The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanuka


7th December 2010

Shabbat Shalom and Chanuka Sameach

In both English and Hebrew this is called the Festival of Lights. Wouldn’t it be amazing if it became the Festival of Enlightenment? What if, instead of giving your children or grandchildren gifts every day of Chanuka to make up for the fact they don’t have a Christmas Tree, teach them how amazing it is that they are Jews, free and able to light the Chanukiah because of those who fought to  preserve our identity like Judah Maccabee. Teach them that we still have Maccabees today and the second largest meeting of athletes in the world is the Maccabiah games which takes place in Israel, indeed are being held next year – CHAZAK V’AMATZ. Teach them that until today we have a town called Maccabim and even though the European Union decided it is not in “Israel proper” we know that it was Jewish throughout! Teach the children that far from missing out they earned the right to stand before the Chanukiah and light the candles as they light the world… and then give them latkes, sufganiyot and gifts!!!!

The current world lexicon is one huge oxymoron

Apartheid – Israel, the only democratic and free society in the region is accused of racism yet Mahmoud Abbas  announced that any Palestinian selling land to a Jew will be killed and no Jews can live in “Palestine” and that’s OK.

Partnership – Although it may seem the opposite of my emotions and diametrically opposed to what he says publicly Mahmoud Abbas is our ONLY partner for peace in the region other than Salaam Fayad and we have offered them a partnership deal in the peace process and reiterate our offer at all times. As I said last week, the table is constantly set in the PM’s home.

Irony – Today Hamas celebrates 25 years since its founding and Israel used the willing services of Moslem Brotherhood Premier Morsi to inform the Islamic Jihad leaders that if they go to Gaza to join in the festivities they will be “erased”. They are not coming!!!!

School bully or terror Just watch this video and understand

Human rights – The very organization created to protect human rights supports countries who would not know human rights if they fell over them yet castigate the one country that upholds them! The Unrighteous Nations vote has huge implications for human rights

Historical rights – yeah right! Exactly what historical rights are we talking about? Jews have been here for at least 3,000 years but Islam takes historical precedence? 90% of Arabs who live in the Jerusalem region came in the last 75 years from Hebron, and many from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and all points south.

Religious freedom in the ME, which means everyone has freedom of prayer – their prayers – if not then get out of their country!!

Free Gaza  Pat Condell says it so much better than I.

Ambassador Belaynesh Zevadia left her village in Ethiopia when she was 13 years old and emigrated to Israel. Nearly three decades later she has returned to Ethiopia as the official Israeli envoy. “I left when I was still a child and now I’m back as Israel’s ambassador. This is one of the most moving moments of my life,”,7340,L-4316200,00.html

The vote to change the status of the Palestinians in the UN brought few surprises and many disappointments. One country that didn’t need to explain its position was the Czech Republic. The Czechs have a long memory of being thrown under the bus in the name of appeasement and Prime Minister Netanyahu visited the Czech Republic this week to thank them, not for their vote but for their understanding. He met with President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Petr Necas neither of whom called our Ambassadors for “talks” because the 20 year old plan to build homes in area E1 passed the first of four stages. While the rest of our allies yelled foul about the building plans it should be noted that Mr Abbas was not only building profusely in E1 he was telling the world that we, the Jews, were not welcome in his country. Oh yes, dear friends, it really does sound like 1938 and the Czechs know about that scenario. Implications of the vote? See “Palestinians: What The UN Brought” –

Syria got another slap on the wrist from the world leaders who for some reason believe that planning houses on disputed territory is much more serious than 40,000 dead Syrians and a stockpile of chemical weapons that Assad is preparing for use on goodness knows who! Those same leaders basically kept quiet when the new President of Egypt announced a dictatorship yet vilify the Israeli Prime Minister for his policies! I really don’t understand. Israel – producer of the highest level of technology and science, healers to the world in the field of medicine and pharmacology, teachers of agriculture and water desalinization to the third world is vilified constantly yet the “country” whose only export is terrorism is defended!! An interesting aspect from Jonathan Tobin as to the reasoning behind the PM’s announcement on building in E1

I know I am making you work this week but please also read this excellent article by Steve Apfel  “The Lie that Broke Israel’s Back” Palestinian Arab territory occupied by Israel’ is more than a risible lie of history. It had the power to alter history. The international community took to the idea and so did leftist Israelis.

OK I finished moaning and decided to tell you all about pre-Chanuka in Jerusalem. The shops are full of gifts, packages of dreidle shaped chocolates, Chanukah coins (gelt), and every size and shape of sufganiya. Sufganiyot, so much more than doughnuts, as I told you. It seems that the entire shopping mall was filled with people with sugary lips!

The air is crisp, the rains came and went and Shabbat is about to fall in Jerusalem. There is still a special excitement above the expectation of Shabbat. The children know that once the family has performed the ritual of re-entering the everyday after the beauty of Shabbat, Havdalah, they will light the first candle of Chanuka, and sing the blessings and songs. Jerusalem is different to other Israeli cities in the type of Chanukiot. The still have eight branches and one Shammas to light the candles from but they are housed in a glass box and placed outside the door of the home for all to see. Proud and strong. Never forget that Chanuka represents the very first time we truly fought back and claimed our Judaism and all its practices. The miracle of the oil is only a small part, romantic but a small part. We stopped being acquiescent and stood up for our right to be Jews. It is time to give our children the gift of Jewish values and pride alongside the gifts. Finally, as a reward for your patience with all the links I gave you today there are two videos, on of Chanukiot in Jerusalem  and the other called Eight Lights from Nefesh bNefesh. I loved it

Shabbat Shalom dear friends, Shabbat Shalom and Chanuka Sameach. A special Shabbat Shalom to my beautiful and beloved daughter-in-law Stephanie for everything that she is and for being with us all today. She knows what I mean.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem, our Jerusalem This Chanuka don’t forget the Biblical lament “If I forget thee Oh Jerusalem”

With love