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      From the Hills of Ephraim
      by Yisrael Medad
      My blog from the heart of the heartland of the Jewish People in Eretz-Yisrael with thoughts, observations and ideas.

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      I am a resident of Shiloh, with my wife and children, and now grandchildren, since 1981, having come on Aliyah in 1970.  I have served in a volunteer capacity as a Yesha Council spokesperson, twice a member of Amana's secretariat, Benjamin Regional Council plenum member and mayor of Shiloh.  I was a parliamentary aide for Geula Cohen and two other MKs, an advisor to a Minister, vice-chairman and executive director of Israel's Media Watch and currently, am Information and Content Resource coordinator for the Begin Heritage Center.

      Adar Bet 22, 5774, 3/24/2014

      Did Jabotinsky Possess Two Swords?


      I read this here at Arutz Sheva

      A historic sword belonging to the Zionist leader Zev Jabotinsky was presented to the Israel Police in a special ceremony on Monday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presented the sword to Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and others.  The sword was confiscated from Jabotinsky by the British authorities in Jerusalem in 1920. Jabotinsky had been organizing self-defense units to defend the Jewish community against Arab terrorists when he was arrested by the British and imprisoned.

      A historian in the Police Historical Archives claims to have "discovered it", one Martin Higgins, and he, at the request of the Israel Police Historical Unit it was brought to Israel.

      And I thought to myself - 'that's odd'.

      So I opened up the album, Jabotinsky Returns to the Homleand, a book on my shelf, and found a photograph of Jabotinsky's sword from 1964 when Jabotinsky was reinterred in Israel at which time Yaakov Meridor placed it on Rosh Betar's coffin, where did it go to that that historian "found" it?

      Were there two swords?

      Is one fake?

      ^



      Adar 28, 5774, 2/28/2014

      Let's Really Rile the Jordanians


       

      Jordanian MPs are angry over the Temple Mount.

      The Jordanian Foreign Minister has been upset, too.

      Local Arab bier-bearers, trying to enter the Temple Mount, administered by the Jordanian Waqf, are, too:

      The police force that secures the Temple Mount prevented the rioters from entering the area and as a result, the clashes broke out.  The rioters returned to the Lions' Gate, where they found an abandoned police post and tried to set the door to the post ablaze. There, they also burned the Israeli flag.  The Arab youth threw stones and firecrackers at police who responded with crowd dispersal means. The youths fled towards Ras al-Amud.

      The Knesset was involved this week in the matter.

      Shall we add to Jordan's pain and injury?

      A new book, entitled The Land between the Two Rivers: Early Israelite Identities in the Transjordan by Thomas Petter is out.

      From the blurb:

      ...historians who are skeptical about any "real" history of early Israel have disparaged the idea that Israel had an early presence in Transjordan. This skeptical stance, however, is by no means shared by everyone. Frank Cross...demonstrated the reality of an early Israelite presence in Transjordan. Ongoing excavations--at Tall al-?Umayri, the type-site for the Late Bronze-Iron I transition in the region bounded by the Wadi Zarqa in the north and the Wadi Mujib in the south, and at Tall Madaba, which had an early Iron I settlement--now confirm a tribal presence in these Transjordanian areas during the early Iron I. 

      ...while the presence of Reuben, Gad, and other tribal groups need not be questioned, application of a specific ethnic label to the existing material-cultural horizon creates unnecessary tensions...Petter outlines a context-driven interpretive framework within which to plot tribal ethnic expressions in the past. From the perspective of the longue durée, we can see that frontier regions tend to exhibit episodic changes of hand: competing sides claimed legitimate ownership, sometimes by way of making the gods owners of the land.

      We know that Jordan, formerly TransJordan, was part of the Palestine Mandate.

      There's been talk for decades that Jordan is Palestine which also upsets Jordan.  After all, the Hashemites came from Saudi Arabia.


      So, Jordan, historically, is actually ... ancient Israel?

      ^







      Adar 25, 5774, 2/25/2014

      Investigate the Police


      As this site is reporting today,

      dozens of Muslims began throwing rocks and fireworks at police once the gate, which is the only entrance through which Jews may enter the Mount, was opened. A police force dispersed the rioters through the use of stun grenades.

      Police have closed the Mount to Jewish visitors as a result of the riots, which have a direct connection to talks over religious freedom at the Mount due to commence Tuesday. 

      I was not a senior IDF officer nor a high-ranking policeman.  I am not a graduate of a management course.

      But I think someone should be asking these questions:

      - for two days Muslims have been uploading photos of themselves barricading themselves in the Al-aqsa Mosque.  Why were they not evacuated immediately?

      - these Muslims were stockpiling rocks.  Why were not, at the least, the weapons removed prior to the riots?  Or their flags and banners?

      - why were not all the gates to the Temple Mount supervised and suspected rioters --- the 16-30 year-olds --- prevented from entering?

      If our political echelons insist we should do nothing as Jews to anger or upset Muslim sensibilities, cannot we expect our police to do the minimum to protect our security if they cannot assert full sovereignty?

      ^







      Adar 10, 5774, 2/10/2014

      Cohen's Naziism Spin


      According to Roger Cohen in the NYTimes today, he is 

      a strong supporter of a two-state peace. The messianic idea of Greater Israel, occupying all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, must wither. Jews, having suffered for most of their history as a minority, cannot, as a majority now in their state, keep their boots on the heads of the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank any longer.

      Well, I humbly suggest to Mr. Cohen that he is in error.

      First off, we are in Judea and Samaria as a result of the situation before 1967. The Arabs then, before any "occupation" and any "settlement construction", were terrorizing the Jewish state within the 1949 Armistice  Lines, having failed in their previous fedayeen terror campaign, their previous launcing of a war of aggression in 1947, their previous 1936-1939 First Intifada, their previous 1929 riots, their previous 1921 riots, their previous 1920 riots and their earlier sporadic anti-Jewish attacks.  Dismantling communities and withdrawing is a solution which does not apply to the problem.

      Secondly, "Greater Israel" or more properly, the Land of Israel in its historic boundaries, was already recognized by formal international organizations and institutions.  Whether or not we have these or that borders is a matter of politics, military results and exigencies.  But in principle, those borders are not "messianic".  

      Thirdly, Zionism did not come into being to facilitate the establishment of an Arab state in our homeland.  "Palestinians" are a political fiction.  If there is to be a "Palestine", it cannot exist without Jordan being part of the resolution.

      Fourth, I consider your use of "boots on their heads" as a spin of Nazi-comparison.  Shame on you.

      ^







      Adar 7, 5774, 2/7/2014

      Obama and the Jewish Right to Pray on the Temple Mount


      I caught the remarks of Barack Obama, President of the United States, spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast event at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.thanks to IMRA.

      He noted that

      ...as Americans, we affirm the freedoms endowed by our Creator, among them freedom of religion.  And, yes, this freedom safeguards religion, allowing us to flourish as one of the most religious countries on Earth, but it works the other way, too -- because religion strengthens America.  Brave men and women of faith have challenged our conscience and brought us closer to our founding ideals, from the abolition of slavery to civil rights, workers’ rights.

      and continued

      I’ve felt the love that faith can instill in our lives during my visits to the Holy Land and Jerusalem -- sacred to Jews and Christians and Muslims...I’ve felt the compassion of so many faith leaders around the world...Yet even as our faith sustains us, it’s also clear that around the world freedom of religion is under threat.  And that is what I want to reflect on this morning. 

      and he emphasized:

      We sometimes see religion twisted in an attempt to justify hatred and persecution against other people just because of who they are, or how they pray or who they love.  Old tensions are stoked, fueling conflicts along religious lines...even though to harm anyone in the name of faith is to diminish our own relationship with God.  Extremists succumb to an ignorant nihilism that shows they don’t understand the faiths they claim to profess -- for the killing of the innocent is never fulfilling God’s will; in fact, it’s the ultimate betrayal of God’s will.


      Today, we profess the principles we know to be true.  We believe that each of us is “wonderfully made” in the image of God.  We, therefore, believe in the inherent dignity of every human being -- dignity that no earthly power can take away.  And central to that dignity is freedom of religion -- the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith if they choose, or to practice no faith at all, and to do this free from persecution and fear...promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy.  And I’m proud that no nation on Earth does more to stand up for the freedom of religion around the world than the United States of America.  (Applause.)

      And then, he noted

      ...THE PRESIDENT:...As we support Israelis and Palestinians as they engage in direct talks, we’ve made clear that lasting peace will require freedom of worship and access to holy sites for all faiths.  I want to take this opportunity to thank Secretary Kerry for his extraordinary passion and principled diplomacy that he’s brought to the cause of peace in the Middle East...

      ...And in contrast to those who wield religion to divide us, let’s do more to nurture the dialogue between faiths that can break cycles of conflict and build true peace, including in the Holy Land.

      That's clear to me: President Obama supports Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

      Thank you, Mr. President.

      Mr. Secretary of State, John (the Dodger of Bullets) Kerry, is that part of your solution?  Forget the Klingons.  Think of the Jews.

      ^







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