Every year, on the National Day of Mourning for those who have fallen while serving the country, we, the Southern African Jews in Israel, collectively remember the eighty seven fallen from our community.

Their names are engraved on a memorial wall in the heart of the JNF-KKL Lavi forest close to the Golani junction, on a plaque in the offices of the SAZF in Raanana and appear at the end of this article. Continue reading

The State of Israel is 550 km from top to bottom. At its narrowest point, where I live, it is sixteen km wide. It takes six hours to go from Metulla in the north to Eilat in the south. It takes less than a quarter of an hour to get from my home to the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria, their accepted geographic names until the 1970’s. Continue reading

12th December, 2009

 To my Dear Family and Friends

 Last night, before lighting the Shabbat candles, Jews around the world lit the first of eight candles in the Hanukiah, celebrating Hanukah, the Festival of Lights,  which commemorates the rededication of the (Second) Temple after it had been desecrated and plundered by order of Antiochus, ruler of the Seleucid Empire. Continue reading

Holocaust, Holocaust Denial, Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism

The Holocaust and Holocaust Denial are subjects which many people feel have been over flogged, for want of a better expression. The never ending reference by Israelis and Jews to events which took place seventy years ago, two whole generations ago, are considered by some to be counter  productive especially when we recall that millions of people lost their lives in that terrible period. Six million Jews is a small proportion of the total deaths of WWII. Continue reading

4th July, 2009

Every now and again (like now) I ask myself why I write my newsletters and articles. And then I tell myself that I write because I want open minded people out there  in cyberspace to have a deeper insight into the events here in this corner of the world (i.e. Israel & her neighbours), to be aware that there are two sides to a coin, two sides to any story, or, to use the current “in” phrase when relating history, there are two “narratives“, an Israeli and a Palestinian.  I want you, my readers, to have the tools to be able to establish which is based on facts. which. I believe you have open minds and want to hear “the other side”. Continue reading

Contrary to the opinion held by those trying to de-legitimise the State of Israel, Israel  does not owe its existence to the Holocaust. The League of Nations, in 1917, recognised the right of the Jewish people to re-establish their homeland in Palestine (historically known as Israel, Judah and Judea until the name was changed by the Romans in the second century), where the nation was born and from which it was twice exiled.

Continue reading

7th February, 2009

As we here in Israel watch the news about our little corner of the world,  as reported by all the international stations , and read the editorials and commentaries from the most influential newspapers world wide, we are painfully aware of all the usually deliberate half truths and downright lies that are endlessly repeated.  We cannot but help recall the exact same situation when Israeli troops attacked Jenin Continue reading

27th January, 2009

One of the saddest aspects of the Israeli attack on Gaza was the suffering of the civilian population, particularly the children. Israel has been accused of “lack of proportion”, but the equation is not how many dead on each side in the two week offensive. Continue reading

Part of newsletter 27th Dec. 2007

Last night I saw a very powerful South African movie – “Tsotsi”. I was born in SA and although I haven’t been back since coming to live in Israel I still have family and friends there and keep abreast with the news. The movie, which presented a microcosm of the poverty and despair of a large portion of the population, set me thinking. Measuring poverty and despair are so subjective that, to be trite, one man’s poverty is another’s wealth.  Continue reading

Just when we are lulled into thinking that maybe things are improving in this corner of the world, we are rudely awakened by the latest bout of Moslem violence on the Temple Mount. What caused it? The professed reason is the allegation that Israeli plans to tunnel under the Temple Mount, thereby endangering  the sanctity and stability of the Dome of the Rock and the  El Aksa mosque – Islam’s third (!!!!) holiest site (after Mecca and Medina). Continue reading

Newsletter –  16th  December, 2006

I am sure that most of my readers are aware that Jimmy Carter has just had a new book published. Although I have not read it, the cover and the reviews horrify me. I have chosen an article by David Horowitz, author of numerous books including an autobiography, as it appeared on on  December 14, 2006.  If as reputable person as a former president of the USA can ignore, or even worse, twist historical, documented facts why should we expect less from the average Jew/Israel hater?

 Jimmy Carter: Jew-Hater, Genocide-Enabler, Liar. By David Horowitz Continue reading

Newsletter 29th July, 2006

Since there seems to be almost total consensus that Iran is responsible, to a larger or lesser degree, for the current violence on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, my readers may be interested in a few words about the history of Iran, or as it was known prior to 1935, Persia. No less interesting is to see how that  history entwines with Jewish history and, in its earlier stages, with the Hebrew Scriptures. Continue reading

Newsletter 7th July, 2006

Islam, its origins and its meaning, are so much in the news but few have the time to rely on anything  more detailed than the brief comments and allusions which appear in the media. In this newsletter I hope to give a slightly wider background. I have been toying with the idea for some time but the final push came from a book I have just finished reading, “In the Shadow of the Prophet” by Milton Viorst.  Published in 2001 this book is not part of the post 9/11 literature dealing with the Moslem world. Continue reading

Newsletter 15th November, 2005

Last week I was privileged to join the ranks of the very few who have had the opportunity to actually see, first hand, the mosaic floor of what may well prove to be the ‘oldest known Christian Church’. For this I have to thank the VIP I was guiding and his well-connected hosts!!! Continue reading

Newsletter 13th August, 2005

Tonight is erev Tisha be-Av, the evening of the ninth day of the month of Av, a fast day in the post-Torah Hebrew calendar of festivals and fasts. But unlike Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which could be described as a Shabbat (meaning a complete rest from work) dedicated to introspection and penitence, Tisha be-Av is a day of mourning on which we are permitted to work and travel. Continue reading

This year, as we mourned as we do every year, for over six million Jews who were killed in Europe, for no other reason than that they were Jews, the world (or much of it) recalled that in May sixty years ago WWII in Europe came to an end, Auschwitz was liberated.

Continue reading