After a two month break from here I am back. Happy Pesach to everyone reading this, I hope you are having an enjoyable and restful week (I am certainly enjoying it after all the cleaning, which I think destroyed my finger tips).
For those of you that don't know, the main reason that I have taken a break is because on 15 February, Sonia and I were pleased to have a beautiful baby girl called Maayan Hadassah. I never really realised how tiring have a baby is, but it is an amazing feeling. Maayan was born at Tel Hashomer hospital in Ramat Gan (just outside Tel Aviv) and for parents considering where to have the birth I would recommend it for the care that was received, although it is very busy.
The past two months have also seen some other memorable moments.
We have now been living in Israel for over a year . As I wrote last year at Pesach we are able to celebrate living in the land of the Jewish people something which until the past century has not been possible for thousands of years. It has been really amazing to again see the whole country get ready for Pesach, in the place where it is meant to be celebrated. I feel so proud that Maayan will be able to grow up speaking Hebrew and enjoying living an easier Jewish life in Israel.
After living in the city of Modiin for just over a year, at the end of this month we will be moving to Jerusalem (just off Emek Refaiim). Modiin has been a good place to start as we settle in Israel, it has excellent facilities for young families and feels open and green. It is also generally cheaper to buy/rent in then Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. However, Sonia and I are both used to big cities like London, and Modiin is definitely a quiet commuter town and not a city at the moment. We are therefore moving to Jerusalem to have more of a city life and breathe in a few more urban fumes. I hope this offers some advice to anyone making aliyah.
In the news front the past couple of months have also been very busy with the alleged (probable) Mossad killing of a Hamas leader and Dubai and Britain expelling and Israeli diplomat. I believe both countries were right in their actions and had to do what they had to do, something which all countries would do if the opportunity occured.
Sadly though the US President has again become an unfair critic of Israel -who does not seem to fully understand the Middle East situation - just as he was this time last year (after a few months break I hoped he had learnt from his mistakes) in what I believe is his aim to appease the Islamic world. I hope this dangereious situation is reduced and Israel and the USA can again be close allies, which most Israelis and Americans want.
Over the next couple of months I look forward to commenting on the Middle East process and of course the British election. I hope to provide an interesting analysis especially on the British election from the position of a former politician their who can understand and explain it but now from a spectators position.