The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem. More missiles, Jews in danger, Christians killed

8th August 2014
Shabbat Shalom dear friends,
I hope you are all well and not too exhausted from sleepless nights shouting at your TV screens at the biased reporting on the Gaza Operation.  The cease-fire held precisely as long as demanded. The morning started early for the Eshkol region in the South as Hamas took full advantage of the end of the official ceasefire and woke all those children again with rockets launched over their heads at 01:39 this morning. Children who were woken from their sleep to be rushed down to the shelter – knowing they had to reach safety within 15 seconds. So who is the aggressor now? Ban Ki Moon, why are you not speaking out for the children of Israel?
The timing proves that Hamas can control its mavericks.  They held the cease-fire exactly as demanded in the negotiations in Cairo. Egypts leaders not only understand Israel but are not afraid of Hamas. Egypt will provide the rules and hopefully will oversee Abu Mazen who will control the rebuilding of Gaza – through compensation from Israel. It is very expensive to win a war especially when, as our friend Rod said, we are losing the peace.
We live in a world of double standards but every so often something still makes one smile. I love The West Wing, still think it was conceivably the cleverest series with brilliant writers and acting. This clip caught my eyes and ears, to say nothing of my heart. Proportional Response – where is President Bartlett when we need him?
Colonel Richard Kemp is an exceptional man. A hero of the war in Afghanistan this British soldier is not frightened to speak the truth about the incredible humanity of the IDF. What a “gever” (hebrew for man).
The Indian Television reporter stood at his window and carefully hiding behind the shutters managed to capture a truly incredible sight. Hamas operatives (ie terrorists) blatantly set up a blue United Nations tent between residential and hotel buildings and begin to build a rocket launcher. He carefully records the building of the launcher and the ultimate launching right between the buildings. Not only does it show the launching technique, the use of United nations materials but also the very beautiful, modern, expensive buildings that are normally never shown yet are most of Gaza!
Did anyone else notice two essential facts about this war? One is that the press were threatened, not raped etc like in Egypt but threatened if they criticised Hamas, and they complied. Two, while the world was busy with the condemnation of Israels response to Hamas attacks everyone forgot what horrors were taking place through the ISIS take-over of the Middle East and the ethnic cleansing of Iraq. This article from the every even handed Daily Mail in the UK sums up a world that concentrated on Gaza and ignored the Apocalypse
Demonstrations and anti-Semitism became dangerously violent all over the world. From Australia to Alaska, throughout Europe, the ultimate in Hungary where the PM held a public hanging of dummies of the Israeli leaders. However, of all responses to hatred this pro-Israel reaction in the Diamond District of New York shows that if we will just be strong and brave the bullies show their yellow, cowardly streaks and run.
Who are we fighting? Is it anti-Semitism? Are we singled out? The answer is Islamic Fundamentalism, No, not anti-Semitism, no we are far from being singled out, we are part of a major plan that makes Hitler appear unambitious and tame. Understand the plight of Christians in Iraq. I am not an extremist, I hate no-one but when I hear from our dear friend Canon Andrew White of the horrors he sees in Iraq, in so many war zones of this world I realise that it is true. The Yazidi faith is an ancient one from Kurdistan. They have been decimated.
Our soldiers are beginning to pack up the camps and clean the battle dust off their tanks and their souls. Young men who saw things that will stay with them forever. The Givati Regiment, those strong young soldiers with red berets, took the toughest role but without the tanks, intelligence, Navy, Air Force, nothing could have been achieved. Each and every sector of the IDF played its part in securing some form of quiet for the people of Israel. We didn’t want this war, it was forced upon us, but once in, we had to ensure the destruction of tunnels and launchers. We did, as far as one can possibly know. Israel is a secure country, we know who our enemy is and we do everything possible to ensure the safety of every single person irrespective of creed or colour. The very last rocket fired before the cease-fire talks landed just outside Jerusalem – on Beit Sachur, one of the last remaining Christian villages.
Perhaps the most emotive story to come out of this period is that of Lt Hadar Goldin.  Lt Goldin discovered a terror tunnel and after a huge explosion in which two other soldiers died, his body was kidnapped into the tunnel. A young officer, Lt. Eitan, saw what happened, saw the explosion of the tunnel and crawled deep into the tunnel to retrieve what he could of his friend Hadar Goldins body. He found Hadars personal effects and brought what he could back so that Hadars family could hold a funeral without the months of forensic examinations before he could be declared officially dead. Yesterday, immediately after his release from service in Gaza, even before going home, Eitan went to the Goldin home, to give and receive hugs and to return Hadars personal effects to his family, most importantly his little book of Tehillim (psalms).
As the ceasefire held the emotions did not and the situation in the neighborhoods and villages around Jerusalem seemed to calm down, individuals did not. 3 Arabs attacked Jews in Jerusalem but attacks are not only in Israel – even the least likely places have seen attacks on their Jewish communities. Canada, UK, USA, Europe and that least likely of places Bondi Beach Australia. Jewish schools on alert after eight males threaten to cut schoolchildren’s throats, five teenagers arrested
To understand please I urge you to read Rabbi Jeremy Rosens blog this week. Who is right to hate us?
Life is returning to normal, we have a tendency to take pause and carry on as we were. For those on the border with Gaza it is less so, they are concerned that returning to those Kibbutzim, towns and villages to the uncertainty as to whether a tunnel may end near your house, family, children is clearly traumatic and one cannot blame anyone for their fears. Help the shopkeepers of Sderot
A short time ago Israeli journalist and specialist on Arab Affairs for Israel Channel 10 Zvi Yechezkeli, who speaks perfect Arabic, dressed and acted as a Moslem in Europe to infiltrate groups and mosques. The  series which resulted from his in depth investigations is terrifying, real, revealing as no other. I know it is a lot to ask but I feel it is essential. The videos have English subtitles
Now for something entirely different.
If you cancelled your holidays to Israel you are going to regret it because hotels will return to 100% full very soon. Prices will fly back up to their original levels and you are missing out on the beauty of this country and Hamas won the economic war.
This week I managed to go to two shouks…. markets……..! On Monday I went on my regular visit to Shouk Ramle, down the road at the train station complex. The same shmattes, the same fun finds, the same crazy low prices although my favourite stall was not there, they went on vacation!  Thankfully under cover to protect the curious from the searing sun, bargains are everywhere “Esser shekel kol prat”(10 shekels every piece) for the childrens T-shirts, cute shoes, copied music discs, great cookies, stickers for children and toys galore as parents prepare for the long summer holidays from school. I go early because I am not a great lover of crowds and love to hear the shouts of the vendors as they set up their stalls, many happily “lein tefillin” putting on their phylacteries and praying their morning prayers before continuing with their calls to customers.
Yes, you are right,  I went to Shouk Mahane Yehuda. Gosh I love that place. I love the fact that it is everyone, the full rainbow of Jerusalem. I love to people-watch as I walk around absorbing the aromas and hubub of that magical place. I didn’t have time to go to Mizrahis for a deliciously tempting Cafe Hafuch, but managed to see my favourite costermongers – Boaz and Yaron Tzidkiyahu for olives and salads and best of all for the meatballs filled with tehina, mmmm delicious. Across the lane to visit Shmulik Tzidkiyahu who has delicious cheeses so I bought Rachels favourite Buffalo Mozarella – everything in this shop is Mahedrin Kosher; then on to Itzik for my fruit, fabulous firm scented peaches, juicy lychees, amazing vegetables and a big grin. David Dagim, as always customers crowded around the glass cabinets filled with fresh shiny fish and next to him Mohamad who has the freshest, most delicious organic herbs and greens. Gosh I missed this place, its aromas, plethora of freshly picked fruit and vegetables all piled high, inviting and  ready for the discriminating hands of  Israeli cooks. After so many visits to Europe I forgot how amazing our home grown produce is!!!!
Our friend Elihu Ben Onn – a member of Zvi’s Friday Parliament – is a broadcaster of note. Elihu presents a radio programme which airs at night in Israel, for Hebrew speakers around the world who want to speak with him, ask him questions. If you wish to speak to Elihu and have something important to say +972 2 631229
I can’t believe it is almost Shabbat Again! The morning started early for the Eshkol region in the South as Hamas took full advantage of the end of the official ceasefire and woke the children again with rockets launched over their heads at 01:39 this morning. Children, traumatised, woken from their sleep to rush down to the shelter – knowing they have just 15 seconds to reach safety. So who is the aggressor now? Ban Ki Moon, why are you not speaking out for the children of Israel?
I will go to Rachel to see the children, to breathe in the aroma of freshly baked challot from my daughters kitchen, taking two home so that tonight Leor can enjoy them, finally back from the front. It will be fun to watch his infinite patience with his little girls, his determination to simply get on with life and get back to washing the dishes for his Mother, clearing the table and helping her cook for the family, while his Daddy and I sit and watch him with pride. It is who he is, an Israeli, a good man, industrious, clever, ambitious, kind, and ready to serve his country at a moments notice.
Sarit Hadad is a wonderful Israeli singer, here she sings a truly joyous song, with a little minor key “We will win, just let us stay here, we are all alone but in the storm we cope, just let us be here, together,  in this little country”
With love from Jerusalem, Shabbat Shalom
PS This is the most supportive, beautiful letter I ever received, from our wonderful friend Dr Kimball Taylor
“Thought you might be interested in this:  
So if Canadians are the most supportive of Israel of any country in the world, and Mormons are the most supportive religion, I guess that makes me the Number 1 supporter of Israel in the entire world!
 Love, Kim “

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

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