As a result of Thursday's blog
Radio Manchester interviewed me on Sunday morning.
Mike Shaft asked about the celebrations in Haifa and the rest of the country, but also wanted an explanation of the Palestinian approach to the issue.
I basically said that it takes two to tango and feel that this blog might have been helpful.
I also referred to the timely article in Haaretz, a left-wing paper, which had suggested that the Palestinians had missed a great many chances along the way:
However, Mike did seem genuinely interested to learn that 60% of all students at the Rambam Medical School in Haifa (hit by rockets during the 2nd Lebanon War) are actually Arabs. And a friend tells me that similar percentages are also the case at Shaarei Zedek hospital in Jerusalem.
Later that morning, delegates at the AGM of the Greater Manchester Jewish Representative Council mentioned how reporting on Israel adversely affects the fate of the British Jew in the street.
In the evening, the Annual Dinner of Magen David Adom
took place in the centre of Manchester. The guest speaker was James Rubin:
Another very good speaker was the High Master of Manchester Grammar School
one of two schools in Manchester which has raised funds for the Israeli ambulance service.
I am Patron of Christian Friends of Magen David Adom. In less than two years, CFDMA has raised a considerable sum for ambulances in Israel. The first of these will be dedicated in Tiberias in early June.
The active participation of the Christian community in helping to support Israel's ambulance service is a very welcome step and could be a pointer for future relations between Israel and the Christian communities world-wide.
Meanwhile, the Queen has sent the following message to President Shimon Peres:
It gives me particular pleasure to send Your Excellency congratulations on the celebration of your National Day, on the sixtieth anniversary of your Independence. I extend my best wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the Government and people of Israel in the coming year