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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.

      Sivan 13, 5768, 6/16/2008

      What The Future Holds?

      For Iran, that is.


      One can hope.

      Sivan 13, 5768, 6/16/2008

      Rice is Riled About the Wrong Checkpoints

      Can you guess where this event is took place?

      By Friday evening, the checkpoints were gone from ________________, leaving residents to ponder...after nearly a week of intense police attention.

      ...______________ was on lockdown for six days, until Thursday, as __________ tried to end a spate of shootings by setting up checkpoints where all occupants of vehicles were required to prove that they had a legitimate reason to enter the area. The police said they had stopped vehicles because most of the killings were drive-by shootings...

      ...“Why don’t they check some of these guys standing on the corners, run them out of our neighborhood?” Ms. _______ asked, gesturing toward a cluster of young men nearby.

      Police checkpoints are not uncommon, but the Police Department’s demand for people’s names and the telephone numbers of their destinations brought national attention.

      ...the Police Department declared the initiative a success. The police said they made one arrest, turned away 46 vehicles and stopped more than 700 vehicles at 10 checkpoints. And, most important, there were no killings over the six days.

      Officials have left open the possibility of additional checkpoints...

      Checkpoints.  Lockdown.  Police checking phone numbers. 

      Are we in Israel?

      In Samaria?  Judea?  Shiloh?


      This took place this past week in...Washington, D.C.  Really!

      (see here)

      And why did I quiz you?

      Because Condi Rice is harping on checkpoints harrassing Arabs whose quality of life is injured (see here for a story from last month).

      Now, think about it.  Condi Rice is from Washington.  Maybe she should complain to her boss about the woeful state of her fellow municipal residents, instead of bothering Israel?

      Maybe she should stop tooting her off-key horn.

      Sivan 12, 5768, 6/15/2008

      It Could Go the Other Way, No?

      This is one report on the Yesha Council pronouncement on Condi Rice's remarks today:

      Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yesha council, called Rice's rhetoric "impertinent and shameless."  Dayan also had harsh words the Israeli government's lack of response.

      "An ambassador for a foreign country comes to Jerusalem and scolds Israel for providing housing for its citizens at the heart of its capital city. But the blame lies with (Prime Minister) Olmert and (Foreign Affairs Minister) Livni, who consent to this. Israel has been spat at in the face and the government treats it as raindrops," he said.

       "When the Olmert-Livni government set off, it prided itself on an understanding with the US president over the future of the settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria. Within two years this failure of a government has managed to lose international support even over neighborhoods in Jerusalem," charged Dayan.

      Dayan said the decision to freeze construction in the Wst Bank led to criticism of Israeli construction in Jerusalem. "It should have been clear to Olmert that halting projects in all of Judea and Samaria, even in the blocs – would transport the political struggle into the heart of the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem."

      (see another expression here)

      Last week I spoke very briefly with Tzipy Livni, more curtesy than anything substantive.  I could have told her, had I the chance, that Ms. Rice was calling for a review of a very specific community's activities and that I was working my tuches off trying to prod my contacts to supply American diplomats with counter-information.  And if only the Foreign Ministry was a bit more alert and willing to seek ways of coordination and cooperation, we could have done better.

      But, even after Rice said this today:

      And I want to make very clear that the United States will not consider these activities to affect any final status negotiations, including final borders. These are to be negotiated between the parties in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338. And this is a point that I have made to my Israeli colleagues earlier, and Mr. President, I wanted to reiterate that with you.

      There is a lot of leeway. After all, it could go the other way, right?  That is, the borders will look exactly as we want them to look.

      Sivan 8, 5768, 6/11/2008

      Almost, But Not Quite, Sex

      Tzvi Fishman seems to get a lot of responses and comments when he deals with the more biological aspects of life.  I'm not sure I can deal with that subject properly but I looked around for something approximate.  And I think I found it:

      Did you know that, in the United States, the test of obscenity still hinges on a 1973 Supreme Court ruling which held that a work is not legally obscene if it has "literary, artistic, political or scientific value."

      If we can be liberal enough to apply that standard here in Israel, although I am not sure what our own High Court for Justice holds up as a standard, I ask you, dear readers:

      According to that test, is Ehud Olmert obscene?

      Can we write a play or a book about him?  Can his wife, the artist, use him as a subject, abstract or otherwise?  Can we analyse him for any psychological value?

      There must be something, no?  Some value?


      Sivan 5, 5768, 6/8/2008

      A Bit of Political Satire

      Here's the latest sticker going around:


      It reads in Hebrew: "Shalem, Chaver".

      Which, of course, is a slight take-off on the famous Shalom, Chaver of Bill Clinton, in parting from Yitzhak Rabin.

      But, whereas Clinton said "Shalom", Olmert is saying "Shalem", which translates as "Pay!".

      It's tough being a Prime Minister (and demanding prime rates).

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