beyond the imagination of even the most evil among us.
One year after the horrific Charlie Hebdo terror attack, Paris recognized that their attacks are on Jews specifically and others by chance. Even yesterday there was a machete attacker shouting Alla Huakbar. Charlie Hebdo – How the world reacted in cartoons
Shurat ha Din, the Legal based NGO which fights anti-Israel bias decided to run a Facebook experiment. Simultaneously, they launched two Facebook pages, one Stop Israel and one Stop Palestine, under aliases. The results are deafening. Facebook almost immediately closed the Stop Palestine page but left the Stop Israel page running.
The Tel Aviv terrorist, Nashat Milhelm, who shot to death two young men, Alon Bakal and Shimon Riumi, may they rest in peace, and injured others, hailed a cab after the incident. The driver, Amin Shabaan, was found murdered, the cabs security cameras smashed, later that night. Perhaps our security forces will not find Milhelm, who escaped into the PA, but the Shabaan family will. Amin Shabaan z”l, was one of 18 siblings, he left 12 children of his own and believe you me, they will use all their influence to ensure he is caught and then he will suffer their revenge.
Israel has a new man as the Head of the Mossad. Yossi Cohen is making history, he is the first Head of the Mossad to have grown within the organization, up through the ranks. Cohen has ruffled feathers on his way to the top but has won the trust of the PM. For the Israeli public, used to somewhat portly, disheveled, older men who hide their faces from the media, Yossi Cohen is an Adonis! Tall, handsome, nattily dressed, eloquent and charismatic, Cohen represents a new face for the mysterious organization.,7340,L-4748923,00.html
So, this week was a week of meetings! I am very proud to be on the board of two outstanding and totally disparate organisations (among others); one is the Yuri Shtern Foundation for Holistic Treatment of Cancer patients and their families  and IMPACT-SE which set the criteria for and does research into tolerance in education in our region and around the world.  The Yuri Shtern Foundation affords enormous help, emotional, physical, therapeutic to Jerusalem’s cancer patients in Shaare Zedek Hospital, I am humbled by their ability to ease the pain of patients and families alike. Impact-se is very different, yet in many ways also provides “out of the box” solutions to a different kind of disease – the disease of hatred through education.
Now to the truly magnificent news! As you know I wax lyrical about IsraAid and Shachar Zahavi who founded the organization . This is an organization which not only rushes to the aid of forsaken places like Haiti and Nepal, but also to storm-torn cities in the USA – indeed Israel is the only country in the world that rushes to Americas Aid. This week, with initial help from my friend Yaffa Glass, Shachar reached the Israeli Sheliach in Northern UK and sent a team to help the flooded areas of that region. They were met with open arms by the locals and even the BBC did a piece about them.
This week I managed both Shouk Ramle and Mahane Yehuda! Shouk Ramle was absolutely packed solid with people rushing to find bargains and costermongers shouting their wares – most of which will fall apart before you get home. My favourite spots are the sticker stand (My grandchildren call me Safta Sticker because they love them and I buy them) and Ahmeds spread of wonderful kitchen equipment. It is such fun climbing over humungeous pots and pans and unusual gadgets to take out the middle of vegetables for stuffing. Of course Mahane Yehuda is a different kettle of fish entirely. Glorious fruit and vegetables, shining because they are straight from the tree or ground; fish still a-jumping – well the carp anyway – herbs which still have the dew on them and of course terrific coffee shops, restaurants and even fine jewellery. My favourites stands? Obviously, Tsidkiayahus!!!! Wonderful “hamutzim”- pickles; olives of every colour and flavor; wonderful cigarim (rolled and fried meat filled cigars); delicious meat patties filled with tehina; salads of every nature and history………… the Tsidkiyahu family is the history of Mahane Yehuda.
In close second place is the spice shop. Huge mountains of gorgeously coloured paprika, smoked, sweet and fiery; turmeric, both whole and ground; long and short cinnamon sticks and cinnamon bark which is wonderfully pungent; dried mushrooms by the half kilo; in fact every spice and herb you can think of and few you couldn’t! When you go there be sure to taste the rice concoctions……. Delicious.
Mahane Yehuda is Jerusalem – the rainbow of humanity, the noise and vitality, the flavours and aromas………….. Jerusalem.
So, here we are at the end of another week. Jerusalem is slowing down, even if the wind is not! Jerusalem has much to offer on Shabbat for tourists and non-religious Israelis, but, an important but, one really FEELS Shabbat here. Fridays are filled with the expectation of Shabbat, not only in the amazing epicurean aromas that reach our lofty apartment, the global cookbook of flavours which tickle the palate, but the sense of calm in a crazy world which covers this city with deep spirituality. Shabbat – the greatest gift Judaism gave to society.
And so to music!!!!
First is not a Shabbat song but rather a wonderful, perky song about Israel
Shabbat is a bride, pure, fresh and untainted by life. Shabbat, rest, contemplation and paryer. The Maccabeats sing Lecha Dodi to welcome the bride of Shabbat
I wish you a Gut Shabbes, a Shabbat of peace and please remember that we are so much more than Je suis Paris, or Je suis Tel Aviv, or Je suis NYC, or London, Bali, Mali, Sydney, Brussels, Jerusalem, Moscow, Boston, Je suis tout le monde – we need empathy, to care for each other, wherever we may be.
I almost forgot to tell you. Last Shabbat lunch was amazing. I sat at the table with three phenomenal men – Canon Andrew White, Lord Stone of Blackheath and my husband Zvi. The conversation was fascinating, the interaction amazing and best of all both Andrews are now going to work together for a better world. We were joined by Mohammed- now known as Moshe and two young women who had never seen such activity!! The food wasn’t bad either!
With much love from Jerusalem, even in the sand and dust still the most beautiful city in the world.

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

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