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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.

      Adar Bet 5, 5768, 3/12/2008

      Media Deja Vu

      You've seen this story at the Arutz Sheva site.  Religious sector threatens anti-Arab violence.

      For me, it recalls a 13-year old tale of similar details.  At the height of the anti-Rabin protests, Avishai Raviv, a presumed right-wing extremist, was at the center of some very vicious protests.  In September 1995, he escorted Amir Oren, Channel One's reporter, to a supposed "swearing-in ceremony" at Mt. Herzl conducted for a new underground, EYAL, which was to do Rabin in.

      Two complaints were made.  On by MK Yael Dayan, asking why the police hadn't yet picked up the plotters.  The second was by me, as director of Israel's Media Watch.  Mine, however, was directed at the reporter and his report which I claimed was staged and therefore of doubtful relaibility which meant that Oren and his editors, were deceiving the public.  It just so happens that as employees of a public authority, the IBA, that act was a crime.

      It was a long story (for those interested, the old IMW site has lots of material in English and Hebrew and you can start here.  Two of my summaries are here and here).  In the end, although Raviv was revealed in the Shamgar Report secret codicil to have been a GSS agent and much more, eventually, the High Court for Justice wasn't just and our appeal was tossed out.

      And now, it's being repeated.  A Channel One reporter broadcasts a vague, unsubstantiated accusation - but not just any reporter.  Ayala Chasson is the one most connected to Ehud Olmert, as if she was his spokesperson.  Everyone else except Chasson, it seems, "knows" that this is a put-up.  My guess: a bunch of former Kachniks are doing what they do best: manipulating the press, a very willing and compliant press.  Because the picture presented - right-wing religious fanatics bent on killing and disrupting the "peace process" - fits in with the media's mindset.

      But the damage is done.  And someone in the GSS (Shabak) or even Prime Minister's Office is rubbing his hands with glee.


      I found a poster with Rabbis signed on relating to the Merkaz Massacre but it only deals with Arab...labor.

      Adar 27, 5768, 3/4/2008

      Who is Digging at Mt. Zion (But Not the Temple Mount)?

      If you go here you be introduced to a new archeological dig at Mt. Zion.  An even better site, a daily blog, is here.

      And although, as you'll see, the dig is sponsored by the University of North Carolina, it is also under the auspices of an organization called the Jesus Dynasty.  Is this scientific archeology or theological geneology?

      I am not going to take sides just yet until I know more, but, nevertheless, is this a precedent that Jews seeking to dig at the Temple Mount could use?

      Adar 27, 5768, 3/4/2008

      Two Banks Hath The Jordan River

      When the late Morty Dolinsky was in charge of the Government Press Office in the 1980s, he once famously replied to a reporter, who asked for information about the West Bank, that he knew no West Bank as he banked at Leumi.

      I would hope that many reading this blog know that Ze'ev Jabotinsky penned a song entitled "Two Banks Hath the Jordan" expressing in a literary form his outlook of the territorial integrity of Eretz-Yisrael and protesting British Colonial Office policy which led to Transjordan being separated, first administratively, then as regards settling on the land and purchasing it and then having the Hashemite Kingdom declared independent.

      It's refrain went: "Shtey Gadot Layarden; zo shelanu, zo gam ken" which I'll translate as "two banks hath the Jordan; this one is ours and so is the other".

      According to my source, (and thanks to HR), Jericho is now being supplied with electricity from Jordan.

      One could, of course, see this as a step in regional economic cooperation.  It could be seen also as 'who needs to supply electricity to Arabs?'.  It also could be seen as inviting Jordan in to Palestinain Authority areas and supplant Israel's role.  Many, true, have demanded that Israel forget about Gaza's electric supply.  So, "is this good for the Jews?"

      It's a tough decision to relent on vestiges of Israel sovereignty in any shape over areas of the Land of Israel.  And for me, that continues to remain the principle that the Jordan River runs through our homeland.

      Adar 24, 5768, 3/1/2008

      Temple Mount "Stars"

      Last year's best seller, "The Yiddish Policmen's Union" by Michael Chabon, just recently translated into Hebrew, starred the Temple Mount and I commented on that here.  And the Coen Brothers, who just walked off with some Oscars have retained the rights to the film production of the film.

      Well, we now have a second book:-

      Doesn't that look neat?  I mention the book here briefly but let me add something.

      I do not know if this is a "Christian" publication or the very honest effort of a writer to break into the big scene and it makes no difference to me. Everyone, whatever religious or political stripe, is free to do all his literary skills permit him.  It is obvious, though, that the Temple Mount possesses tremendous importance no matter how hard our Israeli politicians have attempted to shun the matter off to the side, to ignore it, to disregard it, to suppress it or whatever.  True, it also attracts the violent and the uncontrollable.  But everytime one lights a match, the potential for destruction exists - one must be trained and aware of limitations.

      The Muslim forces, be they the Waqf, the Islamic Movement or others, have destroyed Jewish artifacts and threaten that any assertion of Jewish rights to the site or on it, whether archeological, cutlural or religious, not even to mention political sovereignty will be met with violence.  And for 40 years and more, the political establishment in Israel, backed by political, media and cultural elites, has done its best to maginalize the issue as if it is crazy.

      Well, I don't know if the book will make the top of the charts but I am willing to guess that the Bros. Coen picture will.  And the Temple Mount will once again be right up in everyone's faces.  Will Israel's elites then be prepared to deal with the matter in a proper manner?

      Adar 23, 5768, 2/29/2008

      There is Another College

      Seems that the administration of the Sapir College has finally acknowledged that Ehud Olmert's policies vis-a-vis Gaza, the Qassams and Israel's general security needs are affecting the enrollment at the institution (here).  The murder of a student on Wednesday, the continuing landing of rockets yesterday and today and the extension of the Arab terror missiles' range up to Ashkelon is a problem.

      Of course, there is another institution.  The University Center at Ariel, the former College of Judea and Samaria.  So far, this area of the Land of Israel is proving to be not only safer and more secure - so much so that students drive daily in from the state of Israel - but its academic reputation is increasing annually. 

      Moreover, students don't have to fear being derided and abused by lecturers who are post/anti-Zionist.  The Ariel Center is proud to be assertively Zionist.

      Maybe wealthy donors and philanthropists from abroad will also see the logic in granting the considerable sums necessary to create a really great academic center in Samaria.

      Students should perhaps transfer to Ariel.  It can be for the better for all: the students, the institution and the land of Israel.

      Amazing what Qassams can do.

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