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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.

      Tishrei 29, 5774, 10/3/2013

      What's Going On in Colorado?

      Until recently, I had not heard of Huerfano County.  It’s in Colorado.  There’s a town there called Gardner. There, on 22 acres in the center of Gardner bordering on Highway 69 between Walsenburg and Westcliffe, and across from the Gardner Post Office, a group of Israelis, committed to permaculture, set up Camp D’ORvid as a meditative center.

      What they are doing there in the first place, I have no idea.  But the bottom line is that whatever structures there are are set to be demolished by a Court Order on October 18, 2013.

      In the past, it has been reported that

      43 area residents claim[ed] that “a foreign Israeli corporation has invaded the area in an apparent effort to execute a land grab from local citizens in the Gardner area,”

      And in 2009, we could read that

      Huerfano County Judge Claude Appel refused on Tuesday to overturn his previous ruling, which overthrew Gardner resident Gary Lensky’s claim to property adjecent to his house and land within Gardner.  Lensky’s claim has been opposed by other adjecent landowners, who appealed Appel’s initial ruling, approving Lensky’s land claims.  This controversial saga has dragged on for several years, as to who owns what and where, with charges of fraud, racism and physical threats thrown out by each side.

      You can see some of the contretemps on these video clips ( I ; II; )

      I have been informed that Lensky moved to Gardner about 15 years ago trying to establish a Jewish meditative center. He claims that he encountered “racism and apathy”, according to my source.   The legal issues are complex over who owns the property.  Lensky and friends removed 45 truckloads of garbage that had been dumped on the property by locals, and planted 1000 trees.  Over the past 16 years the property has been totally transformed by the more than 50,000 hours of work by members in the full view of the Gardner Community and every traveler on Highway 69.
      There has been a felony arson on the property which could be defined as a hate crime.  The Sheriff’s behavior has been called into question as has that of the Huerfano County Commissioners and a Commissioner Montoya.  The religion of the Camp’s administrators has become an issue.
      Beginning in 2006 Sheriff Bruce Newman began sending deputies who may, or may not, have conveyed a message that the Sheriff and the local judge are in cahoots.  Commissioner Roger Cain, may have refered to Camp D’ORvid members as “damn Jews”.  Gates and fencing have been knocked down it is reported.  Even a Civil Rights Suit against the County was filed.

      I found court cases - Lensky et al v. County of Huerfano, Colorado et al with Gary Lensky, Rafi Caneti and Zachary Pedigo as Plaintiffs.  And another, Lensky et al v. County of Huerfano, Colorado et al, in which in 2011, Judge Marcia S. Krieger presided over an order to dismiss claims and closed the case.

      I’d really like to know what is going on.  Is justice being served?  Are rights being preserved?  Is freedom protected?  Is there, or is there not, a subversion of the law?  Is anti-Semitism involved?  Have crimes been overlooked?

      Last but not least, what are those Israelis doing in Colorado?


      Tishrei 28, 5774, 10/2/2013

      Yes, Better

      The essence of the conflict that is termed the Israel-Palestine Conflict is that we Jews as Zionists challenge the Arabs not only nationalistically and politically as regards whose country is this land - Eretz-Yisrael or Eretz-Yishmael - but the issue is on a more fundamental intellectual, theological, philosophical and cultural level.

      We challenge those who term themselves Palestinians to define who they really are.

      We challenge them to coexist with us.

      We challenge them to share a Holy Site.

      We challenge them to be tolerant.

      We challenge them to be more liberal and humanist.

      We challenge them to adopt a different moral code of behavior.

      We challenge them to be more democratic.

      We are not perfect but we are better even as we know we can be better.

      Do they want to be better?

      Do they wish to liberate themselves mentally, emotionally and psychologically from their hate and rejection?

      Can they accept sharing and cooperation, even on water and sanitation issues to save and preserve this land?


      Tishrei 23, 5774, 9/27/2013

      Don't Whine. Shine Out Our Wine

      The growing of grapes and the production of wine has been a recent Yesha success story over the past decade.

      Where I live, at Shiloh, I see the vineyards everyday and we have three, no, four, wineries in our area.  And prizes are won.  With internationall recognition.

      And, despite EU threats, I think we will persevere.

      What we do need is a good advertising campaign.

      I caught this:

      Fifty Shades of Grey Wine Launched

      You've read the book, you're going to watch the movie, now you can drink the wine.  E.L. James has launched a range of Fifty Shades of Grey wine...It comes in two flavours: Red Satin and White Silk...her website even lists the appropriate drop to go with various sections of her books (read here *contains spoilers*) - so this development is perhaps not a surprise.  So, if you're looking to seduce your very own Christian or Anastasia, make sure to get a bottle of Satin or Silk in, and the Fifty Shades classical album on the stereo and you surely cannot fail.

      Okay, we need not all need to know what that is all about, but you get the idea, break out to reach out.

      Something like:

      Our Wines, Maybe Not Tuscany But Lots of Torah.

      Anyone reading this have ideas?

      The harvesting season is upon us and soon, the grapes will be in barrels.



      Tishrei 21, 5774, 9/25/2013

      NYTimes Discovers 'Palestinian' Diplomacy

      From Jodi Rudoren's Facebook


      Riad al-Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister, told Voice of Palestine radio this morning that President Obama said Tuesday "that negotiations start from the 1967 borders as a reference." But President Obama didn't say that, at least not according to the transcript posted on whitehouse.gov. Rather, he repeated the longstanding United States position: "The border of Israel and Palestine should be based on 1967 lines with mutually agreed-to swaps so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states with robust security provisions so that Israel retains the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threats." Nothing about how the borders play into negotiations, that I see.

      Malki also said on the radio this morning that the Palestinians "will not accept the idea of a Jewish state, no matter what the Americans or the Israelis say."


      Tishrei 15, 5774, 9/19/2013

      Who Cares for the Children?

      The Oslo Process kicked in 20 years ago.

      There are many things one can write about its effects, its influences and its results.

      One theme I stress is that for true peace to evolve out of the mess Shimon Peres, Yossi Beilin and Yitzhak Rabin got us into, is that the generation of schoolchildren who grew up during this period, from kindergarten on to university, must be weaned away from the hatred, the inculcation of animosity and the deprecation of the Jews and the anti-Israel incitement that the Palestinian Authority to this day is engaged in and corrupting the minds of their youth.

      All this negativity must be unraveled and healed.  Peace programming must be in the schools.

      If not, no peace.

      So, to my not-surprise, one Brad Parker over at the closed-thinking Open Zion site, you can read this in Palestinian Youth and the Failure of Oslo:

      Instead of growing up with a law-based, negotiated settlement founded on universal human rights principles, justice and respect for human dignity; Palestinian youth have had their futures stifled and suppressed by systemic discrimination, constant settlement expansion, and prolonged military occupation.

      So typical.

      One-sided blindsiding of any outside observer who might not be aware of the foundations of Arab terror based on mobilized youth.  All Israel's fault.

      Again, relieving the Arabs of any responsibility for their predicament.


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