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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.

      Shevat 6, 5768, 1/13/2008

      Anti-Presidential-Party-Pooper Petition

      President George W. Bush's stay in Jerusalem was traumatic.  And I am not referring solely to the political ramifications ("occupation") or the interference in internal Israeli politics ("protect Olmert").  On Wednesday last week, Jerusalem, for the most part, was a ghost down.  The next day, Thursday, the north was shut down when he went Ramallah and the south was shut down in the afternoon, when he went to Bethlehem. It was a mess and it was outrageous.

      I am sure that many people, even those who agree with his pressure on Israel, are personally angry at what he had done to the city. My daughter, for example, was told to stay home for two days as the area she worked in was part of the inner area that needed to be protected and it wasn't worth opening because no one could get there anyway.

      So, while we keep up the political counter-pressure and ask our friends and allies abroad to do the same, I think what is needed is a public petition to be signed by as many Jerusalemites as possible.  That petition will ask President Bush to please stay in Tel Aviv when he next comes here in May.  He can fly up by helicopter for any celebrations and go right back.  If he stays in the capital, very simply there will be no celebrations.  No one will be able to get anywhere, visit, dance, set off noisemakers, etc.  It will be the dampest party ever.

      Maybe the readers of my blog in America will write the White House along these lines and get their Senators and Congressmen to send the President a bipartisan message: let Israel celebrate its national holdiay freely and without undue interference.  We don't mind admiration from America, but Americans, tell your President not to poop our party.

      Shevat 3, 5768, 1/10/2008

      A Fellow Blogger Needs Help

      Just five minutes ago I spoke with Tzvi Fishman.  I had called him to let him know that I spied him on Channel One TV news holding up the poster reminding President George W. Bush of the Holy Bible's promise of God to the Jewish People that the Land of Israel is the patrimony of the Jewish People.  It is Eretz-Yisrael and not Ertetz-Yishmael.

      But Tzvi told me that while he is delighted that his sign was seen by hundreds of thousands, he himself was detained by the police and as of this moment is still in detention.

      May he be released soon.

      Tevet 18, 5768, 12/27/2007

      Rape the Man Said

      This is going to be a short blog post.

      David Landau, he-who-wears-a-black-kippah, editor of Haaretz, asked US Secretary of State to organize the rape of Israel.  Really.  Read here.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, what would you do to a rapist if you caught him/her?  What would you do to one who incites a rapist to rape?

      So, then, this is the level of public discourse, this is the level of conversation with the Secretary of State of a foreign country, this is the level of the intellectuals, the press and the elites of Israel.  Too bad Chanukah has come and gone already.

      Tevet 13, 5768, 12/22/2007

      And Now Blair

      Tony Blair is now a Catholic.  What does that mean?

      Just a few days ago I dealt with Michel Sabah's vicious anti-Israel remarks.  Two years ago, I became involved with an effort to block the Roman Catholic takeover of Mt. Zion (and more info here, it seems the site of the Committee to Save Mt. Zion is down).  It seems that starting with Herzl, the Catholic Church remains still a very implacable foe to Zionism.  Back in January 1904, the Pope explained to Herzl why there was to be not recognition of the Jewish aspiration for national renewal.  Possession of the Holy Land by the people who deny the divinity of Jesus is to be denied and no aid extended.

      Following Sabah's outburst and the Church's demand for Mt. Zion, is Mr. Blair the right person as the EU mediator for Middle East peace?

      I think not.


      Tevet 11, 5768, 12/20/2007

      Sababa Sabbah

      It seems that news agencies are reporting that Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch rejects Israel's Jewish identity and according to Reuters:

      Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch criticised Israel on Wednesday for insisting Palestinians recognise it as a Jewish state and said God made the Holy Land for Muslims and Christians too. Michel Sabbah, the Holy Land's Roman Catholic leader, said in his annual Christmas message that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had unleashed "forces of evil" across the Middle East and it was up to Israel to make a relaunched peace process work.

      ...Sabbah said he was concerned about Israeli demands, rebuffed by the Palestinians, that Israel be recognised as a Jewish state because that would discriminate against Muslims and Christians. "God made this land for all three of us, so a suitable state is one who can adapt itself to the vocation of this land," said Sabbah, who was born in Nazareth, a town where Christians believe Jesus was raised and which is now part of Israel. If it's Jewish, it's not Muslim or Christian...If there's a state of one religion, other religions are naturally discriminated against," Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah told reporters at the annual press conference he holds in Jerusalem before the Christian holiday...Sabbah said Israel should abandon its Jewish character in favor of a political, normal state for Christians, Muslims and Jews. "This land cannot be exclusive for anyone," he said. [And see this news report, as well]

      Well, this is a bit of a problem. Instead of lashing out at the persons or the culture or the political framework which is killing Christians, raping their women, torching their churches and causing them to exit their homes - the Palestine Authority, if my intention is not clear (see here and here and better, here), - Sabbah not only ignores the harsh reality, he is seen to be covering up while also illustrating a quite vicious theological interpretation which I am sure the many non-Jewish readers of this blog do not share.

      First of all, as any theologian knows, there is a difference between the "Land" as intrinsically being geographically sacred, whether to Judaism, Christianity or Islam, and as to what degree, and the "State" which is but a political framework. Whereas Christianity may separate the two ("Render unto Cesar the things that are Caesar; and to God, the things that are God's" - Mark 12:17), we Jews do not. The Jewish rule permits and encourages the better aspects of the Holy Land to be apparent. But that intrinsic character does not mean absolute exclusion. Christians and Muslims have not been ghettoized in Israel as Jews were in Europe and the Arab Middle East. Pogroms and Farhud were the lot of the Jews but not of Arabs here. [further reading]

      But secondly, the Bible assure mankind that there will be an era of redemption. Here's Isaiah, Chapter 2:

      2 It shall happen in the latter days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be raised above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. 3 Many peoples shall go and say, "Come, let's go up to the mountain of  the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; And he will teach us of his ways, And we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations, And will decide concerning many peoples; And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more.

      Can Sabbah presume to stand in the way of Biblical prophecy? Is he negating the scriptual word? There will be nations and peoples and no one is forced to become Jewish. Indeed, I will even suggest that you don't have to be Jewish to do Jewish.  But the ultimate message there is that G-d, as the Divine presence and motivating force, will be recognized by all. And that is why the Jews need to be sovereign in the Land of Israel. Not to exclude but to permit all the nations and beliefs to benefit from the spiritual, moral and cultural advantages that the Jews have highlighted throughout their history.

      Of course, if the land is Jewish it is not Christian or Muslim. Jesus knew that when he came, as a worshipper, to the Temple. The Islamic Haddith sought to identify Muhammed with Jerusalem although the Quran and the historical record attest otherwise. But I don't seek to extend Jewishness to Mecca where no non-Muslim can be in nor to Rome from where Sabbah's authority stems.

      Isaiah speaks not of war but of peace. Would that other religious leaders learn that simple message that we Jews know.


      Sababa means "great!, fine!, wonderful!"


      P.S.  Something is wrong so for the links, go over to here.

      For some other Christian news with me, see here.

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