The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

31st May 2013
Shabbat Shalom dear friends. I hope this missive finds you well.
This has been a very, very special week for me as my nephew Steve, his wonderful wife Claire and their son Jake came to Jerusalem. It was such a privilege to have my family here and to show them why I love this city so much.
Simon Deng understands racism. Simon Deng was a slave in Sudan and suffered intolerable conditions for being a Christian in South Sudan; Simon Deng is offended by the suggestion that Israel is in any way racist let alone an apartheid country. Please listen to this brave man’s words again
Persecution of Christians is hardly rare in Islamic countries, indeed it is now perfectly legal to persecute Egyptian Christians. Steven Emersons Investigative Project exposes this outcome of the Arab Spring.
The Mohammed Al Dura Affair keeps rising its ugly head. A child, a father wrapping his arms around the child while cowering beside an apartheid wall while being shot at by Israeli soldiers makes for wonderful headlines – as if someone wrote the script. Indeed the story is second hand and constructed from carefully edited pre-staged film; the child was not dead and the shots came from the opposite direction to the Israeli position. The immorality of the French television station which promoted the concocted story and the crew who created it is clear – their aim to discredit Israel and create even more hatred is obnoxious. Read the report on the truth – the whole truth and nothing but the truth of the Israeli report.
A rare example of Palestinian recognition of Israeli aid to citizens of the PA in this report from United With Israel
Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet published one of the most disgraceful, blatantly anti-semitic cartoons imaginable – using circumcision as their vehicle to promote hatred. And they consider themselves as civilised and democratic – not in my book!
Please write to their editor – “John Arne” <>
Ramot is a suburb of Jerusalem. Building in Ramot began immediately after 1967 and I can assure you that absolutely nothing stood in the place of the homes of the 50,000 population. There was nothing, but nothing there!!! The Palestinian Authority now claim that Israel building another 300 apartments in Ramot is the stumbling block to peace – not bombs and missiles but rather houses! If you had ever been to Ramot you would understand that it is about 800 metres to the current edge of Ramalla which is growing with new buildings going up almost daily right next to the Jewish homes. That tells us that nobody is complaining about the growth of Palestinian housing on the DISPUTED areas – only Jewish housing!!!!
Syria’s Assad is in a crunch. The world has finally decided that killing 100,00 people is really not very nice and also that the alternative to the tyrannical Assad is not a lot better so Assad decided to make a statement that was sure to bring the whole world to his side… he said he is ready for war on us now You can always rely on bombing a few Jews into oblivion to bring everyone round. However he couched his words very carefully – suggesting that he would only retaliate not instigate. Hm. The Russians have changed the critical balance by arming Assad with modern anti-aircraft arms.
The abyss which has grown between the secular/ modern orthodox and ultra-orthodox communities in Israel – grown into a bottomless pit as the Haredi commuinity prefers to go to prison than face its responsibility to the rest of us and pay the debts incurred by their rights as Israeli citizens. The cruch is nearing, those who give are fed up. I believe that everyone, secular, orthodox, flexi-dox, Moslem, Christian, Druze, Bedouin everyone, but everyone should give back to society in some way. We cannot morally bankrupt this society. Even Al Jazeera jumped on the chance to report.
Shai Agassi’s Better Place was the hope of a greener future with a viable electric car. The epitome of Israel’s standing as a Start Up Nation. Sadly his dream became a nightmare and this week Better Place filed for bankruptcy. Very sad.
Deaf mutes are now eligible to have barmitzvas like everyone else! In truth I had no idea that they couldn’t but it is now official!!!,7340,L-4384696,00.html
So I started by telling you about Steve, Claire and Jakes visit. It saddens me deeply that many members of my family doesn’t share my love of Israel, don’t come to see where I live, who my friends are, what an incredible life we have here – my Zvi and I (and our children here)- and of course it saddens me; so this week when the final members of Steve’s beautiful family came to visit I was ecstatic!! Steve and Claires daughters, Carly (and James) and Olivia have been here and loved what they saw so it was so important for me to show the three of them everything possible. The went to Yad Vashem, Herzl Museum and the military cemetery in all its peace and beauty; the Israel Museum (sorry Steve and Jake but Claire loved it) Mahane Yehuda and great felafel and schwarma; the Kotel, Kotel Tunnels, Davidson and of course Ir David and the water tunnels. As a final farewell we all went to Zion ha Gadol in Talpiot to visit my favourite restaurant. Middle Eastern food at its best and in vast quantities. We sat outside in a balmy Jerusalem evening as Uzi and Benny brought us a plethora of epicurean delights. Every conceivable salad, although Jake didn’t like my favourite garlic in lemon! Cold beers, wonderful food and my fabulous family…….. who could ask for anything more? Actually we did ask for something more……… I begged them to wait up to see the moonrise over the horizon – the one I always talk about. Well, I didn’t reckon with the gentle mist over Jerusalem that hid the wonder………. sorry guys!!! Yesterday morning they headed off for the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and Massada. As Steve said “What a silly place to build a castle” Yeah yeah Steve They are now in Tel Aviv, beside the sea and the pool – just relaxing, which they certainly deserve since both of them work so hard.
So that is my week. Zvi is in Italy. He went with his Hebrew University Course in tourism and is undoubtedly regaling all the others with his knowledge and his jokes. I miss him so much but he will be home soon. Since I am late with my missive today I can tell you about the emptying streets, the quiet, the ethnic aromas and wonderful sense of rest lying its gentle hand over Jerusalem.
I wish you a wonderful Shabbat of loving family and gentle thoughts. Remember that our siblings and cousins are the result of beloved grandparents and we share too many memories to bring viciousness – arguments are irrelevant and holding grudges destroys all of those in our vicinity.
Shabbat Shalom dear friends, Shabbat shalom from Jerusalem