I’ve only just remembered, but today is an anniversary – a very important one. Thirty-two years ago today, I came home.
I see you’re puzzled. I’ll explain.
I was born and bred in London. On the 29th of July 1974, I came on aliyah (the Ascent) with my family. That’s the term we Jews use for leaving the Diaspora and coming home to the Land of our Forefathers – to Israel.
I’ve been meaning, for some time, to get my own web space and start a blog and now, with my country under attack – not just by vicious terrorists on our northern and western borders, but also in the foreign Press – seemed like an appropriate time to do it.
I make no claims to objectivity. This is, after all, my space, so I can say what I want. And I intend to…
Let me start by explaining why My Space is called "The View from the Palace". I live in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of East Talpiot. At least, that’s its official name. To most people, however, it’s known as Armon Hanatziv – the High Commissioner’s Palace. That’s because, under the British Mandate, the British High Commissioner’s Residence was located on a hill which overlooks the present neighbourhood. The neighbourhood itself was built in the 1970s, on land bought at an exorbitant price from the Arabs in the nearby village of Jebel Mukaber.
The history buffs among you might like to know that the former British High Commissioner’s Palace now houses the United Nations headquarters in Jerusalem. The hill on which it stands also figures in the New Testament. In Jesus’s time, it was known as the Hill of Evil Counsel…
In the days and weeks to come, I shall be commenting on the events in my little corner of the world. That doesn’t mean just the political and military events. There is so much more to Israel and the Israelis than what you see on TV and read in the newspapers. I want to tell you about my choir, about our tour of France together with other musical groups – Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Christians and Muslims. I want to tell you about the little, everyday things that inspire me and sometimes exasperate me. My country and my people are fascinating – admirable and infuriating in turn – but never dull.
You may not agree with all that I write. I think I can promise, however, that you won’t be bored.
‘Bye for now or, as we say in Hebrew, lehitra’ot.