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      From the Hills of Efraim
      by Yisrael Medad
      This blog will be informative, highlight foibles, will be assertively contentious and funny and wryly satirical.
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      Yisrael Medad is a revenant resident of Shiloh, in the Hills of Efrayim north of Jerusalem.  He arrived in Israel with his wife, Batya, in 1970 and lived in the renewing Jewish Quarter, eventually moving to Shiloh in 1981. 

      Currently the Menachem Begin Center's Information Resource Director, he has previously been director of Israel's Media Watch, a Knesset aide to three Members of Knesset and a lecturer in Zionist History.  He assists the Yesha Council in it's contacts with the Foreign Media in a volunteer capacity, is active on behalf of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and is involved in various Jewish and Zionist activist causes.  He contributes a Hebrew-language media column to Besheva and publishes op-eds in the Jerusalem Post and other periodicals.

      He also blogs at MyRightWord in English and, in Hebrew, at The Right Word.

      Tammuz 9, 5772, 6/29/2012

      We're Losing the Temple Mount's Foundation Stone

      Tomorrow's Friday edition of Makor Rishon will be carrying a lead story by Arnon Segal on how the Temple Mount Foundation Stone, in Hebrew Even HaShtiya, has had metal supports placed on it while the Waqf renovates the Dome of the Rock:-

      Picture here.

      A complaint should filed with the police based on the Law for the Protection of the Holy Places:

      1. The Holy Places shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the different religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places.

      2. a) Whosoever desecrates or otherwise violates a Holy Place shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of seven years.


      Iyar 5, 5772, 4/27/2012

      Linguistic Ethnic Cleansing

      Arabs admit to having been engaged in altering a name of a Jewish site in the Land of Israel.

      In my estimation, not only is that a form of identity theft but it is actually ethnic cleansing by linguistic action, a form of colonialism.

      I found this in a story here.    It was reviewing the infamous Bob Simon "60 Minutes" hatchet job on Israel.  When he threw the Jews to the lions. 

      But let's return to the case of identity theft.  This is what I found at that review:


      Taybeh's roots are deep, and for Christians, important: the biblical name of the village is Ephraim. According to the Bible, Jesus Christ came to Taybeh from Jerusalem before his crucifixion. John 11:54 states: "Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim *, and there continued with his disciples."

      The name of the village was changed from Ephraim to Taybeh around 1187, by the Islamic leader Saladin.

      Name alteration, is it not a form of colonial ethnic-cleansing?

      Let's get this clear: Arabs were not an indigenous people in the Land of Israel.  And Arabs who lived in this area of the Middle East are not direct descendents of Jebusites and Canannites.  In 638 CE, Arabs conquered the Land of Israel, put an end to Jewish economic independence and subsequently occupied the country.  Then came the Crusaders, Saladin (see above), Mamelukes, Ottomans, British, etc.

      As for the Biblical site named there, it is probably what appears as the:

      hill-country of Ephraim


      which is mentioned in Judges 19 and also in I Samuel 1 but most scholars think that Taybeh is Ofra, the home village of Gideon, Judges 6, and, too, the home village of Avimelech in Judges 9, a border delineation location, mentioned also in I Samuel 13.

      And as we know, Ofra has been renewed.

      But to return to the beginning: this country is the Land of Israel.  The Jews, by international law, were charged with reconstituting their national home and to facilitate that, the nations of the world guaranteed us the right of "close settlement" (Article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate).

      The Arabs are seeking to steal this land from us, alter its identity.

      We will not allow that.


      Iyar 2, 5772, 4/24/2012

      Are Hamas and Jewish "Settlers" Really Equivalent?


      Jeffrey Goldberg blogs at The Atlantic.

      And in a most recent post, he equalizes and equates the Hamas with the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria (in an attack on Peter Beinart).  Here's the relevant section:-

      In other news from Happyland, the number-two of Hamas, Moussa Abu Marzook, gave an interview to the Forward in which he -- and this will be very surprising to people who aren't paying attention, and to Peter Beinart -- rules out recognizing Israel, and says that the most Hamas could offer Israel is a long-term truce. "We will not recognize Israel as a state. It will be like the relationship between Lebanon and Israel or Syria and Israel."

      And those are excellent relationships!

      I mention Peter because he has argued for quite a while that Hamas is actually moderating, and that we should not pay too much attention to the group's charter (which calls for, you know, killing a lot of Israelis and destroying their country). One of the irksome qualities of Peter's benign interpretation of Hamas is that he doesn't extend the same benefit of the doubt to another group of bearded fundamentalists, the Jewish settlers. For Peter, settler ideology is deadly and should be treated as such; Hamas, on the other hand, is just waiting for the right moment to emerge as a moderate, non-anti-Semitic force. I think it's better to take all religious fundamentalists at their word, which is why I worry incessantly about the willingness of some settlers to bring about the apocalypse, as I wrote here.

      Two liberals fight each other and both dump on the Jews.

      My only question is - do women count or only if they have beards?



      Kislev 18, 5772, 12/14/2011

      Anti-statist attacks wrong - but not 'unprecedented'

      Many here in Israel are quite upset at the attack on an IDF base by, supposedly, "hilltop youth". There was a break-in, an nofficer was injured, rocks were thrown, tires burned and military vehicles were vandalized.  Previously, after the demolition of three homes at Migron, there was also an invasion of an IDF base.

      This is serious.  It is wrong and those guilty must be punished.

      The Prime Minister considers this 'unprecedented'.

      After all, who do these protestors think they are?  Do they think they can do what is done abroad?

      Like in 2001, in England, when protesters invaded a 'Star Wars' base

      ONE of the world's largest spy bases was invaded by scores of protesters who strolled past a lone guard to the theme of Mission Impossible yesterday.  Others breached the 9ft perimeter fencing at RAF Menwith Hill, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire.  The Greenpeace activists, some in fancy dress and "armed" with 7ft cardboard rockets, climbed on to the 70ft high water tower and chained themselves to railings.

      Or as in 2003 there

      In early March 8 anarchists in Cardiff invaded the BAE Systems munitions factory at Glascoed in Wales. They scaled a 3m high fence with the help of a homemade rope ladder. Splitting into three groups and dressed in appropriate white overalls they proceeded to make an inspection of the site... In Derby in England 14 activists entered the military port, occupying tanks and jeeps which were about to be sent to the Gulf...[a] bomber base in the UK, which is used for direct air raids on Iraq, is located at Fairford in Gloucestershire. Peace activists have been engaged in a steady campaign against its presence. The fence has been breached many times. On one occasion landing lights were destroyed on others the gates and parts of the fence were torn down. Activists who brought bicycles through the fence and cycled them up and down the runway blocked the runway at RAF Lakeheath. The runway at RAF Brize Norton was also blocked.

      You can find incidents over the years in many other countries (in February 2010 in Italy, for example).  In 2009, in Bangor, we read that

      Five protestors associated with an international peace movement were arrested Monday after cutting through three security fences to reach an area where nuclear missiles are stored at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor. Cited on suspicion of trespassing and destruction of government property were Bill Bischel, 81, a Catholic priest from Tacoma; Anne Montgomery, 83, a nun from New York; Susan Crane, 65, of Baltimore; Lynne Greenwald, 60, of Bremerton; and Steve Kelly, 60, of Oakland, Calif.

      but in Israel, even the Prime Minister is out of proportion.

      Indeed, I repeat, this is a serious matter and must be treated with firm application of the law.

      But let's not think in hyperbole.  And it has happened in Israel before.  Yes.  And it cam from the far-Left.

      Adam Keller of the Yesh Gvul and Uri Avenry Gush Shalom groups did something quite similar:

      in April–May 1988, Reserve Corporal Adam Keller was charged with "Insubordination" and "Spreading of Propaganda Harmful to Military Discipline" in that while on active military duty he had written on 117 tanks and other military vehicles graffiti with the text: "Soldiers of the IDF, refuse to be occupiers and oppressors, refuse to serve in the occupied territories!"

      So, let's not lose our heads.  The issue must be confronted.  Educators, Rabbis, community leaders must be involved.  Non-recognition of the state's institutions cannot be allowed to seep into the consciousness of our youth.  Negativism and defeatism is to be combatted.

      But we cannot fall into a trap of self-flagellation.


      Cheshvan 5, 5772, 11/2/2011

      Will Israel reclaim its identity?


      Israel is facing an identity theft threat.

      The "Islamic Temple Mount Denial Syndrome" has been around for years (see here, too).  I thought maybe it had come to an end.

      Then there was Rachel's Tomb which, it was claimed, was really a mosque.  Even PM Netanyahu got upset about that.

      And now, with the acceptance of UNESCO of an entity called "Palestine", the confrontation looms, as we learn:

      West Bank religious sites first for world heritage request

      Significant religious sites throughout the West Bank, including the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem and Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, will be among the first to be pushed forward for world heritage status now Palestine has been granted membership of UNESCO.

      A Palestinian Authority spokesman there were many sites and shrines in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip that until now had been unprotected because of a lack of recognition and funding.

      ''Now we will be able to protect them and make sure they are known around the world,'' he said. ''We believe that becoming a member of the UNESCO is an overdue right for a country that has such a significant amount of heritage sites.''

      ...The authority claims agreements such as the 1994 Paris Protocol severely restrict tourism and therefore economic development in the Palestinian territories.  Joseph's Tomb in Nablus - a site important to Christians, Jews and Muslims - has been at the centre of deep sectarian conflict. With UNESCO membership, the Palestinian Authority would now be responsible for ensuring the site was protected, the official said.


      This resonated to my mind with a previous instance - the 1930 dispute over who 'owned' the rights at the Western Wall.

      The Jewish case is contained in this memorandum (and a review is here).

      I previously have gone into this here where I wrote about a White Paper, Command 3229 of November 19, 1928, just as Muslim-Jewish tension were escalating over mutual claims at the Western Wall after the pulling down of the mechitza on Yom Kippur. That White Paper affirmed that no benches or screens could be brought to the wall by Jews, since they had not been allowed during Ottoman rule.
      a White Paper, Command 3682, 27 May 1930, which welcomed an investigation by an international commission of the conflicting claims to the Western Wall (see here) and that International Commission of Inquiry established by the British Mandatory authorities which then issued a report that resulted in unjust restrictions on Jews by the Western Wall in addition to awarding to the Muslim Waqf the ownership of the Wall and the small courtyard which served as the worship site.

      What we are witnessing is a matter of identity theft. See here for what appears to be an article translated from the Arabic to comprehend their thinking.

      If this is the culture UNESCO will be promoting at the initiative of its new member, there will be two outcomes.

      The first is a reframing of the Arab-Israel conflict in terms of religion and national ethos.  To my mind, it is about time that will come to the fore.  Even Benny Morris now admits his reading of the 1947-1949 battles was wrong and that it was a jihadist struggle.

      The second is the reorientation of Jewish concerns on our rights to Eretz-Yisrael.  This is Jewish land.  The state is a Jewish state.  The character of Zionism is Jewish nationalism with Jewish values, Jewish character, Jewish essence.  It does not mean any other ethnicity or religion is to be excluded or oppressed or ignored.  It simply means that the primary geist of the country is Jewish.

      It may be difficult at the outset but good will come out of it in the form of a strengthened Jewish national character.


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