The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom – Gaza Flotilla


28th May, 2010

Shabbat Shalom everyone. I hope this letter finds you well.

The papers and media here are filled with reports on the “humanitarian aid” Flotilla organized by the Turks with the support of too many Europeans, they present the antithesis of a humanitarian group.

Noam and Aviva Schalit, parents of Gilad Schalit, offered to support the Free Gaza Flotilla if they presented a demand that Hamas permit the human rights organisations to visit their son and allow him aid packages or letters from home. The members of the campaign refused! And you thought they were human rights activists…

As to the claim of bringing essential aid – how ludicrous can one get? Israel provides more aid in one day (and every day for the last umpteen years of the so-called siege) than these clowns are providing in one ship. Ergo – this is a publicity stunt –a very successful one to a world every ready to believe their new-speak Goebbels lies. Whatever we do does not look pretty for the cameras but we cannot sit back and do nothing.

This link gives you a run down of Israeli aid to Gaza

If their need is so extreme why did masked gunmen from an Islamist group burn down a UN summer camp for children and teens in Gaza on Sunday. The top UN aid said the assailants tied up the guard, burned tents and vandalized bathrooms and left behind three bullets and a note threatening to kill Ging and others unless the UN cancels its activities for some 250,000 Gazan children. Amazingly the Head of UNRWA in Gaza supports the flotilla – is he scared of them too? Maybe he uses the wonderful swimming pools, fine dining restaurants and sumptuous hotels in Gaza City as recompense for his assent?

Just in case you choose to believe the tales of siege and starvation in Gaza check out this article by Tom Gross and understand that it is not Israel which is starving Gazan’s but their own leaders because hungry they need Allah.

Just in case you feel that the Moslems of Gaza are the underdogs read this which is one of hundreds of reports on the persecution of Christians in Gaza.

The Australian Government announced that one of Israel’s diplomats has been asked to leave the Israeli Mission in Canberra as a result of the Passport affair in Dubai. The opposition party led by former Prime Minister Downey expressed its chagrin at this action calling it currying favour with Israel’s detractors. The Australia/Israel relationships have always been exceptionally strong. The Israeli Secret Service, assuming the accusations are true, did what every other country’s secret service does – often working together.

Dr. Malcolm Hoenlein gave a wonderful speech when accepting the Guardian of Zion Award at the King David this week. He held us transfixed as he spoke of the need to stand up to the onslaught both in the media and within our own communities, not to allow apathy to win. I hope to receive a transcript of Malcolm’s speech to send to you since we all need to absorb his message. His words have been haunting me since Sunday as he spoke of his late Mother whose love for Israel was so great that as she became older and her eyesight failed she would “walk” the streets of Jerusalem in her mind conveying her dedication to our city through her memories.

This week we had visitors from Edmonton! Zvi’s long-time friend Barry Slawsky with his sisters Fern and Phyllis and friend Christine wanted to see everything! Zvi is an outstanding guide and among so many sites we went to Givat ha Tachmoshet (Ammunition Hill) where they met with one of Israel’s greatest heroes who is so famous he needs only one name – Katcha The Herzl Museum the Old City Shouk, The Kotel and Davidson Center Indeed everywhere that we felt would be of interest to them.

Friends ask me if we lose hope when we see the reports of alleged crimes that Israel is said to commit when we know full well that our protestations of innocence fall on deaf ears. The answer is no….. never!

We cannot afford to lose hope – it is our National Anthem after all! You must not lose hope either. Each and every one of you who writes a letter to your local politician or to the press, each and every one of you who attends rallies and demonstrations, each and every one of you who stands up to be counted is cause for hope. Most importantly each and every one of you who comes to visit Israel and see how different the fact is from the perception will make a difference.

This is the time that we need leadership in the Jewish world; leadership that is capable of motivating and inspiring a new generation to stand up and fight – someone who can speak and people will listen – someone who has not become jaded by years of public office and diplomatic babble. We need someone who understands the Diaspora and whose infectious enthusiasm will bring about change and our world will wake up and react. Only by motivation to pull together can we survive.

I just popped out onto the mirpesset (veranda) and realized that I am late with my letter. The shopping mall car park is almost empty; the streets are silent and the aromas settling. Zvi will soon be home from his parliament in Angel’s coffee shop in Nayot where they clean up the coffee machines and parcel up the excess patisseries to be distributed to the poor. Soon my Jerusalem will turn pink as the sun prepares to set, pink to accompany the bride of Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom from this oft beleaguered but ever unsullied city – Jerusalem.