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!