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