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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.

      Nissan 29, 5768, 5/4/2008

      Is It Closing In On Him?


      Another investigation regarding Ehud Olmert, Israel's Prime Minister, has begun.  One paper terms it "substantive".  Another is highlighting the decision Attorney-Gneral Mazuz might have to take regarding Olmert's suspension, at this stage.

      The public is in the dark, sort of, because of a gag order although some news has leaked out.

      I guess we'll have to wait.

      And wait the Prime Minister will have to do also.

                                                         

      Good luck, Ehud.



      Nissan 25, 5768, 4/30/2008

      A Bit of Culture


      Despite my colleague's impressive record, the nationalist/religious camp is in sore need of several Tzvi Fishmans.  Among other fronts, the cultural sphere is permeated with a negative, mocking and sarcastic portrayal of genuine committed Judaism.

      Here's a case in point:-

                                                     

      This is the ad for a new play entitled "Alma and Ruth" written by Goren Agmon which is being presented at the prestigious Bet Lessin theater.  And the plot?

      Alma (Yona Elian, pictured below) is in the publication business and a former kibbutznik.  She is raising two children, a son and daughter.  When her husband, a mountain climber (of all things), is killed on a slope, the daughter, Maya, becomes observant and there is a break in the mother-daughter relationship.  Just at this time, Alma decides to publish a book by a Hareidi woman, Ruth, who asserts she suffered sexual abuse by a Rabbi.  The Hareidi community protests, Maya joins in and the mother-daughter conflict is ratcheted up.

      The playwright, Goren Agmon, herself is a former resident of Kvutzat Schiller who became observant at age 17 and returned to secularism at age 20.  She claims that she suffered rejection and she finds a link between the kibbutz society and the Hareidi society in their relationships with rejected children and censorship of opinion.

      Artistic expression seems to be a problematic issue for the religious.  The cinema, the stage, painting, literature and other spheres are very powerful means of communication and influence not to mention the media.  But somehow, these areas of human endeavor as practiced by the observant, for good and not-so-good reasons, lag behind the secular elements of our society.

      There must be a solution. Not everything can be written about or portrayed but I am sure much more can be done.

      Do I hear applause?



      Nissan 19, 5768, 4/24/2008

      Reporting for Arutz 7


      There's a fire down towards Silwan:

                                                           

                                                          

      From your intrepid reporter-on-the-spot.

          



      Nissan 18, 5768, 4/23/2008

      Israel's Treachery


      If this is true:-

      According to U.S. law enforcement officials and various documents, Kadish got in touch with his Israeli contact after Israel agreed in 2004 to secretly acknowledge to American officials that Pollard was not an isolated case, thereby confirming longtime American suspicions that Pollard was not the only American spy working for Israel.

      Then the real treason here is that of Israel under Ariel Sharon.  Being treasonous to Jay Pollard.

      Israel said kaddish over Pollard, symbolically.

      UPDATE

      I just now spotted this in the Washington Post:-

      The handler and Kadish renewed their ties on March 20, according to the FBI affidavit, after federal agents interviewed Kadish for the first time. "Don't say anything," the handler allegedly said. "Let them say whatever they want. . . . What happened 25 years ago? You didn't remember anything."

      The next day, FBI agents again questioned Kadish, who allegedly denied the call had taken place.

      On second thought, not only treacherous but it seems that some Israelis, even those supposedly spies, are plain stupid.  Talking on an open line?  After the caller informs you he was questioned by the FBI the previous day?

      UPDATE 2

      And this seems to continue to lead me to my supposition that Mr. Kadish was considered more important to Israel than Jonathan Pollard. And I think that, perhaps, somehow, to keep a possible spotlight off this man, who even may have been personal friends with Rafi Eitan, Shimon Peres or Yitzhak Rabin, that Pollard was sacrificed - kicked out of the embassy, documents were handed back to the US and for a good few years, interest and concern for Jay was kept at the barest minimum.:

      Mr. Kadish, friends and neighbors said, was a staunch defender of Israel and Zionism; he was born in Connecticut but grew up in Palestine and fought for Israel’s independence.                            Source



      Nissan 17, 5768, 4/22/2008

      Chareidi Street Theater


      And here I thought that modern forms of protest were beyond the imagination of a public that is known for its demonstrations.  But I just read this:

      Yeshiva student undresses in store to protest chametz sale

      Police on Monday afternoon arrested a 27-year-old yeshiva student for undressing in a Bat Yam supermarket...to protest a recent controversial court ruling which permitted the sale of chametz in some businesses.

      A few weeks ago, a Jerusalem Magistrate's Court judge ruled that the matzot law, which prohibits the display of chametz (foods Jewish law prohibits on Passover) in public places during the holiday, does not apply to supermarkets, pizzerias and restaurants, as they are not considered "public."

      The man was detained for interrogation on suspicion of performing an indecent act in public.

      Eyewitnesses stated the 27-year-old had the inscription "this is not public" scrawled on his abdomen. He claimed that since chamez was sold on the premises, it could therefore not be legally recognized as a public place, and as such, there were no grounds to press charges against him.

      Police were left unconvinced by this defense...

      Even my fellow blogger, Tzvi Fishman could not have come up with a better idea.  I will admit that once, some 15 years ago, I thought of organizing a protest on the beach of Tel Aviv under the slogan "learn long-distance swimming now", explaining in satire that when the Pals. get weapons, eventually our best option will be Cyprus and points west.  I had to cancel that idea as none of my friends would appear in bathing suits.

      But this act of street theater is refreshing.  We do have a future.

      UPDATE

      Here's his video (in Hebrew but you can see the writing on his stomach and he is definitely not crazy)



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