Friday, 31 December 2010

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem

31st December 2010
Shabbat Shalom – and a happy happy new year.

Gosh, this year has been like a Chinese curse........ very interesting!!!!
The events that stand out fr me - in no particular order -
Former Israeli President Katsav was found guilty yesterday on two counts of rape and one of aggravated sexual harassment. The trial was held in camera with three judges who came to a unanimous decision. I am proud of our legal system, in Israel no-one is above the law, no crimes are swept under the carpet of diplomacy. As a hopeful augur of times to come the BBC reporter said that the trial showed what a healthy democracy Israel is.

The largest natural gas reserves ever were discovered off-shore by Israel. Apparently Moses knew exactly where he was going, and the Arab threat to drive us into the sea should have been a hint!!!!

Israel's economy is thriving while her detractors are still wallowing in a morass of fiscal disasters and terrorism threats. Christmas was deeply threatened in the USA, Germany, UK although the threat was thwarted. Now Denmark is threatened, both the newspaper which published the cartoons under threat and staff lives.

The fire in the Carmel Forest took the lives of 44 people. The fire itself was sad but the forest will regenerate with our help, the lives, lost through stupidity ,can never be recreated. The only positive is that we discovered that the world was willing to show us the same care we showed them and rushed to our help.

Israeli teams flew to Haiti the moment the extent of the tragedy was recognised. They are still there. Israeli police helped restore order, Israeli doctors heal the sick, Israeli bureaucrats helped restore civil authorities. We rush to every place that needs us.

The Mavi Marmara humanitarian ship was part of a flotilla to draw attention to the starving people of Gaza. There were more than a few errors of judgement. They were predominantly violent agitators; they had no real aid; Gaza doesn't need any aid; they took the ship apart to create weapons to beat the IDF within an inch of their lives; the IDF did not plan nor execute the boarding in a logical manner. It was a PR disaster in a world willing to accept untruths.

We sat glued to our television screens in fearful anticipation as the Chilean miners sang, exercised and spoke to their families while the rescue teams dug and dug - with unbelievable success.

Jesus was declared a Palestinian and the Temple Mount a Moslem site unrelated to Judaism or Christianity and Rachel's Tomb declared a Moslem Holy site – by the UN.

We got discovered in Dubai, not through the cameras as everyone thinks but through credit cards....... so dumb!

We joined the OECD and immediately went to the top in terms of our thriving economy.

We discovered viable options in the treatment of cancer and heart disease

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman says it like it is and the soft West doesn't like his truth. The good cop – bad cop act of Yvette and Bibi may not appeal to the PC sensibilities of the West but we live in a very nasty neighbourhood where standing tall and showing strength are the only defence.

This week we spent a delightful evening with Harry and Nancy Bloomfield from Montreal. Harry and Nancy are political opposites as far as Israel is concerned, Harry feels it important that we appear good in the foreign press and finds Avigdor Libermans direct approach offensive; Nancy says it is nobody's business except those whose sons and daughters fight for our country. Of course I am with Nancy, we need leaders who can stand up to our neighbours not those who look pretty on CNN.

Yesterday Saeeb Erekat, the Palestinian Chief Negotiator, spoke at a multi-cultural conference here in Jerusalem. I believe that peace will truly come when an Israeli negotiator is able to speak in front of a multi-cultural conference in Ramallah.... without being killed. Did you know that most of the top Palestinians enjoy the cuisine of the American Colony Hotel and the top, highly expensive restaurants in Tel Aviv, Herzliya and Jerusalem?

Barmitzva buses are arriving in the thousands!!!! Families from around the world are running bar mitzva tours. The children have fun and the parents ensure their sense of continuity through a deep contact with their roots.
Weddings here are fun too! Some are humungeous, some are just family and close friends. The wedding of our friends Madeleine and Martins daughter Orly and her delightful new husband Lior was very special. It wasn't the food or even the lovely intimate hall, it was the incredible sense of joy and fun and love that the families brought with them. I even danced!!!!

2010 was Israels best tourism year ever! Our family is increasing the numbers in the new year as my eldest son Daniel, his lovely wife Karen, adorable little boy Joshy and his loved mother in law Ellen are coming to stay with us this week. I am so excited!!! It means that I can walk through the Old City , the Israel Museum, the Biblelands, the Zoo, the Bloomfield Science Museum, Little Israel and of course.........Mahane Yehuda. It is strange how the sights and smells of that magical place capture ones imagination. Nancy Bloomfield said she was standing in the middle of Mahane Yehuda and all my description were rushing through her mind as she turned to see the colours of the succulent vegetables and fruits, the heady aroma of the spices and of course the yelling of the costermongers “Yalla Yalla – best in town only 10 shekels”. I love it!!!

We are starting 2011 with joyous occasions, my family coming here and us going to Florida to be with our “other “ family for the Lindenfeld Double Barmitzva of Ilan and Jeremy. It seems like forever since we spent time with them and we miss them so much so this is the perfect opportunity! Zvi will go to see his family in San Diego and Mexico City but I am resting after my ankle break – it is much better but needs a little time without chasing around!!!

Christmas came and a record number of Christians came to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to celebrate. It was beautiful.

My wishes for 2011,
I wish for less knee jerk loyalties in the world, more reasoned expectations understanding of democratic and strategic alliances and a vision of true friendship.
I wish that the democracies of the world would defend themselves and their rights and stop their false concern for those who claim to be oppressed yet become the oppressors of their hosts.

My resolutions for 2011
To stand up to bullies and be ready to stand up and fight for the cashier or clerk with the same vigour that I defend my country because they are my country.
To remember that there are people like Malcolm Hedding, Malcolm Hoenlein, Canon Andrew White, Irwin Cotler, Alan Dershowitz, Ileana Ros Lehtinen and of course Itamar Marcus in this world and emulate their incredible determination for Tikun Olam.
To tell those I love that I love them – at least once a day.
To use my ears and mouth in the relative ratio, just as my Mummy used to teach us

My wishes for 2011 are epitomised in this song -Tshmor al ha Olam Yeled – Child, take care of this world because we aren't capable

Jerusalem is slowing down already. The rain has washed the dust of the last few weeks away leaving the buildings glistening. The shiny roads are emptying, the buses heading off to the nearby bus depot and the Kurdiwsh families sit down to their kubeh soup. Salads of every nature, none of them with lettuce, are set out on heaving tables – Matbucha, Turkish salad, hummous, finely diced vegetables with chopped mint and lemon, couscous salads and the inevitable piping hot mushroom and spice salad which sits atop the humous..... alongside vegetables stuffed with spicy meat and rice, wonderful chamin or cholent and of course good old chicken soup with fluffy kneidlach.........

I wish you a truly wonderful and delicious Shabbat with people who love you. I wish you peace, joy, fulfillment and pride in who you are and the strength to shout it from the rooftops.

Shabbat Shalom from the most amazing, fascinating, spiritually satisfying city in the world


Friday, 24 December 2010

Shabbat Shalom Yuletide Sameach letter from Jerusalem

24th December 2010

Shabbat Shalom and Joyous Yuletide to all

Today we have almost entirely good news which seems appropriate to the date!

One piece of good news raised a huge question in my mind. Police and Secret Services both in the US and UK succeeded in finding and arresting some of those who planned major terror attacks over Christmas in the UK, Germany, France and the USA. The attacks were to take place in major population centres while people were either celebrating or shopping. That is the good news indeed, the bad news is that there is such evil in this world that Islamic fundamentalism chose to kill Christmas. It is clear that this is Islamic terror yet somehow it is non-PC to say so or to engage in ethnic profiling for either investigations or preventive security yet it has become quite PC to be anti-Semitic and anti-Israel despite the fact that we are not to blame for any of this indeed are at the sharp end of both sticks receiving hate from the street and censure from governments who should know better!! What contrary ethics bring our world to such conclusions I cannot even begin to understand.

Wikileaks is about to leak some new American documents relating to Israel, lets hope that the release of these internal documents will allow us to know what the US really thinks about Israel, her only ally in the entire region. Hopefully it will not be detrimental to our relationhsip. Especially after Condi's document saying Israel blew up the Syrian reactor (and if we did, and I am not saying a word, Kol ha Kavod!)

One beam of light at the end of this tunnel is the wonderful Congresswoman Ileana Ros Lehtinen, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman, who is now rightfully one of the most powerful women in the world. Ileana knows Israel well after more visits than she can count, yet remains a fair and honest arbiter. Ileana is a no nonsense, feisty, determinedly honest politician at a time when everyone kow tows either to oil money or to the State Department; she will not tow anybody's line rather make her own judgements. Ileana Ros Lehtinen, friend, Zvi and I wish you Mazal tov and the strength to continue your path of determination to recognise just who is Americas ally and who her enemy.

About two weeks ago it came to our attention that the bus services of a suburb of Seattle were to carry a highly emotive message condemning Israel's actions in Gaza. The campaign has been rejected. This decision came following yesterday's meeting of Jewish community leaders with senior members of the King County Executive's office and Metro Transit management about the potential threat to the Seattle-area Jewish community, after over 2,000 emails, and after numerous organizations, including StandWithUs, announced plans to run ads either countering this ad and/or promoting the positives of Israel.
The biggest thank you here goes to all of you who responded to the StandWithUs Northwest alerts and flooded the King County government with emails and phone calls. Kol HaKavod!! Great job!
Write to Dow Konstantine, King County Executive to thank him and his council

As always, Barry Shaw captures what we all know in a few punchy words. This week his analogy of neighbours is exactly what I say about Israel and HER neighbours! A short and good read.

Not everything is rosey in Israel. We have some extremists here too although they do not preach terror and destruction, I find the idea that city Rabbis ban their congregants from renting homes to non-Jews abhorrent. That Moslems do so to both Christians and Jews in Arab towns both inside Israel and most certainly in the Arab countries is not an example I would wish to emulate. Equally the attempt at political blackmail by certain parties in the coalition not to recognise IDF conversions brings a sense of despair. It will not help but the attempt is a disgrace.

This week I have been out and about much more. Still not to markets but doing good things. Last night we went to a phenomenal concert at the Jerusalem Theatre, an invited audience to a concert in honour of KKL and played by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra in its full glory! The programme was outstanding and the young Conductor, no the “child” conductor Daniel Cohen was impressive. They played Sibelius, Smetana, Mark Lavri and Vivaldis Four Seasons, so appropriate to the KKL's work. It was truly breathtaking. Persuade your city to invite this orchestra and feel yourself burst with pride.

At first we had amazing seats, middle centre, but of course I still need to stretch my leg out, otherwise it becomes rather uncomfortable so we moved down to the front row, suddenly seeing the expressions of the musicians, Russian faces, Israeli faces, Dutch faces, Italian faces all content with the evenings programme of delightfully melodic pieces. From our new vantage point I noticed shoes in a forest of legs. Obviously black shoes but there were winklepicking pleated ones and squared toed shiny ones; Laced and elastic, slip-on and boots; unpolished crackly ones and high heel fashion ones; unkempt and perfectly maintained; I tried to work out if the fiddlers were neater than the trombonists but it was so mixed there was no rhyme nor reason.....except of course for the patent leather shoes of the conductor jumping and tapping excitedly before my eyes. I felt it a fine lesson in humanity. We do not fit any categories or boxes, we are each different and as with shoes we all have a specific usefulness and comfort levels, some pinchingly “in” style and some just comfortable, but in a diverse fashion all equally pertinent and equally valid.

The days are shorter and the nights longer and Jerusalem's City council and KKL are handing out free Christmas trees to her Christian community; the government has made it easy for Christians to come to both Jerusalem and Bethlehem from the PA and Gaza easing restrictions and enabling them to come and celebrate this Holy time as they should and where they wish. It is a difficult time for Christians all over the Middle East but at least there is one country where they are free to pray and celebrate, right here in Israel. The road between the Talpiot neighbourhood and Bethlehem (Derech Bet Lehem – Bethlehem Road) is lit up with Christmas decorations to ensure a festive atmosphere for Christians on their way to Manger Square.

My dear friend Yitzchok sent me a note reminding me that there is nothing new under the sun. Each day in his synagogue Kind Davids 83rd Psalm is said – so relevant to our lives today and why we are here.
As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze, Carmel forest tragedyso may you pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane! Which hit the beaches of Israel

Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord. Recent wikileaks about Iran

Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace,

that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.

We wish you a truly wonderful weekend, however you celebrate and whatever you celebrate. As we reach a new year, twenty eleven, let's pray for a reawakening of understanding, acceptance and that oh so important word SOVLANUT- tolerance.

Hey, you wouldn't kill someone for wearing different shoes would you?

Shabbat Shalom and Yuletide Sameach
With much love

Friday, 17 December 2010

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem

Friday, 17th December, 2010

Shabbat Shalom and a wonderful Advent as the Christian world joyously moves toward Christmas Festivities

The United States feels that it is far from the fighting in the Middle East yet Ahmedinejads proxy is right on their doorstep and building an arsenal that should really concern the United States Government and the people of the USA. Chavez is not a joke, Chavez is a very, very dangerous megalomaniac who is willing to lie down with snakes to gain world domination.
Chavez gets better missiles

“Decoy Jew” is a new phrase in the Netherlands. Jews are no longer safe in major Dutch cities such as Amsterdam. Since 1999, Jewish organizations in the Netherlands have been complaining that Jews who walk the Dutch streets wearing skullcaps risk verbal and physical attacks by young Muslims. Being insulted, spat at or attacked are some of the risks associated with being recognizable as a Jew. It is often said that the Jews are the canary in the coalmine. When the Jews feel compelled to leave, the light of freedom is being extinguished. Something is badly wrong when the police need to deploy “decoy Jews.” Once again, the spectre of anti-Semitism is haunting Europe. If the Europeans do not stand with the Jews, they deserve no freedom themselves and cities such as Amsterdam and Antwerp will soon be Islamic cities.

Kissinger, Court Jews and Anti-Semites by Isi Leibler

Few would be shocked with details of further anti-Semitic outbursts by former president Richard Nixon revealed in the latest transcripts of tapes released from the Nixon library. He was a vulgar man whose foul mouthing extended beyond Jews to Afro-Americans, Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans and other ethnic groups.

It is nevertheless ironic that Nixon's name tends to enrage most Jews who view him as an evil psychotic, whilst they continue to adore President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who during the Holocaust, denied entry to the US to Jews who could have been saved and was personally responsible for vetoing all efforts to intervene on behalf of European Jews being butchered by the Nazis. In fact, one could say that he acted in accordance with the Kissinger formula that "putting Jews into gas chambers was not an American concern."..............

To me, Nixon was the president who, despite his unsavory character and negative traits, will be recorded in history as the leader who during the 1973 Yom Kippur War overruled his Jewish Secretary of State who sought to delay arms to Israel in order to boost Sadat and make Israel more pliable in negotiating with the Egyptians. Nixon's massive weapons airlift provided Israel with desperately needed arms. That he harbored dark prejudices against American Jews [who voted overwhelmingly against him] but admired Israelis, is ultimately of minor consequence. We should remain eternally grateful to him for having avoided countless additional Israeli casualties and possibly even having averted a disaster for the Jewish State.

Richard Holbrooke, American Diplomat supreme, who achieved the Dayton Accords which brought an end to the war in Bosnia, passed away this week. Dore Gold considers how very different the Middle East would look - If Holbrooke had been given the Israel-Palestinian file.

MK David Rotem was furious that the IDF conversions supervised by the Chief Rabbi of the IDF were being undermined by Rabbis whose children never went into the army or served Israel. His bill received a vast majority in the Knesset vote to accept IDF conversions. It is not acceptable that young people serve their country in IDF yet become second class citizens and have their conversions revoked retroactively.
Rabbis, raise your voices against extremism Isi Leibler

While Israel is handing out free Christmas trees, and the Mayor of Jerusalem and Prime Minister Netanyahu are meeting and greeting leaders of Jerusalems 52 Christian denominations and preparing Jerusalem for the influx of Christian Tourism for the Holy Festival of Christmas; in almost all other countries in the Middle East Christians are oppressed and even killed.

Even more terrifying is the evidence given by captured Al Qaeeda operatives in Iraq of concrete plans for terror attacks in Europe and the USA over the Christmas period. Foul plans to kill on this joyous occasion makes me angry. When will we wake up? When will the idiotic need to kowtow, fawn and lick the boots of those very countries which threaten our very existence end?

Finally and at last I have been venturing out and meeting people again as my ankle allows me to do more and more things. It was so exciting for me to finally meet Barry Shaw and his beautiful wife Carol who came to the Inbal Hotel for the Honest Reporting conference (which I didn't make!). Barry is a wonderful writer and “hasbara” man who lives in Netanya – he wrote the now famous letter about Boycotting Israel -
On Monday we were invited by Albert Dadon AM, Chairman of the Australia Israel Leadership Forum to a Dinner at the King David Hotel. Among the guests were Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the wonderful Australian Ambassatrix to Israel Andrea Faulkner. Paul Israel is the appropriately named representative of the Forum in Israel and does a grand job of putting everything together. The event was greatly oversubscribed but it was to our advantage since we found ourselves at the same table as Itamar Marcus, one of my hasbara heroes, who runs the outstanding Palestinian Media Watch. I am happy to tell you that Itamar has decided to take on the plight of Christians in the Middle East as one of the NGO's projects.

On Tuesday we went to our lovely friends the Resslers in Tel Aviv for an amazing dinner at which we met a lovely couple from Texas here to set up the Israeli gas prospecting, the President of the Diplomatic Women and just delightful people. Life is becoming so much more than my bed and the orthopaedic surgeon!!!

Jerusalem is closing down. Zvi has gone to a rehearsal for his choir and I have finished the cooking and preparation for Shabbat. The bright skies are turning a gentler blue and the skyline becomes sharper as the sun goes down in the sky. The horrendous rains and sandstorms of last weekend are past and the city is sparkling again. The aromas rise and every Kurdish Israeli sits down to a Friday lunch of Kubeh soup, the aroma of Chicken soup and kneidlach sit on my senses together with the stuffed vegetables and spicy fish of the Eastern Jews. Life here is amazing, as varied as the culinary delights! Next week I will hopefully tell you of my visit to Shouk Mahane Yehuda with Judith.
I wish you a Shabbat Shalom and peaceful Sabbath, and pray that we will all have a truly joyous holiday period whereby our enemies will be recognised and the world will understand that the battle has nothing to do with a few houses being built in Jerusalem
With much love


Friday, 10 December 2010

Letter from Jerusalem - Carmel Forest fire

10th December 2010

Shabbat Shalom! Todays letter will be just a little different from the usual info-mail, since I am in a strange, rather maudlin state of mind. Last week stupidity started the dreadful fire in the Carmel Forest Park, when a 14 year old from the village of Usfiya, bunked off school to smoke a nargila (hubble bubble), finished smoking and simply threw the coals and silver paper away. He ran scared the moment he saw the start of the conflagration, scared that he would be blamed, he didn't tell anyone. Of course the tinder dry brush and trees burst into flame and the winds carried it further and further.
A teenage folly turned into a national tragedy with 42 dead and two horribly burned. Haifa's police Chief Ahuva Tomer died of her woulds sustained while trying to help the firefighters and prison warders who perished in the bus succumbed to her injuries only after the fire was out. The national tragedy became a test of friendship as the most surprising countries came to our aid, including the PA, Egypt and Jordan and the Bulgarians became the favourites. The real heroes however were our own firefighters, police and first responders who put their lives on the line for days on end without thought of their own safety, leading the hundreds of overseas firefighters who came to help. In their excitement at the countries who came to our aid, the media hype seemed to gloss over our own heroes who lost 40 of their own. When the skies opened and the rains came down the day after the huge supertanker flew over the fires many people thought that the heavens were laughing at us but I believe that G-d waited to see who came to Israel's aid in her time of need before putting out the flames.

Incredibly a love story came out of the flames. He is Swiss Air Force's deputy commander; she is an Israeli from Rosh Haayin. They met two years ago, but Carmel disaster rekindled their love as he arrived to help fight wildfire. Now, Colonel Stefan Balsiger plans to move to Israel for good,7340,L-3996074,00.html

Benjamin Netanyahu - 'As the fire that burns the forest, and as the flame that sets the mountains ablaze.' This past week...we saw it in all its strength....on Mt. Carmel, where the prophet Elijah brought down fire from Heaven... brave people from all over the world came to help Israel in this hour of need and joined our brave firefighters and police... The People of Israel are an ancient people with long memories.
If you wish to donate to Israel's firefighters

At the foot of this letter I will give you the emails of newspapers in the assisting countries to write and thank them for their help.

When I asked you to write to Canadian Prime Minister Harper after his statement that Canada would stand by Israel no matter what the cost you responded. I was delighted to hear that Mr Harpers office replied to each and every one of you. It seems that Mr Harper is a true friend and a true statesman.

The support of Mr Harper and Australias Julia Gillard has been soured by the EU and South American countries who have declared support for the PA. They do not live with the pain of being bombed daily or hearing calls for our destruction among denials of our right to the Temple Mount, Rachels Tomb or any of the major Judeo/Christian sites. They hear calls for Israel to stop building in the disputed territories yet do not demand a stop to Palestinian attacks; the uproar over civic Rabbis demand that Jews do not sell homes to Arabs in Jewish areas (which horrified me) was not met with similar dismay at the Arabs who beat up a Jewish family that wanted to buy in an Arab neighbourhood.

One should choose ones friends with care, knowing that one will be identified with their principles. Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has expressed his personal support for the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, who is responsible for the genocide in Darfur.

We are the most innovative country, a giving country which sends her scientists and agronomists to help build third world countries into viable self-sustaining entities yet we are called racists.......... indeed the standards by which we are judged is inverse morality where the greatest criminals of human rights are the policemen of human rights at the UN.

Tonight the real rain will fall, the exceptionally hot autumn and winter temperatures will swoop downward and snow will fall on the Hermon and maybe even here in Jerusalem! The storms will bring respite to the parched earth and water to the Kinneret. Maybe it will refresh the air and wash away the tears as Israel once again rises as a Phoenix and begins to plant her trees......... after all Israel is the only country in the world to increase the number of trees consistently each year thanks to the KKL.

This has been a sad week, dear friends have passed on and it makes one understand just how precious our loved ones are and how easily we take them for granted. Remember to tell your family how precious they are to you and make your Shabbat even more blessed.

With much love from Jerusalem, still sunny but cooling down.

Palestinian Authority

UK Guardian
USA NY Times

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Letter from Jerusalem - Carmel Forest fire


2nd December 2010

This morning the fire department of Haifa and the Carmel Forest region were informed of a forest fire which began in several separate areas, suggesting arson. They raced to prevent the fire spreading but could not succeed. The flames spread toward kibbutzim and moshavim, villages and towns all of which had to be evacuated now there is concern for the Druze town of Tirat ha Carmel.

The exceptionally dry autumn and winter mean that this exquisite nature reserve was tinder dry ensuring the effectiveness of any arson attempt. Fire crews arrived from all over Israel to no avail. The authorities realised that one of Israels jails was in the line of the flames and decided to evacuate the prisoners to other prisons. The difficult exercise involved bringing in warders and warder cadets from other areas to assist. As the bus travelled road number four the flames suddenly engulfed the bus and 40 warders and cadets lost their lives. Following closely behind the bus was Major General Ahuva Tomer, Haifa Police Chief. The Major General is fighting for her life with over 80% burns.

Our fire brigades have exhausted their resources and currently we await assistance from Italy, Cyprus and Greece.

This fire is the worst in Israel's history, but is not the first that has started in suspicious circumstances.

Prime Minister Netanyahu declared a national state of emergency calling an emergency meeting with the fire, police, ambulance, IDF, and all first response orgnaisations to take combined action against the fire. Mr Netanyahu has asked for help from all the friendly nations nearby and for the United States to send any firefighting aircraft that can reach us in time.
President Peres asked us all to pray for a new Chanuka miracle that this fire will cease.

Druze Member of Knesset Ayoub Kara spoke with anger of the lives of Israels finest lost due to a diabolical crime of arson “Whoever did this should receive the death penalty”.

Israel is burning and praying that even a few of those nations we have helped will return the favour.

Shabbat Shalom and Chanuka Sameach as we face yet another trial.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem

26th November 2010

Shabbat Shalom to you.

We have an enormous amount of news to cover today so I will give you a precis and a link where appropriate and just a headline where not – I don't want you getting bored!!!!!

Refugees from hunger, war and oppression in Africa walk to Israel over the Egyptian/Israel border......... yes to Israel not to the Arab countries. Egypt shoots them rather than arrest them! Genuine refugees, such as those from Darfur are accepted and given safe haven and amnesty in Israel but there are thousands who some here because through word of mouth they learn that we are a civilised and generous country. We cannot accept everyone, like other countries we must choose our citizens but there is a problem........... how do you send people back to hunger, even those who steal across the border at night? We cannot do what America does and build a colossal wall and shoot those who break through. The government is debating the possibility of building refugee facilities to gather the illegals together but the sight of black faces gathered behind fences – albeit with all facilities provided- is too emotionally charged. It allows our detractors to misuse the pictures. Comparisons are too easy.

Greece, our newest best friend, has made a decision to return Greek citizenship to Holocaust survivors. The media is overjoyed. Why? Why in G-d's name did they lose it!!!!

Erdogan of Turkey put his foot in his mouth yet again, while visiting Lebanon, claiming that if Israel attacks Lebanon, West Bank or Gaza he will.....well we don't know what he will do and it is irrelevant since we don't attack – we respond and defend! The only good thing to come from Erdogan is Israel's new relationship with Greece!!!!

Professor Gerald Steinberg wrote an excellent article EXPOSING THE HUMAN RIGHTS FACADE The people and institutions that claim to uphold human rights and democracy are in fact nullifying these core moral principles.

Canada – excellent work by various bodies stopped UBC funding for Gaza Flotilla 2011.

Canada announced it will boycott the proposed Durban 3. Kol ha Kavod!!!

Still in Canada a moderate Moslem condemns virulent anti-Semitism. One can be Pro-Palestinian without hating Jews. My thanks to Wayne Shur for sending it to me.

BBC Panorama found that more than 40 Saudi Students' Schools and Clubs are teaching the official Saudi national curriculum to about 5,000 pupils. Curriculum and books found to be offensive and anti-Semitic

Jews, Moslems and Christians joined together in a West Bank village to pray for rain in the parched Holy Land. 50 people gathered in the village of Al-Walajah between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, with representatives of each religion offering their own prayers. Israel, the Palestinian territories and the whole area have been plagued by several years of drought.

On Tuesday November 30th New York will see an attempt to frighten (terrorise) New Yorkers to boycott Israeli goods. Stores. Ensure those stores are not forced to remove Ahava and many Israeli products from their shelves due to lack of interest (fear). Buy, order and ensure the products and go to the stores mentioned below.

The Rev Malcolm Hedding is the Director of the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem and a true friend and supporter of Israel. This is his response to the libelous letter written by Rev Arisson a South African Minister
The Palestinians claim that the Kotel is not part of the Holy Temple. Duh!!! Of course not, it is part of the supporting wall of the Temple Mount which predates everyone and everything else as a Jewish Holy site by at least 1,000 years. It was chosen as the "Wailing Wall" as the closets point beneath the Holy of Holies to mourn the destruction of the Second Temple.

My friend Yitzchok lives in the UK but his heart is in Jerusalem. He brought to my attention that those who lambast Israel have problems.... NZ, Ireland, UK, Turkey, Greece, et economy and disasters – and the Israeli economy thriving. As a result of his comment I found this quote from Zecharia “And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”

The cries of the uninformed claim a humanitarian abuses yet 180,000 Palestinians were treated in Israeli Hospitals this year. Thanks to efficient cooperation between the Israeli and the Palestinian sides, tens of thousands of Palestinians patients benefit from treatments in Israeli hospitals each year. Now that's the truth!

This week we went to have my cast removed. What an experience. The waiting room was filled with Arabs, Jews, Russians and Ethiopians........ the usual rainbow, all waiting to see Dr Rubenstein, the orthopaedic surgeon. There is a clear rule, everyone according to the time of his appointment except for dire emergencies and soldiers. Dr Rubenstein takes soldiers first, between and as his honoured patients. The strange thing is that even those noisy people who shout at anyone who might go before them in line are quiet about this rule. The doctor was pleased with me so I went off to the Russian lady who sued a circular saw (well that's what I thought) to remove the cast and then to Xray with an Arab technician and back to the doctor. I WAS FREE!!! Physiotherapy and sturdy brogues ar ethe order of the day but I really appreciate being able to move!!!!

My greatest excitement is that within a short time I can go back to exploring the lanes, walls, malls and arcades of Jerusalem doing my favourite thing in the world.........people watching!!!! Winter is still elusive, although the nights are now quite chilly and misty which brings the phenomenal moon-rises that take my breath away, watching the enormous golden globe rise on the horizon, rising fast as if it couldn't wait to be aloft shining down on Jerusalem, ensuring her golden beauty. Maybe next week I will be able to tell you that I am back in Mahane Yehuda, smelling the spicy aromas, listening to the multi-accented calls of the costermongers and most of all, walking among the variegated people of Jerusalem in their multi-faceted glory.

I wish you Shabbat Shalom and hope that yesterday, Americans or not, you remembered to say thank you for all the amazing benefits of our lives and remembered who to thank.

With much love

Friday, 19 November 2010

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem

19th November 2010

Shabbat Shalom
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has drawn up an agreement with the United States Government to continue the building moratorium with the exclusion of Jerusalem. Jerusalem's exclusion from the moratorium would be an enormous achievement for the Prime Minister and for Israel showing Jerusalem's special status. The supposed “reward” for agreeing to the moratorium is a false hope. The aeroplanes were part of a deal signed by Ehud Barak several weeks ago; We are asked to stop building and decide on the final borders of both Israel and the PA within 90 days without any solution to the refugees, compensation, the status of Jerusalem and all outstanding issues; we will not be given the planes already within our special arrangement and our Prime Minister will appear to be rigid and warmongering if he doesn't agree and the Palestinians are expected to do.......... nothing, not even recognise our existence as a Jewish National home!!!! We must read and understand exactly what this demand entails and its repercussions. Prime Minister Netanyahu has an enormous task on his head because no-one understands the might of these demands.

The United Nations needs serious re-evaluation. Its conduct, purpose and bias are clear, but then I decided to check who pays what in terms of their UN fees. Israel pays more than $40 million a year membership fees to the United Nations, which is more than any Arab or Islamic country including the oil rich ones! Iran pays $4.3 million while the US pays $598 million, surely time for a major assessment of the balance of power in the UN and a determined outside investigation of its disproportional responses to Israel! Maybe suggesting that in order to be on the Human Rights council one should have an impeccable record on human rights?
Canon Andrew White is in Baghdad where the mayhem is complete as the local extremists take the Allied withdrawal as victory. The Christian community is under siege and decimated by bombs and terror attacks. Andrew no longer lives on the American Army compound, his only refuge is in St Georges Church compound. He has lost 100 members of his flock recently and one of his drivers lost his legs in a targetted bombing. The Very Reverend, Canon Dr. Andrew White said these few simple words in a personal email to me and gave me permission to tell you and the world “There is only one country in the entire Middle East where Christians are safe and that is Israel.”

The London Revue of Books would, one would think, review books. Apparently its raison d'etre is to write scurrilous lies about Israel. Among the articles this Arts Council publication has published:
* "The state of Israel wishes to inculcate in its soldiers a "neo-Nazi ideology wrapped in Judaism." (LRB article, 22 July 2004)
* "Should Arabs in Israel be forcibly sterilized to prevent their children outnumbering the children of Israel's Jews? ... Was this inherent in the Zionist idea?" (LRB article by Charles Glass, 24 June 2004)
* "Gas chambers are not the only way to destroy a nation [like the Palestinians]. It is enough to destroy its social tissue, to starve dozens of villages, to develop high rates of infant mortality." (LRB article by vehemently anti-Zionist Israeli Yitzhak Laor, 9 May 2002)
* Yasser Arafat is "admirable" for not having "betrayed his people and accepted the offer [of an independent Palestinian state] made at Camp David." (LRB article by Raja Shehadeh)
* LRB readers were told that the IDF were "arrest[ing] hundreds of people... [and] concentrating them in camps behind barbed wire". (LRB article) Please read Tom Gross' report

Liu Xiaobo is the winner of this years Nobel Peace Prize but he will not be able ot receive it since he is in prison for expressing his opinions against the ruling party in his home country of China. His wife was allowed to tell him but she is in house arrest too; his family cannot go because they have been warned not to. Thus the headline should read PEACE HAS BEEN CANCELLED IN 2010

Further to Leakpedia on Tuesday a website published a list of 200 IDF soldiers which it classifies as directly involved in operations carried out in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. Each entry features the soldiers and officers' pictures and personal details, including identification numbers and addresses. This endangers many Israeli soldiers and could lead to their arrest in a Europe hungry for excuses.,7340,L-3986365,00.html
147 years ago Abraham Lincoln spoke the words of the Gettysburg Address. He too thought that war may cleave his nation....

Danny Seaman left his post heading the Prime Ministers Office Press Office for foreign journalists. Danny executed his enormous task with honour and with a great love and concern for Israel, which did not always meet with the approval of his seniors. He will be sorely missed – men of his calibre are rare.

Harry Potters grave is in Ramle! As the media hype builds over “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” Private Harry Potter was a British soldier killed in 1939 after a battle with an armed band of local Arabs and his grave in Ramle has now become a major tourist spot. I always felt that JK Rowling and Harry Potter were stories highly relevant to todays tribulations but this is ridiculous!!!!

Happiness is a moral obligation says Dennis Prager

Talking of happiness, I actually got out of the house this week and not to the doctors!! Girlfriends took me to drink coffee (Cafe Hafuch of course ) and eat wonderful salads. The other evening my childhood friend Susan took me to the Botanical Gardens, to Caffit Restaurant, which was overflowing with clientèle. We sat beside the pond, the balmy night air kissing the dark waters, mirror smooth, reflecting the trees on the far bank. The portions are as generous as the people and as we ate our complimentary anti pasti the most gigantic bowl piled high with a little lettuce, lots of vegetables, Bulgarian cheese and a huge pile of oven roaster sweet potato chips!!!! The setting, the company, the food and the fact that I was out of bed and out of house made the day complete!!! I cannot wait to return to the passages of the Old City, to my beautiful Mahane Yehuda Market where Zvi said they miss seeing me, to the streets and coffee shops where I can once again see the incredible rainbow of people who make up this exceptional city.

I often think that the greatest asset of Israelis is that we know what the world thinks of us and truthfully don't care. Those countries that most despise us in Europe are falling under enormous economic and social stagnation Israel is young, strong, vibrant, innovative, bubbling and so full of history that it is difficult for us to understand why anyone would think we don't belong here. As one elderly friend said to me “When I was in Europe they kept telling me to go back home to Jerusalem – now I am here they tell me to go back home to Europe”. We must remember that in a world that only reads headlines people have short memories. We have to defend what is ours and no matter how good the intentions of world leaders they cannot take away our homeland. How any leader that claims to be a Christian can deny our right to Jerusalem is beyond my understanding.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends, from the most breathtakingly beautiful city in the world

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The Israeli IDF Medical Corps Oath

This is what makes us different.

"I, a soldier in the Medical Corps of the Israel Defense Forces Take an oath
and swear on this day
To extend a helping hand to the wounded and to the sick.
Whether common or distinguished, friend or foe,
To each with respect I promise to bring healing and cure to the body and soul, to be discrete, faithful, and act with dignity, to weigh all my actions with reason, discretion andcompassion.
I shall be my brother's and sister's keeper, whether in battle, on a stretcher or at their besdie. I swear that on my heart shall forever be engraved the supreme commandment of self sacrifice:
Never to leave the wounded in the field. This I do swear"

Friday, 12 November 2010

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem


12th November 2010

Shabbat Shalom!

The 12th of November is one day after the 11th of November, which seems a somewhat banal statement until you remember the importance of the 11th of November, the day on which the Armistice was signed to signal the end of World War One – the Great War, the War to end all Wars. The hope that this was the end of all wars together with the sadness of the millions who died fighting; it wasn't. As a child Remembrance Day meant a sea of red poppies as all Brits wore the symbol of the fighting in Flanders Field on their lapel, and we all watched the sombre ceremony at the Senotaph, Londons War Memorial, on our tiny black and white televisions. It was unthinkable that anyone would go without a poppy or would not honour the fallen. Since coming ot Israel Remembrance Day holds a totally different memory, on of wailing sirens bringing a country to attention to honour the memory of the fallen. Maybe the USA, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand should introduce the tradition of a siren and attention so that one could see clearly those who keep walking because they care little for a fine history of fighting for democracy and freedom.

The US mid-term elections have been and gone and the predictions were correct, however, don't get excited. It is common that Presidents who do badly in the midterms go on to serve two terms, one should never take any moment in history alone, it always has a past!

The discussion concerning whether or not Israel should build homes in HER CAPITAL CITY takes the headlines again, pushed forward by Mrs Clinton. I just want you to understand how ludicrous it is, forget the fact that the land on which they don't want us to build houses was bought and paid for over one hundred years ago (Har Homa), that PM Yitzchak Rabin encouraged the building of Har Homa to “round out the boundaries of Jerusalem” and perhaps most importantly, I have not seen any demands upon the Palestinians!!!! We tried leaving entire areas (Gaza and Sinai including Yamit) and it not only brought rockets on our heads but it nearly broke Israeli society. Mrs Clinton should read the history books that her husband, Dennis Ross and Tony Blair had time for only when hey left office!

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it very clear how he feels about Israel.An excerpt “Harnessing disparate anti-Semitic, anti-American and anti-Western ideologies, it targets the Jewish people by targeting the Jewish homeland, Israel, as the source of injustice and conflict in the world, and uses, perversely, the language of human rights to do so.
We must be relentless in exposing this new anti-Semitism for what it is. Of course, like any country, Israel may be subjected to fair criticism. And like any free country, Israel subjects itself to such criticism – healthy, necessary, democratic debate. But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack – Is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand. Demonization, double standards, delegitimization, the 3 D’s, it is a responsibility, to stand up to them.

And I know, by the way, because I have the bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the United Nations, or any other international forum, the easy thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israeli rhetoric, to pretend it is just being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of “honest broker.” There are, after all, a lot more votes, a lot more, in being anti-Israeli than in taking a stand. But, as long as I am Prime Minister, whether it is at the UN or the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost. Not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israeli mob tells us all too well, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are, in the longer term, a threat to all of us.”

Sadly Canada is already paying the price for her honesty and determination to stand up for what is right by losing her15 year position in the United Nations Security Council. Hardly surprising, after all who wants a dissenting voice when perpetrating a constant bullying stance against one nation. If you wish to thank Prime Minister Harper Fax: 613-941-6900 E-mail:

Read more:

Mudar Zahran is a Jordanian born Palestinian who found that Israel is not to blame for what has happened. Indeed he speaks over the world on Israel's behalf including at the Israeli Embassy last week. Madur asserts that Israel has never practiced an apartheid policy against Palestinians or Arabs in Israel unlike Jordan, or Lebanon where thousands were slaughtered. I would go even further and say that all the Arab nations have contributed to the situation, never extending a helping hand and in Saudi Arabia they are treated as slaves.

Ariel Sharon was taken home yesterday to Sycamore Ranch, his beloved farm. It is hope that maybe the scents and sounds will awaken him but after a five year coma it is unlikely. It is a sad end to a lions life but at least he is in the palce he loved more than any other in the land he loved and fought for.

I want you to watch this video very carefully. In the world masters weightlifting competition in Poland 2010. The Israeli who won the championship extends his hand to the Iranian in second place, who clearly refuses the offer. What fascinated me was the tall Judge who in turn refused to shake the hand of the Iranian!!!!

When one man does the right thing miracles happen. Nicholas Winton worked in the Stock Exchange but in 1938 he went to visit a friend who was a British Diplomat in Prague, then Czechoslovakia. He immediately understood what was happening and moved into a Prague hotel and began the process of bringing children to Britain. Please if you see nothing else, watch this amazing video of under two minutes.

I am still almost house-bound so do not hav estories of Jerusalem for you today but I do hav eone heartwarming story for you. Deanna Sykes lives in Alberta Canada where she is a nurse. Deanna has been to Israel on Sarel and on trauma courses. During her visits Deanna fell in love with Sderot. She is here now, bringing hand made blankets of rbabies and working with the community there. Apparently it is not only the Prime Minister of Canada who has his priorities right!!! Thank you Deanna.

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom. Remember the power of one and use it!!!!


Friday, 5 November 2010

Shabbat Shalom and Barry Shaw


5th November 2010

Remember, remember the fifth of November,

Gunpowder treason and plot

So the childrens song goes to remember Guy Fawkes gunpowder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament on the 5th of November 1605 and the failed plot to bring the Catholics back into power. The world hasn't changed much, bombs are bigger and more lethal but religion is still the centre of everybody's war.

During the “boycott” period of so many left-wing organisations in Europe, the UK, Canada and the US n particular, Barry Shaw wrote this wonderful letter for the “Takeapen” website

After hearing about the senseless claims of Israel's “apartheid” society and fabricated war crimes I tried and tried to put my feelings into words, but it never expressed my frustration and anger. Barry Shaw, however, wrote my feelings, he wrote my anger, he wrote of my vexation at the refusal to see Israel as our home, ancestral, Biblical and current.

I make no excuses for his strong language and chose this original version rather than the polite one in the Jerusalem Post!!!

I wish you Shabbat Shalom and the strength to express yourselves as Barry does.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010


Abuse. Destruction. Exile. Persecution. Massacres. Concentration camps. Genocide. Wars. Terror. Delegitimisation. Anti-Semitism. For thousands of years.

Now you claim that you don't like the way I talk. I'm not polite. Rude. Tough shit!

You want to get abusive again? Let me tell you. You don't push us around any more.
We are no longer the meek, weak, Jew, walking submissively into the gas chamber.
Don't like that? Tough shit!

You say we act like bullies? Then, get out of my face.
You hate it when we hit back hard. Try living in my neighbourhood and let's see how you behave.

You think you can get the world to gang up on us. Try it. We'll circle our wagons and hang on to what we've got. It's Fortress Israel time.

Let me give you a warning. You spit on me. I'll slap your face. You hit me. I'll break your arms.
Just want to let you know. We don't take your crap any more.

I don't buy your bluff. I don't trust a word you say. Don't ask me to play nice in return for your promises. I don't believe you.
You want me to put my fate in your hands? Who are you kidding?

I do believe my enemies. I have learned one thing down the years. When my enemies tell me that they intend to kill me, they mean what they say.
So don't tell me to be soft. Soft doesn't sell in my neighbourhood.

To my enemies, let me say one thing. Your wars didn't work. Your terror scarred my soul, but didn't break me. You can't talk me out of existence. Your rockets failed to dent me. You want to try nuclear? Don't even think about it!

Don't like my attitude? Think I'm pushy? Shouldn't be around?

Tough shit! We're here to stay. Live with it!

Friday, 29 October 2010

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem


29th October 2010.

Shabbat Shalom! How are you? I hope you are doing well. I am now doing so much better and beginning to move around and cook although the family calls me Hopalong Cassidy!!!!!

Today is a very good day in Jerusalem, it looks like rain. After the searing heat of this seemingly unending summer even a few drops of life giving rain will be welcome.

Nigeria's secret service intercepted 13 containers of weapons from Iran on Tuesday in what Israeli defense sources believe may be part of a new smuggling route from Iran to Hamas in Gaza. Rocket launchers, grenades and other explosives camouflaged as building material were seized in the Nigerian port of Lagos after being unloaded from an Iranian ship. A friend, a Nigerian diplomat wrote and told me that her country is with us and that she knows that G-d is with us even through the difficult times.

While the world sits back and vaguely remembers the Haiti Earthquake Israeli medical teams are again the first back on the ground to deal with the Cholera outbreak. I wonder how many doctors the Palestinian Authority sent......or Saudi Arabia....... or Dubai.......?

Bishop Desmond Tutu chose the very last moment after years of organisation to condemn the Capetown Opera Company for their planned visit to Israel. He called upon the Opera to cancel their trip but they chose to ignore his protestations recognising them as political and ill-founded. Please contact the Cape Town Opera to show your support!

We are a people of survivors and we survive as a people while other greater nations fall. Why? How? What is the inner strength that raises us each time from insufferable obstacles and causes us to thrive. Alice Sommer Herz, at 106 the oldest Holocaust Survivor give the answer. Her love of life, her determination to continue playing the classical music which saved her life, to play Scrabble with her constant visitors and to throw a big 107th birthday party!!!! Read and watch and learn from her nature what it means to be a Jew. Thank you dear Andrea for sending me this story – it is lifechanging.
Do not miss one second of this video – not a second.

Isi Leibler is a fine writer, a religiously observant Jew and determined Zionist. Isi does not kowtow to authority and has a penchant for Tikkun Olam which brings him to reveal cracks in the system which need attention. Such is his letter of this week. Isi addresses the problem of the need to dismantle and re-form (or reform) the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. A fascinating read.

I am lucky enough to have more than one erudite friend and another outstanding piece this week from Rabbi Jeremy Rosen, who like Isi oft reveals the feet of clay in institutions. This week Jeremy approaches the question of the founding of the Jewish State and the demands and questions that surround it today. Der Judenstaat's+Blog)

I had to check Snopes to see if this next item was a hoax.......... Iran is to sit on the United Nations Committee for Women's Rights!!!!!! Paradox? Anathema? Insanity? the height of stupidity? or all of the above?
Barry Shaw writes “IRAN is a leading Asian candidate to be elected to the new UN WOMEN'S COMMIITEE. Also SAUDI ARABIA.With the shape of the current UN don't be surprised if Shariah Law is adopted and stoning for adultery becomes the standard punishment.
This should appeal to those liberals who have supported the campaign to delegitimise Israel while ignoring the abuse of women's rights in Palestinian and Arab society.”,7340,L-3976083,00.html

Our wonderful friend Kim came all the way from Cardston, Alberta, Canada for the Jewish Agency meetings. Zvi is on the Board of Governors and when I watched the two of them head off to play their part in such an important organisation I felt that we are in good hands. Next week I will be in a position to tell you of any important motions that were passed but since I was unable to go to the meetings this year I will have to wait for a report. I can assure you that our future is in good hands and those who decide about the Jewish world have come to the understanding that we must reach out and teach out, which was not done sufficiently in the past. The Government and the Jewish Agency have woken up to the fact that University campuses are a breeding ground for anti-Semitism and Islamic movements in Europe and now very strongly in North America.

Apropos nothing..... did you know that all refugees lose their refugees status after two years with the sole exception of Palestinians who are still designated refugees by the international community after 63 years......just because their own societies are inadequate and unable/ unwilling to absorb them.

Our Shabbat guests were Harvey and Riva Same from Melbourne Australia, Harvey is the son of our dear friend Saul, who came for Shabbat Lunch (have freezer will feed) and then Yehuda and Lea Ressler and journalist Sleman al Shafhe (who has written a book on Gilad Shalit in Hebrew) popped in for coffee. On Wednesday Wayne and Cheryl Shur and their well travelled relation came to make certain that I wrote the truth about our veranda and the phenomenal view and agreed that I did not even remotely exaggerate! As we sat Wayne saw the oranges on the tiny tree now turning colour, the last reaming pomegranate after the grandchildren picked the others, the herbs, kumquats and beautiful little hadass hedge........ and the view. We explained that on the right one sees the nearside of Gilo atop the ridge, the next hill top is Ramat Rachel of such colourful history with Beit Tsafafa nestled in the middle, then Baka, the German Colony, and the Old City hidden by the tall towers of the Holyland Project. The moon rose eerily, huge in the sky and striped by cloud as we discussed many subjects “of Cabbages and Kings” but mostly of Israel's appearance overseas and in particular of combatting the negative hasbara on campuses worldwide.

From my still static viewpoint I see the last rush to the shopping mall, it gives Israelis the opportunity to have lunch at one of the multitude of restaurants after shopping for Shabbat, before cooking and then the Friday afternoon “shloof” (siesta). Soon the familiar and reassuring quiet will fall as the city prepares for Shabbat. Last week I was not in a position to cook for myself so one neighbour brought me Kubeh Soup based on tomatoes, cilantro and celery, another fragrant rice and Kurdish meat balls and another a different type of Kubeh soup based on beetroot! Kubeh are different depending upon the country of ones origin, Iraqi, Moroccan, Syrian, Kurdish, Egyptian...... all delicious all reminders that 900,000 Jews fled oppression and persecution in Arab countries. Their food and traditions came with them but they were refugees for a very short time because they came home rather than being stranded at the mercy of political blackmail for decades.

I wish you Shabbat Shalom, wherever you may be in the world. I wish you a strong heart and a determined prayer for the softening of our enemies hearts and a love which is turned to Jerusalem............. Shalom, Salaam, Pax , Paix, Peace, Paz


Friday, 22 October 2010

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem

22nd October 2010.

Shabbat Shalom

I very nearly used my broken ankle as an excuse not to write this week, but Rosa called to tell me that I only had an hour or so to decide before Shabbat and too many people would worry, especially Pola!!!!!

Incredibly on November 4th it will be 15 years since Yitzchak Rabin's assassination. Th Hebrew date just passed with a large gathering in his memory but strangely for me it is the dreadful 4th of November that I remember.
Just ten days prior we stood listening to him speak before a crowded Rotunda, the Hall linking the Senate and the House, as we celebrated the opening of the United States Jerusalem 3,000 celebrations. The day was especially historic since the previous day, as my husband sat in the gallery, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem!
Just ten days prior to his death I received my last hug from this shy, exceptional man who preferred his “wounded soldier” citizen to the room full of politicians.
Just ten days prior to his death when Israel felt invincible from without and within.
Just ten days before a Jew raised his gun and took away not only a Prime Minister but our innocence and our invincibility.
I find it odd that the left have made him their symbol, although he was far from left-wing; the press has chosen him as their idol although he would have shown them his feet of clay, and the right have vilified him for deeds he never did.
Yitzchak Rabin, son of Rosa Cohen, was the archetypal soldier; Israeli; Sabra; hero; man, and I miss his shy disposition and humility horribly.
May his soul rest in peace, his memory be preserved and his prayer for a safe and secure Israel be fulfilled.

This article by Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, is an essential read. I give you a snippet and you can open the link to read it all.
An End to Israel’s Invisibility
By MICHAEL B. OREN Published: October 13, 2010
NEARLY 63 years after the United Nations recognized the right of the Jewish people to independence in their homeland — and more than 62 years since Israel’s creation — the Palestinians are still denying the Jewish nature of the state. “Israel can name itself whatever it wants,” said the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, while, according to the newspaper Haaretz, his chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said that the Palestinian Authority will never recognize Israel as the Jewish state. Back in 1948, opposition to the legitimacy of a Jewish state ignited a war. Today it threatens peace.

Today I received a message that The Australian reported that when Australian troops in Afghanistan requested help from Dutch Air Troops the Dutch refused help and Australian soldiers died as a result.

The Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand troops) have always fought for democracy and freedom in each war that their allies needed them from WW1 WW2 Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, et al. Apparently the Dutch have become infected with European PC'ism which is causing their near downfall.

The Dutch are investigating the Australian claims suggesting that they already had airfire cover from US and UK air forces. I hope the original report was wrong.

I have very little to report, today being the first day I have actually succeeded in hobbling and leaving my room to wander around with some independence. I am having great fun with my wheelchair which does amazing wheelies...... and thank G-d inflammation, infection and break are all doing well!! Visitors have been tended by my amazing husband and we all manage!

We have had wonderful visitors, one left one came....... Louise Gilbert with whom I worked in the UK, and Dr Kimball Taylor, yes our lovely friend Kim. Life will always go on as normal....... no dramas in this household.

Please remember that history is in the eyes of those who were there and those who wish to take credit for everyting. It was once said that history is the view of the victor but today history is the realm of the first to publish!! Avoid those who would sully your name, or the names of those who make history. They are not historians but rather mean spirited people who want to take history and make it their own.

I wish you Shabbat Shalom of optimism and hope, prayer, contemplation and joy.

With love from an ever beautiful, ever spiritual, ever charming Jerusalem


Thursday, 14 October 2010

Shabbat Shalom letter from Jerusalem


14th October 2010.

Shabbat Shalom

A further building moratorium or not? The United States President reneged on the Administrations promises to Israel on many levels and now makes yet another demand on us. Ten months without results and we are asked to serve another period where Israel pays the price but the Palestinians do not. I have said a hundred times, Israelis will accede to the US demands if the equivalent demands are made upon our enemies. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to continue the building freeze on one condition, acceptance of our existence. It is like suggesting that a 62 year old woman who has dedicated her life to Tikkun Olam and excellence was never born and only if she pulls her home down will the world accept her being as a fact.

Silwan is part of Jerusalem, in the valley beneath the Old City, the Biblical Ofel, and populated over the last 70+ years by itinerant workers who came to the newly blossoming land and stayed. It is a quiet place of rare rebellion, predominantly Arab but not generally troublesome. Still photographs in the media showed a “settler” driving wildly into an innocent child throwing him into the air as if he intended to kill him. This video gives a whole new meaning to throwing your children under the bus. Lenny Ben David analyses the film clip, the photographers who just happened to be there, the organisers or producers of the scene and the people surrounding the children

Why are the worlds “human rights” activists and the left wing media obsessed with the Palestinians yet close their eyes and hearts to the horrors of Darfur and the extreme human rights abuses of the very people who they proudly support. This is one explanation.

George Galloway, the insanely opinionated former British Parliamentarian is back with another boat for Gaza - maybe we should call it Galloway's Galleon – this time no money, no medicines just people who hate Israel and love Gaza. Galloway's problem is that he has nowhere to land, nowhere to stay since both Jordan and Egypt have expressed their refusal very clearly and no-one to listen. Several crew members have left the ship leaving only the rat.

Ahmedinejad is continuing his state tour by repeating his implausible fabrications in Lebanon, this time stating that Israel controls climate change and of course that we killed assassinated Lebanese President Rafik Hariri , repeating the foul accusation that 9/11 was a US plot to detract attention from the economic state of the country. His megalomania now includes staking Iranian claim on Christian Lebanon, speaking as if he were the President of Lebanon not Iran, with Hezb-Allah his emissaries – the final nail in the Lebanese coffin?

The world watched the rescue of 33 Chilean Miners in a truly brilliant operation. As each man emerged from the tiny elevator to a great reception and I was amazed to see relatively healthy and rounded men. Miners are a special group of people, tough, determined and brave and this particular group were strengthened by another quality, a deep religious belief; as each man reached the light the first thing he did was fall to his knees and cross himself.

Personally I think we should bring the G-d fearing miners to Jerusalem and send Galloway and Ahmedinejad to spend a couple of months down a Chilean mine!!

Canon Andrew White will receive the Civil Courage Prize for his phenomenal work in Iraq, Baghdad in particular, to find the common denominator between all peoples, working together with Moslem leaders to bring some kind of sanity in an insane situation. Dearest Andrew we are beside you in your losses and so proud of you, your work and your outstanding successes

British Author, journalist and broadcaster Howard Jacobson, self-proclaimed Proud Jew, won the Booker Prize for his book about “Ashamed Jews” entitled The Finkler Question - here is a wonderful quote
“Every other Wednesday, except for festivals and High Holy-days, an anti-Zionist group called ASHamed Jews meets in an upstairs room in the Groucho Club in Soho to dissociate itself from Israel, urge the boycotting of Israeli goods, and otherwise demonstrate a humanity in which they consider Jews who are not ASHamed to be deficient. ASHamed Jews came about as a consequence of the famous Jewish media philosopher Sam Finkler’s avowal of his own shame on Desert Island Discs.”
“My Jewishness has always been a source of pride and solace to me,” he told Radio Four’s listeners, not quite candidly, “but in the matter of the dispossession of the Palestinians I am, as a Jew, profoundly ashamed.”

“Profoundly self-regarding,” you mean, was his wife’s response. But then she wasn’t Jewish and so couldn’t understand just how ashamed in his Jewishness an ashamed Jew could be.”

The new academic year began a week ago at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. This video was a tribute to the students by the students. Very funny, very clever. LipDub “Somebody to love”

Latma has the knack of saying just what we all think but don't know how! Latma news – in Hebrew with subtitles The real Churchill. and the shooting of the US soldiers by a Palestinian.

The steadily rising profile of Israeli wines reached a global crescendo last month when Carmel Winery garnered the 2010 Decanter World Wine Awards trophy. The winery won the award for its red Rhone varietals in the upper price category.

On the 10/10/10 at 10:10 Zvi and I arrived at the Sigd ceremony at the Presidents Home - the 25th Anniversary of Operation Moses, the first Ethiopian Aliya. I was elegantly strolling across the lawn, admiring the surroundings, when I equally elegantly stepped into a deep pothole in the lawn and found myself sitting down.......elegantly!!!! I was even more elegantly helped by a wonderful young Ethiopian Scout-Master who gently helped Zvi to lift me up as the rest of the guests went about their business. The problem was that I turned in the unexpected act of sitting and my leg didn't! I really didn't think it was serious, just very very painful so we asked the paramedic to check me and he announced it wasn't broken, I had no intention of missing this historic moment and they carried me through a side door and sat me down with my ever growing ankle up on a chair.

I am thrilled that I didn't miss the ceremony, their stories of suffering and determination to come to Jerusalem, heroic, epic, harrowing and incredibly determined andPresident Peres response to each and every one of them honouring their Aliya. They are an exquisitely beautiful people and among those who arrived as young children to become Israelis were lawyers, doctors, professors and of course officers in all three "Chayals" (Army, Navy and Air Force)
By the time the ceremony was over everyone realised that I was in trouble and they let Zvi bring our car in through all the security to the reception hall and off we went get me x-rayed which I thought was a superfluous operation. We ran an impromptu entertainment programme during our hours wait for the x-ray and then amused the doctor during the x-ray, laughing until he announced that my ankle was well and truly broken!!!!
I am confined to bed for at least another 2-3 days and to the house for 2 weeks; Zvi is making me meals and decorating the tray with flowers, coffees and teas on the hour every hour and doing the washing and hanging the clothes and making sure the dishwasher is filled and cleared, girlfriends are visiting and my beautiful daughter is coming in to bathe me!

My consolation for being in bed is that I see Jerusalem from my bedroom window, my other veranda, white and beautiful in the autumnal sunshine. A few minutes ago that magical moment when the sun turns everything red made me catch my breath as it has for twenty years. Golden City, City of Peace, old and new, rolling endless hills and strange stepped housing to utilise every inch of what is ours, our Jerusalem. If we never build another building, are vilified and unrecognised it can never change the fact JERUSALEM IS THE CAPITAL CITY OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL, HEART OF THE JEWISH WORLD AND THE ONLY JEWISH CAPITAL CITY IN THE WHOLE WORLD.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends, Shabbat Shalom

With love from Jerusalem

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Lester Rosenberg z"l


Once in a rare while a special Jewish leader emerges; he may be a world leader or a communal leader but what distinguishes his leadership is humility, humour and quiet wisdom. Lester was determination for Tikkun Olam and a deep love of Israel, Chicago and the United States. Lester Rosenberg z”l encompassed all of these qualities alongside his dear widow Norma.

At Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency meetings here in Jerusalem his smiling face lit up the room, ever beside his dear friend Robert Schrayer z”l. Last time I saw him we hugged and bemoaned Bobby's untimely passing “It is hard to be in Jerusalem without him but when I see you at least my memories are shared”

Lester suffered a car accident in March 2009 which left him totally paralysed but his incredible humour never left him. His visitors were cheered by him rather than he by them. His dear friend Joel Spreyragen kept me apprised of his situation with each visit to the hospital or with the family.

It was with deep sadness that we learned today of Lester's demise, he is a great loss to Jewish leadership and to the world. We share his family's sorrow and pray that they will know no more sorrow. May Lester's gentle soul rest in peace as he joins his best friend Bobby.

Sheila and Zvi Raviv

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Chag Simchat Torah Sameach


29th September 2010

Chag Sameach, Moadim le Simcha, Shana Tova and Happy Tabernacles

Britain, Italy, France, USA and Pakistan spent the last month wiping out an entire terror cell in Pakistan thus preventing a number of huge terror attacks in Europe - especially in the UK. They killed an entire cell of terrorists using unmanned drones to go in and pinpoint kill and no-one complained because no-one was aware. Why are those countries allowed to take out the killers and so save the lives of their citizens but Israel is not? We are constantly told that our pin-point killings of Hamas operatives, clear and present danger to Israel, are inhuman – maybe because Israelis are dehumanised in the press?

Barry Rubin wrote - Newsweek, in an article intended to tell us that any critique of the current government is a silly conspiracy theory, says that the Templars take their name from Solomon's Temple, the site of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Kind of makes you wonder if in future some day they will write an article saying that September 11 took place at the World Trade Center site of the Cordoba mosque.

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry into the Mavi Marmara incident came to foregone conclusions without most of the facts and whereby the only witnesses were the IHH people on board. When Israeli Supreme Court Judge Aharon Barak agreed to go to Geneva to be questioned on the legal issues the Commission suddenly announced that everyone had already gone home!

David Irving should start a new website called hatebook and get Ahmedinejad as his first friend. While Ahmedinejad was giving his hate filled speech in the United Nations in New York, a speech including Holocaust denial and accusations that the United States organised 9/11 to create political sympathy in the world David Irving was strutting in a Polish hotel room speaking to a full audience of 10 people from all over the world, stating that “everybody questioned the reports” coming out of Europe after the war and claiming that buildings were placed in Auschwitz after the war and that Hitler never knew what the place was anyway.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the Plenary of the United Nations – not just as a speech but also in response to the hateful incitement of the speech of Ahmedinejad. The Prime Minister addressed Ahmedinejads denial of the Holocaust and also of his remarks concerning 9\/11

IDF navy boarded the yacht "Irene," which was taken to the Ashdod port for inspection of the cargo along with its passengers. The yacht was boarded without incident and no violence of any kind was used either by the passengers or the Israeli navy. Prior to boarding the yacht, the Israeli naval ships transmitted two warnings to its captain, making him aware that the Irene was breaking both Israeli and international law. How sad that these people divert the Israel Navy's attention from defending Israel and its citizens through their acts of provocation. This boat proudly claimed to be the Jewish Humanitarian Boat. Jewish boat? Humanitarian? Aid? Real Humanitarians would use their energy to help the Haitians who received less total aid to rebuild their stricken country than Gaza receives in one month!!!!

Succot, Tabernacles has been a crazy combination of parades, civic receptions in the huge municipal succah, children's events at the Bell Park, Sacker Park, the Carriage Theatre in the train station and so much more. Every park and funfair was filled to overflowing and the zoo had more animals looking in than looking out!!!! The Israel Museum had daily events for children and so did the Science Museum. Tonight the children will really go crazy as they follow the menfolk around the synagogues as they carry the Scrolls Book of the Torah to celebrate the end of the reading of the Torah and a return to the beginning following the cycle of life.

As we start a new Genesis, a new year, a fresh beginning, going back over the story of how we came to be as we do each year, each century, in every country of the world, let's pray that the world will see us for the marvellous giving nation we are and stop demonising Israel and dehumanising the Jewish people. All we want is to protect ourselves from the same terror that threatens the rest of the world, but ours is right here in our neighbourhood. In one way we are very lucky, at least we know who our enemies are.

I wish us all a wonderful year of greater understanding and if we cannot reach greater understanding of each other then at least a greater understanding of who our friends are.

With love from Jerusalem


Friday, 17 September 2010

Yom haKippurim 5771


16th September 2010.

The time for reflection is over and the time to beg forgiveness is upon us. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

If I have at any time offended you, albeit unintentionally, please forgive me

Forgive me for hasty judgement of our enemies, and for pre-judging people for their apparent alignments rather than their beliefs.

Forgive me for judging people by my standards and not their own.

Forgive me for expressing anger at our enemies rather than seeking solutions and anger at those who do nothing to defend themselves, ourselves or Israel. I sometimes forget that G-d understands human nature far better than I, He is slow to anger and does not expect the bigot to become lenient, the felon to reform or the killer to love, overnight.

Forgive me for not saying thank you enough. Thank you for friendship, loyalty to Israel, kindnesses; thank you for standing up to those who denigrate our amazing Israel.

We in turn have to forgive those who spoke untruths, scandal and hearsay about those we love and the country we love, if they are conscious enough to ask our forgiveness and thank G-d for true friends.

Praying for forgiveness and beating our chests it is not enough. Chanting is meaningless unless our prayers include the will to transform ourselves into better human beings and our world into a better world.

An awesome quiet will fall over the entire country, marking the uniqueness of this day. No cars, buses, trains, motor cycles; even the uge cement factory of Ramleh is open just 364 days a year. The only sounds to break the silence are the whoops of children as they cycle down empty roads and of course the ever diligent ambulances and doctors who are on call even on Yom Kippur. Homes attain an unfamiliar but welcome quiet as the television stations fall into silence too.

It was this silence that was broken by the sounds of telephones, whispered orders and cars in 1973, the Yom Kippur War broke out. Men in prayer shawls ran home to change into IDF uniform to fight an even higher cause – the survival of the State of Israel. Israel's neighbours attacked relying upon our unreadiness as a nation at prayer not at war. Maybe our fervent supplications were sufficient for Him to heed our prayers or maybe He was angry at our attackers for intruding upon on this Holy Day with their fanatical aggression, but we won that war. So while asking forgiveness, thank G-d for giving us the strength to fight for the State of Israel.

Just as Anwar Sadat waged war on Israel on Yom Kippur 1973 then bravely came to Jerusalem to speak before the Knesset, arm in arm with his former arch–enemy Menachem Begin, to create a lasting peace, so I pray that this coming year 5771 of the Jewish calendar we will see our enemies declare peace not war and finally recognize us as a Jewish State.

Gmar Chatima Tova

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Shana Tova 2010/5771

שנה טובה לכל עם ישראל וחבריה
A good year to all the people of Israel and their friends

My prayers for the New Year are for
tolerance and understanding
truth and recognition
generosity of spirit and of pocket
and self-love that rises above calls to war.
I pray that the world's children have a childhood
and their parents are able to raise them in freedom and determination to give back to our world.
Above all I pray that we, the Jewish people will find our unity, our common ground because we have enough enemies outside.

I wish you all a year of joy, health and fulfillment and is our tradition I hope that during the last year I have not offended anyone in my desire to extol the virtues of the most amazing country in the world- and if I have I beg forgiveness.

Shana Tova for 5771
Five thousand, seven hundred and seventy one years of tradition and we are still here and stronger than ever before.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem

September 3rd 2010.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Shabbat Shalom as we enter the last period of Atonement before the New Jewish Year. Actually it is a misnomer because it is the seventh month of the year but as always, in Judaism things are not as they seem – but for very good reason!
Everybody's eyes are on Washington as we watched King Abdullah, President Mubarak, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas come forward to the rostrum with President Obama able to temper our cynicism with another portion of hope. Every one of the four Middle Eastern leaders came to the table aware that despite American pressure this dispute will not be settled in a day, a month nor a year.

PM Netanyahu spoke brilliantly of his willingness to go far in return for a secure and true peace and reminded those present of the heinous killing the day before next to Kiriat Arba, of Yitzhak Ames and his wife Tali, Kochava Even-Haim and Avishai Schindler. He knew that one of the first people on the scene was a ZAKA volunteer paramedic who discovered that his wife Kochava was one of the victims in this cowardly attempt to scupper the talks.
May their souls rest in peace and their families, especially the 7 orphans, know no more sorrow.

What complicates any attempt at a peaceful solution, is that Hamas, quite apart from encouraging children to celebrate in the streets over the "success" of killing Jews, has declared its intent to continue the killings.

All four of the leaders present at the Washington talks are serious – they all face the same enemy, including Mahmoud Abbas; they face Hamas, Hezb-Allah, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeeda, Moslem Broterhood….. fundamentalists who are bent on changing the face of the M.E. and then Europe and the USA- all supported by Iran, the new and proud owner of a nuclear facility.

Among the elements which must be considered before any agreement can be reached – Before considering the "right of return" of Palestinian refugees to the 4th generation – the rights of 900,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries who have never been compensated; before recreating history -historic rights, biblical rights, national rights; before talking of human rights - oppression, corruption, ethnic cleansing of Christians in both sectors of the PA and violent terrorism and the abuse of children by taking away their childhood and teaching hatred and war in schools. Deputy Minister Danny Ayalon wrote "As a descendant of a family forced out of Algeria, my father and I – and the millions of other Jews from families who were expelled from Arab countries after 1948 – are entitled to redress. "
When I explained the elements of the dispute that are not reported in the media and oft ignored by diplomats to a friend, her response was "The PA a kleptocracy ruled by armed thugs, cronyism and corruption running rampant, etc. not to mention HAMAS. It does remind me of someone who's delusional to make airy-fairy claims about "Peace" given the realities." While a large part of me agrees wit every word, we must try, we must move forward and leave our battles behind us; change as Sadat and Begin did, FOR A REAL PEACE.

Israel stands ready to provide 800 trucks a day to Gaza but there is zero demand for any goods by the PA more than 140 trucks maximum.From the slightly surreal to the ridiculous. Former MP George Galloway, not satisfied with being evicted by Egypt for his Gaza escapades, is now planning a "Free Gaza" Convoy and is trying to raise funding from a Florida Mosque. Do you think someone should tell him that Gaza is free of Jews, has been for years now, and that they don't need any food or aid because Israel is ready to provide 800 trucks of aid a day to Gaza but there is zero demand for any goods by the PA more than 140 trucks maximum. (Thanks to Barry Shaw for the statistics)

Finally on the news front to the utterly insane. Israeli Knesset Member Hanin Zou'bi: I Do Not Represent the State of Israel but the Palestinian Struggle In an interview for the website, Israeli Arab Knesset Member Hanin Zou'bi of the Balad party said that she sees herself as a representative not of Israel but rather of the struggle of the Palestinian people, and as such does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Are we crazy? A few rights have been taken from her for lying and taking part in the Flotilla but if she doesn't represent Israel, she is in the Knesset under false pretenses and false oaths of allegiance. THROW HER OUT!!! I don't care how many screams come from the civil rights groups she is a traitor!

On Monday I went to the movies with our dear friends Rosa and Bernardo. We went to see the movie La Rafle – The Round up, about the rounding up of France's Jews during WW2. The presentation is astonishing, the acting excellent and the story excruciatingly true. It makes essential viewing as one realizes how easy it is to dehumanise, separate and then cull those with whom you disagree. On Tuesday I went to Mamilla with Irit Lev to see some of her sculptures which are on display. Mamilla Mall is always busy, always a hive of activity which inevitably involves eating, either sitting in the multitude of kerbside restaurants or eating the delicious ice creams as one walks. In Israel even a visit to the Botanical Gardens involves eating phenomenal salads!! Come to think of it, a visit to the Petrol Station in Nayot is a culinary delight for Zvi's Parliament!!

Last night Zvi came back from Argentina and Uruguay for the Jewish Agency. He visited schools, synagogues, homes, community centers and spoke of Israel, every aspect, every view and answered the inevitable questions. My husband is the best and I do not apologise for bragging!! His knowledge is so broad, is voice so clear, is vocabulary so rich and he makes it all sound so exciting and interesting even when he quotes historical dates and events!!!

Jerusalem is preparing for Shabbat. The roads are emptying, the houses fill with aromas of ethnic cooking representing not only the Ashkenazi epicurean delights but those of so many Arab countries from whence the refugees came – not refugees for long because they did not need to seek asylum they came home. The people of my generation understand what it meant to live in a world without Israel; the fragility of the Jewish situation whereby "The Roundup" could happen any time any where. We have to protect our country, we have to ensure that it really never happens again, because it can and it may if we don't stop the rot now.

For your New Years Tikkun Olam resolution, promise to stand up for yourselves, your beliefs, your rights and your people while always caring what happens to others.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem , heart of our world