The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from jerusalem


27th May 2011

Shabbat shalom dear friends
How are you? I hope you are well and looking forward to fine weather, sunshine and kinder times.

Rarely have I heard a more varied set of opinions than those concerning President Obama’s speech prior to Prime Minster Netanyahu’s arrival at the White House! He certainly dropped a “J” bomb when he suggested “retreating” to the ’67 borders… could it be that he doesn’t realize that means us giving Jerusalem, the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Western Wall, Southern Wall, Ofel, Temple Mount and all the Christian sites that we negotiated with Jordan in exchange for peace after a mere 19 years that they were in Arab hands? Does he understand that there is no Palestinian people? Does he include my husband and many of his friends born into Mandate Palestine. When freezing building in the “settlements” he went further than Abu Mazen could have dreamed. We need YOUR voice to shout out to your representatives. Pastor Leo Giovinetti did it with his flock, now I want you and your synagogues and churches to do the same.

If you doubt the power of one look at the site of Philippe Karsenty of France. He fought against France 2 television after their rigging of the Mohammed Al Dura piece that convinced the world that a child was intentionally killed by IDF fire, when in fact he was not killed and there was no Israeli fire! Monsieur Karsenty fought, appealed and won; not that anyone on the Western media told you but France 2 is guilty of rigging a news item to intentionally disinform their viewers against Israel.
Philippe is now running for Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine Sarkozy’s former constituency, and he needs the votes of anyone with French citizenship overseas. Go to his Facebook site and find out how!

I met Philippe through Barry and Carol Shaw. Barry and Carol came to Jerusalem with four purposes. To hold a meeting with Philippe; to be introduced by me to meet and discuss hasbara with Jurgen Buhler the delightful new Director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem in their phenomenally beautiful home; to promote his excellent new book ISRAEL – RECLAIMING THE NARRATIVE and of course, to stand on our veranda to see the view.

I know that Jurgen Buhler will do a fantastic job because his heart is in the right place and his belief in Israel unquestionable. The outgoing Director, Rev. Malcolm Hedding is off to the United States but hardly leaving the Embassy behind and certainly continuing his incredible advocacy of Israel. Malcolm has spoken out for Israel for many years but of late the idea that Israel is an apartheid state has incensed him above all other accusations. A former South African who fought Apartheid with all his heart Malcolm is insulted that a free society such as Israel be compared to that oppressive and foul regime – thus insulting the Africans who fought so hard for their freedom. Malcolm, we wish you great success, happiness, fulfillment and await your return to the Jerusalem you love so much.

How can one compare the Palestinian Authority to Israel? An impossible question so vast its responses. I was taught that a society is as good as the way they treat their weakest members. These next two videos will explain that difference with need for further explanations. The first tells the story of a child with special needs taunted and persuaded to walk toward a group of IDF soldiers with an explosive belt strapped to himself and a detonator in his hand. The soldiers saw the belt, ducked and then gently took the button from his hand, disarmed him and took him to an Israeli hospital
The 2nd talks of Muhammad Kunbar and Jafar Tawil from the Arab neighbourhood of Beit Tsafafa, Jerusalem, mentally challenged young men who will represent Israel in the Special Olympics in Athens playing tennis.
One could point to the difference in the treatment of women, the IDF has appointed Major General Orna Barbiviai, mother of 3, the first Major General in the IDF

It’s Maccabi time again! I love it when dear friends arrive from all over the world and gather in Kfar Maccabiah amid great celebration. The purpose is to plan the next Maccabiah but the warmth and joy of the Maccabiah family is exceptional. Allen and Maida Gerskup are here from Toronto and came to Jerusalem to see us before the big celebrations begin. They requested lunch in the Botanical Gardens, after my descriptions and were not disappointed! Not only did we get lots of OTH tasters because our neighbours daughter, the beautiful Gal, is a waitress there while studying, but because they know me! We sat beside the lake on a glorious balmy day, Oreganetto, sweet potato salads huge before us, and watched the display of children in various colour hats carrying Israeli and Jerusalem flags. As we left our delicious fare, Zvi stopped to ask one child from where they came. “Taibeh” was the response. Taibeh is an Israeli Arab town in the north of the country and here they were with their school, loving every moment of celebrating Jerusalem Day! Where are CNN and the BBC when you need them?

Jerusalem Day, a proud moment in our history when after 19 years of Jordanian rule Jerusalem was taken in a fierce series of battles culminating in the words of Motte Gur “Har haBayit beyadenu” The Temple Mount is in our hands. In the words of Chief of Staff Yitzchak Rabin
“I felt truly shaken and stood there murmuring a prayer for peace. Motta Gur’s paratroopers were struggling to reach the Wall and toudh it. We stood among a tangle of rugged, battle-weary men who were unable to believe their eyes or restrain their emotions. Their eyes were moist with tears, their speech incoherent. The overwhelming desire was to cling to the Wall, to hold on to that great moment as long as possible.”

Last night we went to Mamilla for supper with Deidre and Keith Beville who are here with The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council under the Directorship of Colin Rubenstein ‏ was delightful sitting, talking about the world in the Café outside the very house that Theodore Herzl stayed in when he visited Jerusalem to speak with Kaiser Wilhelm; in the glorious city that we longed for and redeemed, on a wonderful soft Jerusalem evening with the full rainbow of humanity passing by in absolute freedom.

Gosh I am a lucky woman.
Shabbat Shalom and a memorable Jerusalem Day
With much love from Jerusalem, heart of our world