The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem – Canon White, Anitsemitism, Christians in Bethlehem,Zimmet, new grandson

15th May 2014
Dear Friends, Shabbat Shalom
Why is this Shabbat different from all other Shabbatot? Because last Shabbat our newest, youngest and very wonderful little grandson came into the world and today he came home from hospital. A lovely little boy was born to Amiad and Noga, 5 weeks early, he was clearly in  a hurry to come and set this crazy world to rights. A huge Mazal Tov to Zvi for his first grandson!!!
Canon Andrew White arrived in Israel to promote inter-religious tolerance but there are too many who do not have his wisdom or tolerance and the situation in Bethlehem became even worse. Christians were stoned and harmed this week while visiting the Church of St George on the Saints Day in Bethlehem
Did you know that Anti-Semitism has nothing to do with Jews? The ADL’s extensive survey proves that the less contact with Jews the greater the anti-Semitism. Furthermore, those countries with the least Jews have the highest incidence of anti-Semitism!!!
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was at front and centre of the news again this week as Judge David Rosen came down with his verdicts and sentences. I was shocked as were both the political enemies and friends of Mr Olmert. There were holes in the verdict, in our opinion gaping holes, and the sentence was extreme but the appeal will go before the Supreme Court. One would think that Mr Olmert was the only defendant but in fact there were 13, most of them people of substance. Former Finance Minister Roni Bar On expressed my feelings on the subject
The kidnapping of a group of Nigerian schoolgirls rocked the world. Boko Haram became the name to fear. Our friend John Vause in excellent interview on Boko Harams capture of Nigerian girls and here one sees the face of the leader, pure evil
President Peres met Basketball star Amare Stoudemire and they discussed Stoudemires forthcoming Bar Mitzva and whether he would come to play in Israel. Stoudemire already keeps Shabbat according to his wife.
This has been a delightful week in many terms, especially since our wonderful Australian friends the Zimmets are here. Zvi gave them a wonderful tour of the Old City, thoroughly enjoying Hedriks enthusiasm, and then we all met up for lunch in Mamilla. I had to wait for them as they walked up the hill from the Davidson Centre and the Kotel. I have so much fun people watching; the different walks prompted me to guess nationality by strut or saunter! The priest in long brown robes and the Haredi man in black; the Moslem women, heads covered in exactly the same manner as Nuns and Haredi women! Children laughing and touching the art-work that lines the outdoor mall and the book shop that Theodore Herzl once stayed in. My favourite was the two black-clad Nuns who went into a sexy underwear store!
Last night we went to a reception at the Australian Ambassadors home in Herzliya in honour of Prof. Paul Zimmet receiving an honorary Doctorate from the Tel Aviv University. I laughed at the thought that Paul is now Dr. Professor Dr!!!! Ambassador Sharma was a delightful host to all four Zimmets (Paul, Vivien, Hendrik and Hendriks lovely girlfriend Daniella) and to their guests.  Former Ambassador Yuval Rotem was a delightful new find – introduced to me by Paul Israel. Ambassador Rotem is back from his tour of duty in Australia and is now responsible for hasbara in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This week is a very short letter since Zvi and I are going abroad tomorrow morning, just a short trip, to enjoy and see new things. Of course I will miss seeing the peace of Shabbat in Jerusalem, and the scents, aromas and senses of Friday as the cosmopolitan kitchen of the Jewish households pervade the air over the Golden City. I will miss watching the city slow down and fall asleep as Shabbat nears. I will miss it but hope to have some very exciting stories to tell you about…………………… well that’s a secret!!!!
Since I write about the Middle East, we have a new little boy in the family and I adore Shlomo Artzi I decided that the first song for you should be, Under Mediterranean Skies
The second song tells it all – Al Kol Eleh, Over all things. It tells us that above all, despite it all life is good.
Shabbat Shalom dear friends, Shabbat Shalom from beautiful Jerusalem.