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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.

      Kislev 10, 5768, 11/20/2007

      So Now Its American Tyranny?


      According to this morning's NYTimes report, a senior American diplomat considers the mechanism his own President and State Department arranged for the advancement of peace between Israel and the Arabs of the Land of Israel as something tyrannical.

      You don't believe me?  Well, here's his quoted words:

      "We had to break this tyranny of the first stage of the road map before talking of final status".

      Well, that's refreshing. The Americans demanded a road map four years ago.  They set it up in stages when the first stage is supposed to assure a level of security for Israel that will indicate that indeed peace is an Arab goal.  And when Israel insists that security comes before peace progress, because without security who needs peace, some smart-*ss Foggy Bottom fellow (or maybe it is someone on President Bush's staff, although I doubt it; only State Dept. lackeys spill inside info to the NYTimes) considers this a stumbling block of a tyrannical nature.

      So, Israel's security needs to be sacrificed because those darn Arabs can't stop shooting at and killing Jews.

      Maybe Condi Rice and her State Dept. gang are the ones terrorizing Israel?



      Kislev 9, 5768, 11/19/2007

      Free Speech, Freedom of Expression


      Our "Peace Now" comrades have taken a calculated step.

      Probably to attract attention more than trying to convince anyone of the logic of their case, they plastered over town this poster:

      which reads: "Opponents of Annapolis - The Oppositionist Coalition to A Peace Agreement".

      The lefty-progressive camp has been frustrated by the ability of the right-wing camp to succeed in graphic portrayals of messages.  Just recently, they claimed that a poster put up by the Kahane remnants with President Shimon Peres with a kaffiyeh was incitement.  That's so ridiculous but the mainstream media repeated it and sure enough for two or three days, the dictatorship of mindthought was back in place.

      Why is it ridiculous?  Does Peace Now/ACRI/Meretz/Gush Shalom et. al., think that a kaffiyeh, that distinctive Arab peasant headress that the Mufti El-Husseini made all city-dwelling Arabs in the 1936-39 period wear so that the terrorists from the hill-country could blend in with the population (talking about collective punishment, by the way), automatically is racist, defammatory and inciteful?  If so, they should start a campaign to bring back the tarboosh.  But otherwise, I think they should shut up and allow others the blessed democratic privilege of freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

      And if they think they are so 'clever' in their paralleling Lieberman and Ahmadinemajhad (or however one spells it), what would happen if someone would portray, say, Yossi Sarid and a...dog. 

      Why a dog?  Well, both of them urinate on the side of the road (see here).

      That would be silly and disrespectful and in bad taste, no?  If so, why does Peace Now insist on publicizing the poster above?

      And if they do insist on doing so, for peace's sake, stop crying about right-wing incitement.



      Kislev 9, 5768, 11/19/2007

      SINK OR SWIM?


      AT ANNAPOLIS, WILL ISRAEL SINK OR SWIM?

      The umpteenth Middle East peace conference to resolve the Arab-Israel conflict is scheduled to be conducted in late November (or a bit later if at all at this rate) in Annapolis.  Secretary Condoleezza Rice, in her remarks at the end of a Ramadan Iftaar Dinner at the State Department on October 5, spoke of “a real sense of momentum among Israelis and Palestinians to end their conflict” and the need “that everyone support this”.  The meeting, she indicated, will be a substantive and serious one and address the core issues.  To her mind, “perhaps the time has come. Palestinians have waited long enough for the dignity that will come with their own state….a democratic neighbor” alongside Israel.

      Lucky for her, and for James Baker in the background, Haim Ramon, an Israeli Minister rehabilitated from a criminal osculatory exercise, declared recently that for him the most important thing is to preserve the state of Israel as Jewish and democratic.  That would be accomplished, by example, by transferring major sections of united Jerusalem to Arab sovereignty.  Jordan, having established a $1.5 million renovation fund, has already opened the bidding.

      In a brief conversation I had with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni last night (*) it is my impression that it is finally sinking in that what Ehud Olmert has in mind and what Condi Rice has in mind is not quite in the best interests of Israel and that there is a real apprehension.  Annapolis is being wrested away by the Pal. declarations and the upping ever higher of their demands.  It is being supported by internal Arab subversive elements, including one Minister.  But more important, Israel's Prime Minister appears to be incapable of grasping the reality of the military, economic and national ethos aspects of what the proposals he has been trumpeting are becoming.

      Previously I noted that our leaders, Begin, Rabin and, it seems, now Olmert, are caught on the edge of a psychological threshhold.  They realized that what their original ideas were have been taken out of their control but now that they are at a certain point which seems to be one of no return (their historical image, current public relations, their standing in the eyes of world leaders, etc.), they feel that they just have to charge ahead and take the plunge.

      At this point, it is our duty to point out the danger.  This is a sink or swim juncture and there seems to be no reliable lifesaver anywhere near.

      ------------------

      (*) really. she was at the opening of the Begin Center exhibit marking 30 years since Sadat's visit to Jerusalem and the beginning of another peace process long ago.



      Kislev 6, 5768, 11/16/2007

      Ehud, Let Me Help You


      Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, Chairman of the Qadima Party and someone who is targetted in four police investigations,

      Dear Sir,

      We do not agree ideologically or politically, and, of course, morally, but I still recognize the position of power that you hold.  It's tough moving over from the nationalist camp to the liberal-progressive camp.  Your wife Aliza is a supporter of Women in Black, your lesbian daughter regularly participates in radical demonstrations, your two sons live abroad in NY and Paris, one a homosexual and and concientious objector and the other has also stopped serving and your other daughter, well, I really don't recall anything about her.

      Anyway, it can be lonely with Condi Rice and those police investigators.  And with Annapolis coming up, your government coalition could be out the window.  I don't want you to misinterpret my advice.  I am not coming closer to you but want you to come closer to me so that we don't lose our state. Until we can bridge the gap between us, however, I have a suggestion:

      Your "partner", Mahmoud Abbas, said this a day ago: "we must topple this [Hamas] gang that took control of the Gaza Strip" and since you are wily enough, you probably already guessed what I am going to suggest.

      Tell Condi that you haven't changed your mind about dividing Jerusalem, handing away Israel's sovereignty over the Temple Mount, bringing Qassam rockets closer to Israelis in Jerusalem, Petah Tikva, Ra'anana, et. al., freeing more prisoners, etc., etc., etc.  You still think that Abu-Mazen is capable and sincere and great all around Arab. However, you want to give hime a chance to prove his capabilities.

      It's not enough that Jake Wallis, US Consul-General, went up to Shchem and pronounced the Pal. police fit for taking on Fatah gangs.  You want better proof.  You want to wait until Hamas is out of power in Gaza.  Tell Condi that all Abbas has to do is prove his mettle.

      Ehud, come on up to Shiloh for a cup of coffee and let's think this through carefully.  But take care.  Some military commander heard from you that it's okay to remove some more roadblocks so you never know if there are some drive-by-shooting-happy Arabs on the roads.



      Kislev 1, 5768, 11/11/2007

      Have These Rabbis Erred?


      I respect Rabbis.  When they deal with Halachic issues which certainly do include what is called "politics".  However, I do think someone erred in affixing the signatures of the two Chief Rabbis of Israel to the document of the "Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land".

      I have dealt with the matter is great detail here but Arutz Sheva media consumers need just a bit more.  The Rabbis erred and here are some reasons I think so.

      As we know, Secretary of State Rice encourged the organizers to have their conference now to dovetail (no pun intended) with Annapolis.  The document aids her in her efforts to wrest Jerusalem and more from Israel.  That's the first reason the Rabbis should have stayed clear.

      Secondly, the use of "occupation" was quite intentional.  In the preamble we read:

      Palestinians yearn for the end of occupation and for what they see as their inalienable rights.  Israelis long for the day when they can live in personal and national security.

      The Pals. (remember?  I don't use the word "Palestinians" unless I am quoting from another source) conceive of "occupation" as applying not only to Judea and Samaria and, of course, Jerusalem (and more about that later), but to all of Israel.  All of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and most of Fatah hold to that line.  Moreover, if one agrees that there is an "occupation", then that is an agreement that Israel is in the "disputed territories" illegally.  In Jerusalem, in Hebron and in Shiloh - as criminals.  That's reason number two.

      Reason number three, as I mentioned, is that the Temple Mount for the Pals. is the most significant symbol, nationalist (the Crusaders and salah A-Din's victory over them) and, of course, religious, in that the El-Aksa concept supplants the Jewish Temple, which the former and present Muftis all say never existed, at least not on Mount Moriyah.  But more importantly, if no Jewish/Israeli presence is up on the Temple Mount, no Jew will be able to pray down at the Western Wall.

      Reason number four is Rabbi David Rosen.  He's a concessionist.  And a ba'al-gavinik.  At his site, you find out that his been knighted by the....Pope.  That he works for the American Jewish Committee, no friend of Israel in YESHA.  That he claims, as Chairman of the International Jewish Committee, an unknown body to most of World Jewry, to represent, get this, World Jewry in its relations with other world religions.  Ain't that so pompous.  This is the man that led Rabbis Metzger and Amar (and She'ar-Yashuv Cohen?) up, er, down the garden path.

      Rabbi David Rosen, a nice guy with whom I've met and discussed matters and even debated in fromt of visiting groups a good few years back, succeeded in laying a semantic ambush for the Rabbis Chief.

      The Pals. can yearn for whatever they want but Jews in their historic homeland are not occupiers.  We are not foreign invaders.  We are in Jerusalem, Hebron and Shiloh by right  Diplomacy is not what Rabbis trained for and they should have been more wary.



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