The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. Elections, Ziad Abu Ein, CIA Torture,COGAT, IsraAid

11th December 2014
Shabbat Shalom dear Friends
What a week! The news was not always good but my goodness it came in fast and furious.
The United States reported severe torture of security prisoners by the CIA and security forces, then managed to divert attention by blaming Israeli standards and reports!!! They then further diverted attention after the deeply regrettable death of a Palestinian Minister during a demonstration.
A reporter from Sky news said on air that Israeli medics tried to help Ziad Abu Eid who clearly suffered a heart attack but were pushed away. This Sky News article shows two videos. In the first you see the commentator saying that Abu Ein was part of a demonstration against the “settlement of Shilo” and in the questioning of IDF Spokesperson Lt Col Peter Lerner it is claimed it was a peaceful tree planting to honour Human Rights!!!!
The arms cache of Hezb-Allah was destroyed in an attack by “unknown” sources. I don’t know who did it but thank Heaven they did. It is a bit like the bombing of the Syrian nuclear facility (or Iraqi) no-one claimed responsibility but thousands of deaths were averted.
A young Israeli Jew, Levi Rosenblat, was stabbed outside Chabad House in Brooklyn, for being a Jew
Busaina Abu Ganem, an Israeli Arab woman from Ramleh was shot and killed while in a car with her children – by whom? her Ex-husband, husband and brother because she had talked to another man. Honour killings are a worldwide aberration.
A Canadian Moslem newspaper published an article praising the killing in the Har Nof synagogue
From Shachar Zahavi – “We are honored as IsraAID to be a part of the international task force by offering pycho social assistance and trauma care, helping both affected communities and service providers cope with the Ebola outbreak in western Africa.  There is still allot more work to be done our teams on the ground are working hard and we hope you can join us by supporting our efforts to fight this horrible epidemic.”
My thanks to Jessica Glesby for sending this good news. After a long legal battle the Polish Constitutional Court found the ban on Kosher slaughter unconstitutional,Polish-court-finds-ban-on-ritual-slaughter-unconstitutional
While working on Facebook I saw a wonderful video placed by Standwithus. It tells the story of COGAT, the Israeli governmental organisation which gives both physical and medical aid to Palestinians. I am so proud of the humanitarian work we do all over the world and with our close neighbours.
I avoided discussing the upcoming elections for long enough. I am so sick of a system that creates instability by forcing coalitions of diverse and often incompatible beliefs – who said proportional representation was fair and right? Tsippi Livni is changing parties yet again…….. joining with Isaac Herzog (well I can’t call him Boojie if he he intends to be my leader!!!!), Yair Lapid is in talks with Kahlon and Naftali Bennet (see what I mean) and the polls still have Benjamin Netanyahu as the clear leader. I am just afraid of the newcomers because Prime Minster of Israel is not a place for basic training. It isn’t that I am a huge fan of the current Prime Minister but at least he knows the ropes. I have yet to be convinced by one of the above, anyone, that they can lead us forward with greater decisiveness and more charisma to gain us more support in the world.
As usual……….. Now for something entirely different.
Zvi flew to Mexico for two happy family events. First was the Barmitzva of Alex, son of Sylvia and Avraham Feinsod. Alex amazed the entire community by not only performing his Maftir and Haftorah but conducting the entire morning service and the whole reading of the Torah. Incredible, this 13 year old certainly became a man that day in the synagogue! Bravo Alex, you are my champion!
The other occasion was the wedding of the grandson of Zvi’s late, beautiful, cousin Frieda Kershenovitch z”l. Just a few short hours before she passed away, the groom, Yair, the groom, and his father Jorge sat beside Frieda and sang an exquisite mystical song  “Ana BeKoach”. When the wedding day came Yair and his beautiful bride Liora included the song under the wedding canopy, the chuppah, bringing their late grandmothers spirit to the service through the ancient Kabbalistic chant.   
Zvi also visited his Mexican cousins in San Diego and is now in Florida with Helene and Martin Lindenfeld. He spent time with our dear friend Michael Meir, whose beautiful wife Dr. Rivka died so tragically a short time ago. It was a very emotional meeting but very important to both men. Zvi visited his friend Jacobo Skolnik whose brother Moshe passed away this week, Zvi had known Moshe since 1968 through WUJS – the World Union of Jewish Students. May his soul rest in peace.
Senor Zvi also spoke at several meetings in Mexico and in Cecilia Kleinmans home in Florida. Although retired from official positions he was, is and always will be an outstanding motivational speaker, his knowledge of Israeli and Jewish history unparalleled.
I am busy getting the apartment ready for my husbands return, if everything is in the same place when he gets back home he will be really worried!!! I love changing things around, it makes life more interesting!
I spent a lot of time with the grandchildren while Zvi was away and Shabbatot with my beautiful daughter and family. Last week was the birthday celebration for three generations, Amit, Ori, Shiri and Menashe in Nes Ziona and this week I collected the children from school two afternoons and we went to have fun. While I was waiting to pick the girls up I suddenly realised what was in front of me. I was in the neighborhood of Ramot and right across the trees was Ramallah!!!
Ramallah was once a Christian town, not very big but 100% Christian. Today it is growing, huge shopping centres and tall, modern apartment blocks spreading very quickly towards Jerusalem, a few hundred metres from the edge of Ramot. Now an exclusively Moslem town, Ramallah is the administrative capital of the PA. Not a word from the American or European administrations on the incessant PA building on the disputed territories, not a word about Ramallahs non-existent Christians, only about a few buildings in Jerusalem, which according to the misinformed leaders, scupper and chances of peace!!!
Our veranda benefitted from the downpour last week. The tiny lemon tree has over 25 yellow, succulent fruits ready for picking, the kumquats are bright orange against their dark green leaves and the hibiscus blossoms, bright yellow and peach hues, relieved that the searing sun has taken its winter rest. I love the ever changing view through the leaves and branches, the mist softening the panorama of white stone houses, rolling hills, some built up, some verdant; the bustle of the shopping mall and the proximity of the football stadium and basketball arena. Best of all the sun always shines on our veranda – as the pottery sun, that Zvi carried all the way from Mexico on one of his visits, smiles down from the wall.
Zvi will soon be home and life will return to its normal energetic confusion of friends, meetings, movies, theatre and dinners. Greeting him in at the beautiful main hall of Ben Gurion Airport with its waterfalls and coffee shops is always exciting. Each greeter with his/her own story and expectant faces wheeling their luggage trolleys carefully searching the faces outside for a familiar face.
I am not a fan of Rap, I guess it is a matter of age! However, Ari Lesser wrote a brilliant Rap song about Hamas.
And so to Shabbat. This week we read Vayeishev – the story of Jacob, Joseph, his brothers and Pharoah. Rather more complex than the traditional children’s story!
In honour of the Joseph story and of my wonderful children, Daniel, Gideon and Rachel, who adored the “tape” of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and sang along with every word  Listen to the words they are so relevant. I tried to find the original recording by Paul Jones and Tim Rice (does anyone have one) but …….. Donny Osmond does a good job.
So dear friends, I wish you a Shabbat Shalom. Chanuka is just around the corner and then the Yuletide, Noel- Christmas. It’s good to have such beautiful expectations.
With love from Jerusalem, my home, our city, heart of our faith.
Shabbat Shalom
I just got an email from Paul Zimmet, proudly sending me the link of an article n The Australian about our wonderful mutual friend Pauline Gandel. I am delighted to show you what an amazing lady Pauline is.

If the media does not inform us we must inform the media

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