The view from my veranda

Day 42, Shabbat Shalom

Day 42

17th November 2023

How on earth can I say Shabbat Shalom when the news came out yesterday that Zaka, the organisation that gathers the remains from disasters all over the world, took over 200 bodies retrieved by the IDF from Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza, for identification. Despite the following article Zaka cannot enter Gaza officially because as an NGO they cannot act outside the borders of Israel.  We can only pray that they are not the bodies of hostages, since the DNA is being checked as I write. How can anyone continue the day when I know that the families of the hostages are walking to Jerusalem, to the Knesset, begging for the release of their loved ones from the grip of Hamas. How?

For the first time in 24 years of writing I can’t think of what to write, I can’t imagine the cruelty that so many in our world seem to condone! May every man, woman or child that tears down a photograph of a hostage or yells “From the river to the sea may Palestine be free”, be sentenced to a week, just a week in Gaza with Hamas. See how they would survive! I will try to write about this week but please forgive me if I don’t make sense.

Please remember that the bodies have not yet been identified, that Hamas is a killing machine and they could be the bodies of patients killed. I know my hopes are naïve but I cannot bear to think otherwise.

I made a mistake last week, a critical mistake, but unintentional when I said that both Hamas and Hezb-Allah are Sunni when I already knew that Hezb-Allah is Shia. The difference is irrelevant since both believe in the eradication of Israel and the Jews.  One has state of the art missiles to rain on us and the other has been taught such venomous hatred that they are capable of inhuman cruelty

I think I told you about our visit to the plaza in front of the Municipality in Nes Ziona, and the iron, cut-outs of all the hostages? I made a Youtube of that visit.

Want to know who Hamas took? This clip took my heart and wrung it out. You Are My Sunshine was the song I loved to sing to my children when they were little, the song my Mummy sang to me.

I am honestly at a loss as to what to tell you but this BBC reporter who went into Shifa Hospital with the IDF saw for herself the amount of equipment hidden by Hamas in the MRI room. There are also bags and bags of medical supplies, supplies that were paid for by YOU, still unopened, proving that they had everything the people needed yet hid it all away.

Can you imagine putting rockets and guns in the storage under your child’s bed? Just one of the horrors found by IDF soldiers. A child’s bed, the kind that has storage underneath, and when they lifted it they found RPG’s and grenades!!! I am trying to make you understand the depth of depravity of this organisation and the insanity of those who say Free Palestine. I am trying to help you understand that the enemy within is already where you live. Woke is no longer the way, woke brought much of this upon us. We are weak and complacent and it has to change. As I said in my last missive, I don’t believe in Free Speech. Free Speech has brought acceptance of the kind of situation that even the Nazis would have been ashamed. Free Speech has brought us a generation of young people who believe the cant of hatred. About ten years ago Zvi Yehezkeli, a brilliant Israeli journalist, went under cover in Europe and the UK, dressing as a Moslem, praying in Mosques (despite being a religious Jew) to find out the truth. The only hopeful thing is that Chaudry was imprisoned in the UK. This is a compilation of all four programmes

I often write about the work of Impact-se, and this is the latest message I received as Board Chair.

“This is an important moment for IMPACT-se. From the US Congress to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, it is clear that the Palestinian school curriculum is a root cause of the 10/7 massacre. The 3,000 terrorists who butchered, raped, beheaded and kidnapped their way through Israel’s southern communities on October the 7th, studied the PA curriculum, either in UNRWA schools (the majority) or Hamas schools.

IMPACT-se ( ) now has a great deal more work to do on the policy side of PA/UNRWA than we had assumed in in halcyon days before 10/7. More research, more policy papers, more policy work, more briefings.  We will be going to the three direct PA education donors in the next two weeks – Germany, Norway and Finland. Judging by the volume of media we are doing and the request for data from our partners, this is a moment when we can get policy change.” Please do not forget that UNWRA is a United Nations sub-organisation which used your money, your funding to teach these killers.

I want to give you some hope, to give me some hope that there are good people in this world and I want to tell you about my friend Jill. Jill doesn’t live in Israel, even though it was always her dream, but life took her elsewhere, to sunny Leeds in the UK. Jill lived on kibbutz for two years, studied Hebrew and despite physical limitations, served in Sarel several times, serving in full IDF uniform, and came to visit us virtually every year. Jill was desperate to help but wanted to do something personal, so sent Rachel, my daughter, the money to buy things to put into “care packages” for soldiers. Rachel did her research and found that soldiers needed socks, love certain treats and with her friend Kim she set about making 80 small, manageable care packs. I was the writer of a loving note, put into each pack! This morning the truck carrying all the Shabbat treats for soldiers headed south, carrying love from Jill. It is people like Jill who give me hope. I can never forget sitting with her on our veranda and asking her what drew her to Israel, what was the magic “Israel is my Mother and my child. She cares for me like a mother and I care for her as I care for my child” I believe that says it all.

I went to my movement group on Tuesday and we stood in a circle and each of us had to make up a “dance” for all the others to copy. For a reason unknown to anyone including myself I performed a Hakka, the Maori war dance. It prompted the other 7 women to do something similar, getting rid of our angst. I got home to find this clip of Maoris for Israel doing a Hakka which frightened away the pro-Hamas demonstrators!

Shalva opened their doors to hundreds of people, whole families, refugees in their own land and are taking care of special needs young people traumatised by this war. This week The Shalva Band made a video to honour those killed and kidnapped on October the 7th, on Black Sabbath.  So appropriate for a world that is silent in the face of inhumanity.

If only Menachem Begin and Yitzchak Rabin were leading Israel right now, men who loved this country far more than they loved politics. Menachem Begin swallowed his political beliefs and welcomed the equally militant Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem with open arms. Sadat said the magical words “No more war, no more bloodshed” and was assassinated by the Moslem Brotherhood for it.

I wish you a Shabbat with no more news of any sort unless it is that our phenomenal boys and girls of the IDF have brought hostages home.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I have started saying Tehillim (psalms) each day and Rachel bought me a wonderful Artscroll Tehillim with English translation. I believe that one doesn’t need to be observant to pray or to read Psalms for someone you love or the country you love.

With love