Friday, 28 December 2012

Shabbat Shalom, Happy 2013 and 21 Years since I became an Israeli!


28th December 2012

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. This week you get a quick run-down of the news and then, then a surprise for the New Year!!

Professor Alan Dershowitz condemned the UN for acting against peace, encouraging terrorism and showing unbridled anti-Semitism. The Kurds, Armenians, the Tibetans, can't get on the door yet those nations that refuse to recognise Israel's right to exist roundly support "Palestinian rights."
"No nation that fails to recognise Israel's right to exist should be allowed to vote in the UN on any issue relevant to Israel."

The London Telegraph came out of the closet of denial and published an excellent article aboutChristiaphobia in the Middle East to honour Christians at Christmastime.

Many Israelis were satisfied with last week’s decision of the Central Elections Committee to disqualify Member of Knesset Haneen Zoabi’s candidacy for the upcoming Knesset as a result of her anti-Israel actions. The issue is now before the Supreme Court. Read more:

John Kerry is to become the new Secretary of State and I wonder if he will take advice or come with the unsuccessful preconceived ideas of the State Department. His success worldwide will depend upon his advisors and his success in this region will depend upon his ability to carry out thoughts expressed to Zvi and I on the veranda of the Jerusalem Municipality or or simply do what he is told. As to the choice of Secretary of Defence................. we are still praying!!!
Ihow many armies around the world provide daily sustenance to their sworn enemies?

This week we went to the Shiva for a strong woman, Marcelle Ballas z”l. Mrs Ballas was a poor immigrant from Iraq who had 8 children, 5 girls 4 boys, truly poor she often had no money for food but determinedly bought books. Her children grew up educated and ambitious lawyers, teachers, nurses and one daughter, Dalia Itzik, who became speaker of the Knesset. Israel is the dream.

Zvi and I have become involved in a wonderful project - “Hitorarut” or awakening, which encourages and mentors young Jerusalemites to serve in the Municipal Council and ultimately to reach the Knesset. Understanding how to bring honesty and good will into the political arena is not easy but they are succeeding! Watch this space!

On the 25th of December 1991 I made Aliyah and this year I celebrated 21 years as an Israeli. I actually arrived here on April 1st but made the absolute decision on Christmas Day. I thought I would tell you about my journey to become a true Israeli who still celebrates St Davids Day (the Welsh National Day) alongside the other 499 Welsh Israelis.

My Aliyah took place right in the middle of the Gulf War, when scuds rained down on Haifa and Tel Aviv whose residents ran to Jerusalem for safety. As I arrived at Ben Gurion Airport Zvi was waiting for me in the baggage claim (in the days before 9/11) and took me straight up the stairs to immigration. The hall happened to be empty, clearly between flights from Moscow, and I was called immediately to the young woman at the reception desk. She took all my information, the official approval papers from the Jewish Agency Aliyah Department in London and then to my sheer delight at receiving my “Teudat Oleh” - proof positive of my Israeli Citizenship and rights to Ulpan (Hebrew language school), to socialised medicine, social absorption and to be very very proud! My right to vote would take another 6 months when I also received my passport.

I can never forget the pride on Zvi's parents faces when I arrived with my papers – they had to work far harder to re-create this state as members of the Haganah before they got their citizenship in 1948! My son Gideon was also in the country dodging scuds in a kibbutz in the North of Israel where he was working as a zoo-keeper in the children's zoo, his rugby tackling experience coming in handy when a goat ran away! Soon after my arrival we drove up to take Gideon to Zvi's cousin Dvoras home in Haifa where all of us experienced sirens, shelters and gas masks for the first time.............. and last!!

My wonderful husband has always believed I am far cleverer than I am and took me to a philosophical debate between Prof.Avi Ravitzky, the Israel Prize laureate and Prof Yeshayahu Leibowitz, biochemist, neurophysicist and philosopher – in HEBREW!! What amazed me is that I followed the debate, simply proving that Hebrew was my true Mother tongue and the stork had simply dropped me and my family in the wrong country!!

It isn't easy to move from country to country, especially if you are not 15 years old. One loses everything, status, language and confidence – retaining only your accent. One leaves behind many precious people and familiar sounds and sights but I knew this was right I knew this was my destiny. I loved walking the streets to familiarise myself with the incredible beauty of Jerusalem and the noisy warm people. In order to understand the work ethics of Israel I took a job with an agency, Manpower, taking anything they gave me, earning a pittance. I began by helping to edit PR material for the Hyatt Hotel – of course wound up working for the entire managerial staff; began by typing abstracts for an International Conference of the Atmospheric Sciences Department of the Hebrew University and ended up running the entire event; I helped out Zvi (without payment but with daughter) when two weeks before a huge group of young people (400) came to Israel on a Keren Hayesod “Yachdav” mission his secretary went AWOL, claiming to be sick. Zvi went to Prague with the group and I ran the mission from his office........ and loved it. All of the above and so much more helped my absorption but more than anyone else it was Zvi's incredible parents. They became my parents, they loved me, guided me, helped me, spoke beautiful clear Hebrew with me and showed me by example how to be incredible citizens and good Jews. They taught me of the struggle to build this country and related amazing stories of battles and relief, starvation and good food, determination to succeed over all odds and they proved to me that life can throw the most awful curved balls but one can still come out on top.

Talking of curved balls, I began my weekly missives before the Intifada but as the situation became more and more untenable and the world was not giving you the truth I began to widen my scope and chose to inform those who would otherwise depend upon the NY Times or the Guardian. My letters changed yet again as the story of Kinneret Chaya emerged, a story of Israeli heroism and determination – of a literal Phoenix rising from the ashes of a terror attack.

Zvi and I have had the privilege of knowing Prime Ministers and foreign diplomats and politicians, being right in the middle of the “scene”, which of course gave me material for my letters and an inside track on what really happens behind closed doors!

It isn't always easy, the hardest part is coping without siblings, or sibling visits – even when Rachel, my daughter got married. Nor when Amiad and Leor, Zvi's sons got married, but this is still where I want to be, where my heart is. I want to show my sisters the incredible life we have here and would do anything to make that happen. I want them to know my husband, the man who has selflessly given his life to the Jewish people without thought of financial reward and who helped me return to be the woman my parents wanted me to be after years of being unable to do so.

The high-point of my time in Israel is probably the day I went to Ben Gurion Ariport where Zvi organised a pass for me to go through to the baggage claim, to receive a new Olah, my beautiful daughter Rachel and her husband Igal decided to come on Aliyah jut 7 weeks before our first grand-son, the exquisitely beautiful Yosef Eliyahu (Joseph Elijah) was born. I took part in the birth of my Israeli grandson – I had a Sabra!!!

We now have a large family of five children between us (3 here and 2 overseas) 10 grandchildren and one more on the way and a beautiful, busy, insane, active, giving, intelligent, warm, fascinating life. We are involved in volunteering in amazing organisations and I understand that life her has relevance, a relevance that is hard to quantify.

Sorry for rambling on but I needed to tell you and didn't know how!! Today we go to Haifa and Dvoras home again. No scuds but rather a huge event where she has been dipping into Zvi's family genealogy – maybe, just maybe we will discover that not everyone perished in the flames of Auschwitz...... maybe someone is alive and well here in Israel.

I am now off to Givat Zeev to see my Jerusalem grandchildren and kiss the Gut Shabbes. I
wish you a Shabbat Shalom and a truly joyful 2013.

See you next year!!!
Love from a glorious crisp and sunny day in Jerusalem. I am off to London on Monday – to immerse myself in my London family, to smell the children, kiss them and hug them and bring back memories for me and them..... and of course to cook their favourite dishes!!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem


20th December 2012

Shabbat Shalom dear friends.

Christmas in nearly here and the world is singing of peace and goodwill unto all mankind. Sadly our world is not at peace and goodwill tends to be a one way street. Sad, so many Christian values are decried, so much goodwill extended and I am sorry to say, the spirit is being sucked out of me. I feel like Tevyeh the Milkman, “NO there is no other hand”..... I cannot keep turning the other cheek.

Some feel I exaggerate when I say that we are close to the despair of 1938 as the world turns ethics and moral turpitude upon itself in a strange race for political correctness toward all but the Jews and the Jewish State. I could only think of what Winston Churchill said upon Neville Chamberlains “Peace in our time” - "You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour and you will have war." and 'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile,hoping it will eat him last.'

Salaam Fayad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority is cross because Israel finally demanded payment for the electricity bill which his exchequer refused to pay. Israel simply refused to pay the taxes due to the PA and used the money to pay the multi-million dollar bill! Reactions below

Stop building in the settlements” “Building in the “settlements” means Israel is not prepared for peace” Are the usual cries from the Eu and sadly from the USA as well of late. Well let's put it into perspective shall we? First of all the PLANNED housing is in or around Jerusalem including Arab neighborhoods such as Beit Tsafafa and the much vaunted Ramat Shlomo is situated between Ramot and French Hill – hardly out in the middle of Arab land eh? One is deafened by the lack of voices raised in anger at the Arab building on the same disputed territory. See for yourselves.

The world is aghast and horrified at the slaughter of tiny innocents and their teachers in a sleepy American dormitory town called Newtown at the Sandy Hook School. So many questions rise out of that atrocity, not least of all how did a clearly unstable Mother and son acquire so many firearms and how on earth did he get into the school without a guard or someone stopping him? Violent insanity created in a sick man encouraged by his sick mother and the asinine ease with which one can buy firearms. My heart goes out to the families of the children who died and to the children who saw what happened and survived, never to be the same.

Amnon Lipkin Shachak was Chief of Staff of the IDF, an officer and a gentleman. Sadly he lost his battle with cancer two days ago and Israel is sad. We mourn the loss of a hero and a fine and genuine man.

According to the BBC's Mishal Hussein we shouldn't protect our citizens because that way not enough Israelis die to create sympathy. This interview is disgusting even beyond BBC standards
Good news for a change! Loudon County, Virginia School Board has refused to allow highly suspect Turkish group to be part of their school. Write and commend them Frank Gaffney explains
This week, for some reason, we were on the road back and fore to Tel Aviv. We began with a marvellous ceremony at the French Ambassadors home which displays exquisite balance between very modern art, fabulous Art Deco furniture and an old Moorish house in Jaffa. Ambassador Bigot (pronounced without the t and most certainly not apt) presented awards to two Israelis, one was to Dorit Beinisch, former President of the Supreme Court of Justice, and the other to our friend and a very special man called Jean Claude Niddam. Jean-Claude was born in Morocco of parents who imbued in him a sense of justice. Jean-Claude studied law in Morocco and his ability in Arabic and French have proven invaluable in his constant legal negotiations with the PA. Jean Claude is the Director of the Ministry of Justice and it has been my absolute delight to get to know him as the Chairperson of IMPACT-SE where his humility and brilliance are constantly apparent. A true mensch and a fine Jew. I felt great pride at his receipt of the French honour.,10514.html
We went fo rdinner at our friends the Gerstners and Ronit decided to make the evening “interesting”! Oh boy, politics were the topic of conversation but the central characters were three men, Zvi, Mayor and Rami who were the three wise monkeys...... they didn't hear each other, didn't see the others viewpoint and each of them claimed that they didn't have the chance to speak although they didn't stop. Three wise men who basically shared a love of country, a recognition of common problems yet..... boy were they loud!!! One woman kept tu tutting, and I knew she was far left wing and unable to recognise that we all wanted peace more than anything but some of us realise that we are not to blame for the lack of peace! She wanted us to behave in a way that appeased the harsh voices of Europe and the USA yet when I offered to show her where the new building would take place she declined.
I asked her if she had any Arab friends, of course not. I asked her if she had any Moslem friends, of course not. I asked her if she had ever been to Maaleh Adumim and she had not.............. I had the feeling that a very intelligent woman could not see beyond her own shame at being Jewish. Maybe I am wrong but that is what I felt. In the end the food was amazing and all three men hugged each other before we left to the usual question “Are you seriously going to drive back to Jerusalem at this hour?” 45 minutes later we were at home!!!!!
The very Tel Aviv attitude of some friends caused me to find this wonderful quote from the inimitable Winston Churchill in 1936 ‘They go on in some strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent…Owing to past neglect, in the face of the plainest warnings, we have entered upon a period of danger. the era of procrastination, of half measures, of soothing and baffling expedience of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…We cannot avoid this period, we are now in it.’

As a special Jewish treat for all my Christian friends, I just couldn't resist this irreverent video of Chassidim wishing you a wonderful Christmas season -
A message from Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav, "In Haifa we don't have co-existence but one existence. In Haifa we celebrate the Festival of Festivals with complete equality between all religions and that is my wish for Christians across the Middle East this Christmas." <>

Shabbat shalom dear friends, Shabbat shalom. Stay safe and remember to tell those close to you how much you love them. I must go now to be in time to see may fabulous grandchildren in Givat Zeev.
I am thrilled to tell you that my beautiful daughter in law Stephanie is home safe and sound and deep in the loving atmosphere of the family. Love you darling.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem


12th December 2012.

Shabbat Shalom dear friends. Shabbat Shalom from wet and windy Jerusalem.

Chanuka. Every Jewish Festival tells a similar story; they tried to kill us, we won now let's eat! Well Chanuka tells that story as well but in a much more involved and important way, it is the only battle fought to preserve our very identity. The Greeks didn't want to kill us, they were tired after 6 years of war and thought of a much better way to make us disappear as a Jewish entity than slaughter - they decided to ban all of the rituals which make us Jews. They banned Kosher slaughter; circumcision; Shabbat and so on and so forth. Many of the Jews chose the easy path until the third son of Mattithias of Modi'in, a priest of Samaria called Yehuda took over the battle against the governor of Samaria which led to stunning victories over large Greek armies at Beth-Horon & Emmaus. Gathering his tiny army Judah captured Mt. Zion, purged the temple of Hellenistic idols and reconstructed the sanctuary according to Torah prescriptions and re-consecrated it. Yehuda ha Maccabee from Modi'in proudly returned their identity to the Jewish people. Isn't it strange that today Samaria and more recently Modi'in have been claimed as "disputed territory" by the EU and UN and that more and more countries try to ban both circumcision and kosher slaughter?Strange or highly relevant? Where are today's Maccabees to stop the Hellenisation of the Jews?

Every ten years Britain holds a population census. The British Census revealed some worrying facts on the number of British born citizens as opposed to all other categories. The two largest centres of emigration to the United Kingdom are from Poland and India but most have already arrived.

Denmark that brave country has changed so much that last week the Israeli Embassy issued a warning not to wear kippot, a Star of David or show other signs of being Jewish in public and not to speak Hebrew in order to ensure personal safety! This time the Danish Government has done nothing to protect the Jews.  This is the country that came out and wore the yellow Star of David in defiance of the Nazis. We all knew about Sweden but Denmark?

Jordan has issued an edict disallowing any public signs of Jewish prayer. Jordan is not the only one; it is true of most of the Gulf States. Can you imagine if we said no Islamic prayer in Israel? the USA? Britain? France? Canada? Australia? We would be castigated as racists and probably several important institutions would be blown sky high!

Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Portugal tried to block a motion by the European Union to condemn Khaled Mashaal's speech calling for the annihilation of Israel, while simultaneously condemning building in E1! Where is the moral equivalence of a few JEWISH houses which are still in the planning stage or stated determination to commit genocide?

David Horovitz, former editor of the Jerusalem Post and founder of the Times of Israel went to China. His article about that visit is a "must read". As he says "The world’s second-largest economic power knows very little about Israel, although those who wish us ill have been telling it plenty. We should and can change that, and the sooner the better"

Talking of former editors, Conrad Black wrote a truly enlightening article about the situation here. Conrad Black erudite, intelligent - his words ring true and his message clear.

Ethnic cleansing in the Middle East? I claim no responsibility for the website but I wanted you to see the map. The truth of Ethnic cleansing in the ME

After 12 years of spending vast quantities of public money (ours) delving, investigating, chasing and questioning, to say nothing of many trees-worth of files, the hounding of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is finally coming to an end. "Barely a day went by over the last 6 years that I was not called for questioning" he said. If someone does something wrong charge them - if it takes 12 years to find and it is spread all over the papers it becomes personal and political not legal and cannot be worth the heartache of the country to pursue.

This week saw the excellent Jewish Film Festival at the Cinemateque in Jerusalem. My favourite of all the incredible films shown was "It is no Dream"the story of Theodore Herzl. I thought I was pretty knowledgeable of his life, having spent a great deal of time at the Herzl Museum but discovered so much more. Should this documentary come to your town or community you should see it If it doesn't come – bring it, its relevance to today is terrifying!!

Rabbi David Greenberg is holding an Israeli wine tasting for Chanuka at Temple Shaareh Tefilla and it reminded me of what incredible Israeli wines are available. Gone are the days of Carmel and Manishewitz sweet Kiddush wines as the only choice; now we produce incredible and highly sophisticated wines of high quality.

My favourite quote of the week came from President Peres. When Richard Quest, the quirky quest of CNN, asked President Shimon Peres if he had really considered running for political office in the upcoming elections the President replied with instant wit "Not really, I am too young for it"!!

To those of delicate constitutions, please ignore the following offering by the inimitable Pat Condell. For those who are prepared to …….. enjoy!

I love going to the supermarket on a Friday. I love the fact that total strangers wish you Shabbat Shalom; the women at the check out bless you and the security guards in the complex wave a Shabbat greeting too. Then at the petrol station everyone is saying Shabbat Shalom, Jews and Arabs greet each other in the time worn traditional blessing. After the supermarket I went to get my pre-Shabbat kisses from the grandchildren, surely the best part of the day and then, driving back home, I saw a sight of such beauty it stopped my heart for a second.

Reaching the Tomb of the Prophet Samuel one has a phenomenal view of Jerusalem spread before one as a carpet of white stone, which in itself is a glorious sight but today I had a special treat. As I said it has been raining and the sun suddenly peeked out and washed the city with light creating a rainbow over Jerusalem. It was stunning. The double meaning of rainbow including all varieties of Jerusalemites now includes the whole city. I loved it!

So the Challot are bought; the white cloth on the table and the last minute touches to the food are in place. Time to go onto the veranda to watch the magic of Jerusalem slowing down in these last few hours before Shabbat. Magical because at least there is one place in the world where they can't tell us not to wear a kippa or speak Hebrew or "look Jewish" or express our Judaism in any way. That is why we must support and love our country, the only one where our freedom is ensured, and visit as often as possible… least until the next Judah Maccabee comes along.

Shabbat Shalom, dear friends, with love from Jerusalem, beautiful Jerusalem.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanuka

7th December 2010

Shabbat Shalom and Chanuka Sameach

In both English and Hebrew this is called the Festival of Lights. Wouldn't it be amazing if it became the Festival of Enlightenment? What if, instead of giving your children or grandchildren gifts every day of Chanuka to make up for the fact they don't have a Christmas Tree, teach them how amazing it is that they are Jews, free and able to light the Chanukiah because of those who fought to  preserve our identity like Judah Maccabee. Teach them that we still have Maccabees today and the second largest meeting of athletes in the world is the Maccabiah games which takes place in Israel, indeed are being held next year – CHAZAK V'AMATZ. Teach them that until today we have a town called Maccabim and even though the European Union decided it is not in "Israel proper" we know that it was Jewish throughout! Teach the children that far from missing out they earned the right to stand before the Chanukiah and light the candles as they light the world… and then give them latkes, sufganiyot and gifts!!!!

The current world lexicon is one huge oxymoron
Apartheid – Israel, the only democratic and free society in the region is accused of racism yet Mahmoud Abbas  announced that any Palestinian selling land to a Jew will be killed and no Jews can live in "Palestine" and that's OK.
Partnership – Although it may seem the opposite of my emotions and diametrically opposed to what he says publicly Mahmoud Abbas is our ONLY partner for peace in the region other than Salaam Fayad and we have offered them a partnership deal in the peace process and reiterate our offer at all times. As I said last week, the table is constantly set in the PM's home.
Irony – Today Hamas celebrates 25 years since its founding and Israel used the willing services of Moslem Brotherhood Premier Morsi to inform the Islamic Jihad leaders that if they go to Gaza to join in the festivities they will be "erased". They are not coming!!!!
School bully or terror Just watch this video and understand

Human rights – The very organization created to protect human rights supports countries who would not know human rights if they fell over them yet castigate the one country that upholds them! The Unrighteous Nations vote has huge implications for human rights

Historical rights – yeah right! Exactly what historical rights are we talking about? Jews have been here for at least 3,000 years but Islam takes historical precedence? 90% of Arabs who live in the Jerusalem region came in the last 75 years from Hebron, and many from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and all points south.

Religious freedom in the ME, which means everyone has freedom of prayer – their prayers - if not then get out of their country!!

Free Gaza  Pat Condell says it so much better than I.

Ambassador Belaynesh Zevadia left her village in Ethiopia when she was 13 years old and emigrated to Israel. Nearly three decades later she has returned to Ethiopia as the official Israeli envoy. "I left when I was still a child and now I'm back as Israel's ambassador. This is one of the most moving moments of my life,"

The vote to change the status of the Palestinians in the UN brought few surprises and many disappointments. One country that didn't need to explain its position was the Czech Republic. The Czechs have a long memory of being thrown under the bus in the name of appeasement and Prime Minister Netanyahu visited the Czech Republic this week to thank them, not for their vote but for their understanding. He met with President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Petr Necas neither of whom called our Ambassadors for "talks" because the 20 year old plan to build homes in area E1 passed the first of four stages. While the rest of our allies yelled foul about the building plans it should be noted that Mr Abbas was not only building profusely in E1 he was telling the world that we, the Jews, were not welcome in his country. Oh yes, dear friends, it really does sound like 1938 and the Czechs know about that scenario. Implications of the vote? See "Palestinians: What The UN Brought" -

Syria got another slap on the wrist from the world leaders who for some reason believe that planning houses on disputed territory is much more serious than 40,000 dead Syrians and a stockpile of chemical weapons that Assad is preparing for use on goodness knows who! Those same leaders basically kept quiet when the new President of Egypt announced a dictatorship yet vilify the Israeli Prime Minister for his policies! I really don't understand. Israel – producer of the highest level of technology and science, healers to the world in the field of medicine and pharmacology, teachers of agriculture and water desalinization to the third world is vilified constantly yet the "country" whose only export is terrorism is defended!! An interesting aspect from Jonathan Tobin as to the reasoning behind the PM's announcement on building in E1

I know I am making you work this week but please also read this excellent article by Steve Apfel  "The Lie that Broke Israel's Back" Palestinian Arab territory occupied by Israel’ is more than a risible lie of history. It had the power to alter history. The international community took to the idea and so did leftist Israelis.

OK I finished moaning and decided to tell you all about pre-Chanuka in Jerusalem. The shops are full of gifts, packages of dreidle shaped chocolates, Chanukah coins (gelt), and every size and shape of sufganiya. Sufganiyot, so much more than doughnuts, as I told you. It seems that the entire shopping mall was filled with people with sugary lips!

The air is crisp, the rains came and went and Shabbat is about to fall in Jerusalem. There is still a special excitement above the expectation of Shabbat. The children know that once the family has performed the ritual of re-entering the everyday after the beauty of Shabbat, Havdalah, they will light the first candle of Chanuka, and sing the blessings and songs. Jerusalem is different to other Israeli cities in the type of Chanukiot. The still have eight branches and one Shammas to light the candles from but they are housed in a glass box and placed outside the door of the home for all to see. Proud and strong. Never forget that Chanuka represents the very first time we truly fought back and claimed our Judaism and all its practices. The miracle of the oil is only a small part, romantic but a small part. We stopped being acquiescent and stood up for our right to be Jews. It is time to give our children the gift of Jewish values and pride alongside the gifts. Finally, as a reward for your patience with all the links I gave you today there are two videos, on of Chanukiot in Jerusalem  and the other called Eight Lights from Nefesh bNefesh. I loved it

Shabbat Shalom dear friends, Shabbat Shalom and Chanuka Sameach. A special Shabbat Shalom to my beautiful and beloved daughter-in-law Stephanie for everything that she is and for being with us all today. She knows what I mean.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem, our Jerusalem This Chanuka don't forget the Biblical lament "If I forget thee Oh Jerusalem"

With love

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Shevua Tov and the UN Vote


1st December 2012

Shevua Tov dear friends

From your letters it is clear that you want to know how we feel here in Israel, how we feel that the world has shown us exactly what they think of us. Well to start with no-one really thought the outcome would be any different and in truth only 6 nations changed their regular votes to support the Palestinian half-membership of the UN. Of course there were a few who disappointed us by abstaining but, hey, again so what's new? I will try to give you all the fats in an abridged form. Here goes.

I was deeply offended by Abu Mazens cynical choice of date to make his declaration and speech in the UN on the 29th November, but then again, what's new?
I was deeply offended by his speech which denied our right to exist and claimed the oppression of the “Palestinian people” Jerusalem and virtually all of Israel for himself.
I was deeply offended that in that supposed symbol of human rights he spoke of the terrible conditions imposed upon the ”Palestinian People” by Israel when he runs the PA as a dictator
I was deeply offended by the standing ovation his incitement to hatred received.
I was deeply offended that WE IN THE WEST all pay hugely inflated dues to an organisation that was formed to prevent wars yet seems intent upon preventing peace.
Was I surprised ?– not even remotely!!!

I embrace Canada, whose Prime Minister and Foreign Minister urged by the exceptional Professor Irwin Cotler, stood up to be counted among the few and spoke out loud and clear. The nations who stood strong against the resolution are Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Panama, Palau and of course the United States

Mrs Clinton expressed her deep concern for the undoubted problems incurred by the resolution. Ban Ki Moon expressed a determination that both countries, Israel and Palestine, return to the negotiating table. Mr Moon, we had the table set for years, the doors to the PM's office open; we stopped building in our own capital city; we were prepared to accede to most of your demands; we bend over backwards but sadly no-one was prepared to speak to us! Indeed we are waiting for you to agree to our one essential demand – to accept our existence!!!

I am not sure that the Israeli Governments response is correct. To build homes in our own country is a right not a form of revenge and appears petulant. We should never have stopped building!!! No-one has the right to tell us not to build Jewish homes on land that may be disputed but was clearly given to our care in our peace agreement with Jordan, especially when the Arabs are building as if there is no tomorrow in Jerusalem! Jerusalem is now filling with Arabs from Hebron and the surrounding areas, some neighborhoods increasing from 300 to 20,000 and no-one is even suggesting that they stick to their own borders!!!!

Here is the information I promised

The UN report of the debate, vote and its outcome

UNWatch - who voted what.

What Kind of Palestinian State?

The U.N. should consider whether the world needs another nation that imports weapons and exports extremism and terror.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor's November 29th 2012 Speech to the UN General Assembly <>
There’s only one route to Palestinian statehood and that route does not run through this chamber in New York. That route runs through direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah that will lead to a secure and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” he added. “There are no shortcuts. No quick fixes. No instant solutions.”
He said that President Abbas had described today’s proceedings as “historic”.  But the only thing historic about that official’s speech was how much it had ignored history.  The truth was that 65 years ago today, the United Nations had voted to partition the British Mandate into two States:  a Jewish State and an Arab State — two States for two peoples.  Israel had accepted that plan.  The Palestinians and Arab nations had rejected it and launched a “war of annihilation” to throw “the Jews into the sea”.
The truth was that from 1948 until 1967, the West Bank had been ruled by Jordon, and Gaza had been ruled by Egypt.  The Arab States had not lifted a finger to create a Palestinian State.  Instead, they had sought Israel’s destruction, and had been joined by newly formed Palestinian terrorist organizations.  The truth was that to advance peace, Israel had dismantled entire communities and uprooted thousands of people from their homes in the Gaza Strip in 2005.  Rather than use that opportunity to build a peaceful future, the Palestinians had turned Gaza into an “Iranian terror base”, from which thousands of rockets had been fired into Israeli cities.  Last week, Gaza had been turned into a launching pad for rockets into Israeli cities, a haven for global terrorists and a munitions dump for Iranian weapons.

Three months ago, Israel’s Prime Minister stood in the Assembly Hall and extended his hand in peace to President Abbas, reiterating that his goal was to create a solution of two-States for two-peoples — where a demilitarized Palestinian State would recognize Israel as a Jewish State. This afternoon, “I did not hear you use the phrase ‘two States for two peoples’ and, in fact, I have never heard you say that phrase because the Palestinian leadership has never recognized that Israel is the nation-State of the Jewish people,” he said, adding:“President Abbas, instead of revising history, it is time that you started making history by making peace with Israel.”

Zvi always says that Jewish festivals are based on one principle “They tried to kill us; we won now let's eat!” Even the foods we eat related to the particular era of our enslavement or capture or attempted annihilation. Just remember, we win every time after all we are still here and all the great Empires that tried to destroy us no longer exist

Chanuka. Haman of Persia thought he had us licked but what he, nor our current detractors don't understand is that we thrive on persecution............ it brings out our wicked sense of humour!!!

How to light your Chanuka candles – a lesson from the Technion in Haifa

Have a wonderful week and don't forget – we are OK.
With love from Jerusalem