The view from my veranda

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem

3rd February 2011
Shabbat Shalom, happy Chinese Year of the Rabbit and enjoy the Superbowl!!!

I am frustrated!! I don’t know how you manage with the biased and fallacious news broadcasts that you have to suffer! Yes I am still in the wonderfully relaxing atmosphere of Florida but gosh it is ridiculous – do the networks thinks we are idiots? Let me give you a few examples.
”Mubaraks mobs are now attacking the freedom demonstrators” and “The Government sponsored attackers were throwing grenades and molotov cocktails at the peoples demonstration” or “Mubarak is still trying to control the people through his thugs” No information is given about El Baradei’s links to Iran or the Moslem Brotherhood despite considerable proof (Dr Malcolm Hoenlein, hardly quick to judgement writes ) ,
nor do they speak of the clear links of those who back the “People Revolution” to Al Quaeeda, the MB and Iran¶m=GJN.
Those behind the revolution are the very people who would see the downfall of the West! Of course Mubarak was not a nice man, he was a despot, benign only in the sense that he tried to keep his country free of oppressive Islam and close to the West. Dictators are not democratic yet some are capable of ensuring more freedom by eradicating the evil-doers without the consent of the people. Democratic elections do not ensure democracy.

According to PBS news the mobs in Egypt were told that the journalists were Israeli spies thus initiating the violence against them! I cannot find proof but it is feasible.

Day of Rage in Egypt was a network revolution and subsequent demonstrations were carefully planned and the call was for similar explosive demonstrations throughout the entire Arab world using the power of Twitter, Facebook and similar social networks.
This vlog was recorded on January 18th by Asma Mahfouz, the girl who started it all, shared her video on Facebook, and went viral. It was so powerful and popular, that Egyptians swarmed by the thousands into Tahrir Square causing the Egyptian government blocked Facebook to stem the danger

Sean Hannity of Fox News interviewed Imam Anjem Choudary, a London Moslem Cleric, concerning the MB and their involvedment in the Egyptian riots. He got much more than he expected – a lesson in Sharia Law!

As I write a demonstration is taking place and growing in “la-la land” in Sanborn Square, Boca Raton Florida, in support of the people of Egypt and the demonstration. Ahmed Al- Awaadi has been in the States for 10 years but wihes he was back in Egypt. Dressed in shorts and T-shirts they do not understand that what they believe to be “freedom” for Egypt would in fact deny those people the right to wear such clothes as unfitting or un-chaste.

In the melee surrounding the Egyptian events few bothered to report the increased number of rocket attacks on Southern Israel. – except the much maligned Egyptian Army. A Grad Rocket (not the smaller Kassam) narrowly missed a wedding celebration (CCTV)

Australia and Canada understand the situation far better than older democracies.
Last week, Canada’s Free Thinking Film Society was scheduled to screen Iranium, a new documentary about the regime that has ruled Iran since 1979, its drive to acquire nuclear weapons, and the dangers that poses to the West. But then the Iranian embassy complained and — coincidently — threats and “suspicious letters” were received at the National Archives in Ottawa, where the event was to take place, the Archives cancelled the screening and shut the building. However Minister of Heritage James Moore delivered a Churchillian response.“This movie will be shown, the agreement will be kept,” he said. “We will not be moving it to a different facility, we’re not bending to any pressure. People need to be kept safe, but we don’t back down to people who try to censor people by threats of violence. Canada does not accept attempts from the Iranian Embassy to dictate what films will and will not be shown in Canada.” AGAIN BRAVO CANADA!!!

Of all the people in power that our work has enabled us to meet, one who stands out above them all. Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen is an exceptional woman and I am proud to say that she and Dexter are dear friends. Loved and admired by politicians on both sides of the Congress and Senate as an honest broker who is loyal to her beliefs and honest in her dealings, she has gathered respect and believability in a world almost devoid of both. This week I went to a memorial service for Ileanas mother Amanda Ros, together with Adv. David Efron and State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. The service was exceptional on every level, held in a non-denominational church in the “Little Cuba” area of Miami, attended only by friends of the family. The clergy were Catholic, Methodist, Evangelical, a Rabbi and the Israeli Consul General in Florida. Each spoke of Amanda’s Jewish roots, she became a Catholic when she married Enrique, and the Jewishness of her heritage and her good works – and the love of Israel she imbued in her children. The hymns were mostly Davids psalms and when the priest gave the final blessing he turned to the assembled clergy and the family and said “When a person passes on it is irrelevant what faith they embraced because a good person will be welcomed by the angels” May Amanda’s soul rest in peace and the Ros-Lehtinen family know now more sorrow.

Marna Winter is a friend. In truth we have been friends for far longer than either of us realised but that is another story!! Marna and I went to a delightful open air mall the other night, and after walking around the grounds (OK and the shops) we sat and talked of “Cabbages and Kings”. I noted that most of the staff and the diners were immigrants – the harmony of a hundred languages is apparently common to most countries today

The Chilean miners are coming!!!! At the invitation of Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, 31 of the 33 miners, their spouses, the Regional Governor of Atacama and Chilean journalists will come to Israel in a Pilgrimage of Thanks on the 23rd February. They will visit sites holy to Christianity, and some of Israel’s leading tourism locations. including the Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Garden of Gethsemane, Room of the Last Supper, the Western Wall and King David’s Tomb. They will be welcomed by President Shimon Peres for an official welcome reception in his residence. I will be there and take Zvi with me as my translator!

Yesterday I received some exciting news. Danny Seaman was the controversial Director of the Foreign Press Office of the Government Press Office in Israel. Why controversial? Because Danny is no-nonsense, doesn’t suffer fools and wanted certain standards from the foreign Press who walked all over us. Danny was ousted from his position and yesterday wrote telling me he has won the position of Deputy Director General for Information at the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs. Basically, he will be in charge of the Ministry’s Hasbara activities, and hopefully, over time, will be able to influence things to a degree that Israel’s hasbara won’t be “a joke” as Melanie Phillips stated so profoundly on Israel television recently! The irony is that he will be responsible for… the GPO! MAZAL TOV DANNY. Israel is lucky to have your love of Israel and ability.

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom and take heart our sense of humour and self-mockery will hold us in good stead – there is a great joke going around


With much love from the warm love of our gracious hosts and their friends and our friends…. some of whom we have seen some are yet to see during the week…….