The view from my veranda

Shabbat shalom from Jerusalem. 5th Presidential Conference, Palestinian PM resign, Impact-se and Yuri Shtern Foundation

21st June 2013
Shabbat Shalom to you dear friends
This has been an incredible week for Israel, an amazing week for Jerusalem and a celebration for President Peres. He is 90 years old in August and the Presidential Conference this year was dedicated to his birthday. Not many nonogenarian Presidents in the world eh? Sharon Stone, Tony Blair, President Clinton, Dr Ruth, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and the inimitable Robert de Niro all paid their respects alongside Presidents, Prime Ministers, Princes and leaders of the business world.

For me the two greatest gems were – Ayaan HIrsi Ali who speaks so wisely and I LOVED the fact that De Niro sat in front of the Israeli flag and said Let me just make sure you got this picture of me in Israel in front of that big Israeli flag to show those Anti-Israel douche bag that they are lying sacks of manure” – Robert De Niro

If you wish you can see many of the sessions and speeches on this site.

I love networking and spent much time so doing. I was amazed and flattered when my photograph was taken by the lovely Steve Linde (Editor in Chief of the Jerusalem Post) and he put it and me on Facebook!!!!
Barbra sang Hatikva in the Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv before a crowd of 16,000 wild fans. She began by explaining the anthem as a poem written long ago – a poem of longing and hope………
President Peres may be 90 but Zvi and I celebrate 18 years since our wedding – our Chai Anniversary on Sunday!! Of those who were at our wedding from afar, we saw both Saul Same and Robert Simons this week, they were there – dancing under the Walls of the Old City as our children held the Chuppa and Rachel served as my Maiden of Honour. It was wonderful!!!
OK Now to the serious elements of this missive
The new Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority has resigned! What could have caused this move? Less than a month after he was sworn in, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Thursday submitted his resignation to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Troubles over the new Iranian leader too. His son committed suicide because of his fathers extremism.
Tag Machir is the name of a group of young thugs who think that by painting abusive messages on walls and cutting the car tyres of Israeli Arabs they are fighting some insane battle for truth. Their latest victims are the wonderful people of Abu Ghosh. Abu Ghosh situated near the entrance to Jerusalem has always been pro-Israel. During the British Mandate (occupation) they fought on the side of Israel and also many serve voluntarily in the IDF. I want these louts, thugs, oafs to STOP their inane violence – they do not speak for Israel.
When talking of refugees, too often the Jewish refugees from Arab countries are forgotten, too often they remain the Forgotten Refugees. It is time to redress the balance and demand compensation for their property so cruelly taken from them when they fled or were exiled from their homes in Arab States.
It is easy to forget that Iraq was Babylon where yet again we were taken as slaves from our homeland. – By theRivers of Babylon Where we sat down yeah we wept when we remembered Zion – Taken away in captivity-
Pat Condell has been called many names – because he dares to tell the truth that none of our leaders are willing to risk. Here is his latest offering. Singling out a billion Moslems.
Our wonderful friend Kim Taylor was here for the Presidents Conference and to breathe in the air of our Jerusalem – he loves this place so much. I took Kim to the offices of IMPACT-SE (impact-se.organd Professor Eldad Pardo explained the purpose of researching the schoolbooks of the region, using criteria set in UNESCO by our founder Prof. Yochanan Manor, the criteria of respect and tolerance of the “other”. That schoolbooks do not denigrate the other but embrace them into their society. In other words learning love not hate. Kim was astonished at th e work done by the organisation.
From Impact we went to the most incredible place I have been to for many a year. MK Yuri Stern (z”l) was an exceptional man who, when he became very ill, his wife and her friends gave many forms of holistic healing in order to alleviate his pain, anxiety and discomfort. After Yuri died Lena decided to use the knowledge she and her fellow specialists in complementary medicine and built an organisation which works with Shaare Zedek Hospital and gives treatments to cancer patients and their families. All the therapists are volunteers – they give one day a week to treat people undergoing chemotherapy or the after effects of treatment both at the hospital and in their clinic. It is a sacred place, truly sacred.
I hardly had time to see my grandchildren and certainly not to see my Jerusalem friends this week. It all began with Shabbat Lunch with Saul and Joshua Same (the beautiful Saul still comes every year despite being nearly 95 years old) and with David and Libi Efron. Then we had supper with Avram and Mindeleh Jasqui, then Sunday lunch with Harry and Nancy Bloomfield and their lovely party in the Anna Ticho House where we were joined by Michael Dickson who explained the wonders of StandwithUs ( to the Bloomfields…….and went on to meeting the outstanding former President of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo – a charming supporter of Israel – in the King David. We were there as Barbra arrived but they brought her in through the back door, full security, mush to the chagrin of some of her fans who were waiting for a glimpse! I had coffee with Andrea Kovens dear friends Renee and Terri at the Israel Museum and then our beautiful friends Pauline and John Gandel arrived and we thought we wouldn’t see them but we did – indeed we managed lots of hugs and lunch at the Botanical Gardens and even the wonders of the stuffed vegetables of Ima Restaurant!So you see, we really had no time to breathe! We decided to spend tonight in Tel Aviv and have Shabbat dinner with Helene and Ilan and do absolutely nothing!!!!
When I contemplate on Israel, what she does for the world, what she means to us, what every place name means historically and Biblically I find it harder and harder to understand the antipathy of the world. We wish no-one harm, indeed if our enemies would just let us live in peace we could give them an infinitely better way of life and work together to ease their pain; we are the first on the scene to help others in distress; we have literally changed the world through our high-tech, medical and scientific research to say nothing of literature and the arts……….. so why? Why is the tide of hatred so strong? Why is the hatred directed at us and not at those who would bring oppression to those very people who denounce us and support them? Why? I wish I had the answer.
Next week I will send you the video of me on our veranda talking to the world through the eyes of Dr Kim Taylors Children of Israel Foundation – my family and close friends love the video and I of course am less sure!!
The veranda is amazing, the flowers glorious, the fruit growing fast, the herbs leave their aroma hanging in the summer air and the pomegranate tree is forming tiny red fruits looking toward Rosh hashana. I wish you could see what I see. I wish you could see the view, breathe the air, understand the beauty absorb your own history in every step you take. Wish you were here……………..
Shlomo Artzi is Israels most famous singer – he caused Barbra to raise a tear at the concert for Shimon Peres. My favourite song of his is about the cost of finding our place and peace in the Middle East. In this old video he sings with his son Ben
With much love from Jerusalem, the most vibrant, beautiful, colourful, glistening, hopeful, multicultural meaningful city in the world
Shabbat Shalom dear friends
Shabbat Shalom

Mi ha’ish
Hachafetz chayim
Ohev yamim
Lir’ot tov
Netzor leshoncha meira
Us’fatecha midaber mirma

Sur meira
Va’asei tov
Bakesh shalom

Who is the man
Who desires life
Who loves all his days
To see good
Guard your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit

Turn away from bad
And do good
Seek peace
And pursue it