Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.) Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching. She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:
There was a miscarriage of justice. Pollard's punishment in all aspects was totally out of proportion according to all similar cases. Actually, there may not have been any "similar cases," because Pollard gave the information to an ally. But even comparing that to those who were spies for enemies of the United States, the sentence and conditions of Pollard's imprisonment have been unusually harsh. The campaign should concentrate on that aspect and not link him to anything going on in Israel.
Pollard is an American who made a mistake, broke the law, and he has paid for it over and over. He has paid enough. Let him out!
P.J. Crowley says US is "committed to maintaining Israel's qualitative edge in region..." (complete article) (emphasis mine)
I feel insulted. What is the United States, some manipulating "sugar daddy?" And what is this "qualitative edge?" Is it that some American Defense and State Department bureaucrats get the right to decide just how many weapons Israel and our Arab enemies get to have what they consider a "fair" or "safe for whom" fight, which in the end will preserve what American politicians and civil servants consider the proper status quo? Again, I repeat:
I don't like this! I can't accept it!
It's dangerous for the continued security and existence for the State of Israel. The entire idea that a foreign country can control our defense/military capabilities is outrageous! I'd say it's immoral for the Israeli Government to accept such a thing. And in all honesty, I'd say that this relinquishing of the foundation of independence is treasonous. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
There's showbiz stage, television, movies, music and there's politics. How a politician looks and moves is more indicative of how she/he'll attract votes than what he/she says or stands for. The greatest movie/photo director of the Twentieth Century was the one who controlled the shots of FDR. They concentrated on his powerful shoulders (well-muscled from using crutches) instead of showing him being lifted like a helpless baby into and out of cars etc. He never would have been elected to any office after being stricken by polio if the public had images of his withered legs.
Pundits have always said that Nixon won the debates with Kennedy according to radio listeners, but his sweat-stained suit jacket and 5 o'clock shadow lost him the TV viewers.
Yes, you've probably noticed that I pay very little attention to policies when it comes to politics and elections. I'm an awful cynic about politicians. I'll never forget the ad, "Promise Her Anything, but Give Her Arpege."
Politics is all about illusions, promises. Israeli politics ends up not being very different. It should be, because instead of two "supermarket" parties vying for office, there are a multitude of political parties with various ideologies. At least that's how it was in the first fifty years of the state. Recently there's no real difference between the Likud, Kadima and Labor. We've been getting the same sort of government and policies from all of them. The voters are different, but the politicians are interchangeable. The establishment of Kadima proved that. It united a bunch of ambitious men and women willing to do anything, say anything just to get elected.
A lot of people keep concentrating on which politicians are "best for Israel." It's all hevel, norishkeit, hot air or nothingness to me. We each have to remember that it's up to us, how we keep G-d's mitzvot commandments. G-d will reward us for the good and punish us for the bad.
The Ehud Barak IDF loves gadgets and technology. They're now going to use some "smart cameras" to discover suspicious movement. That makes me nervous. I can just imagine someone with a neurological problem being arrested for "unusual activity" as he stands or paces in an "illogical" way.
Actually, I could find myself detained by soldiers relying on those computer-generated "guards." So many times I arrive "too early" and then stand around suspiciously, constantly checking my watch, hoping time will move more quickly. Another suspicious-looking thing I do is quasi-public praying. There are lots of "Mincha factories*" in Jerusalem, but I'd be persona non grata. Most human IDF guards would recognize that I'm dovening (praying,) but would this Sixth Sense technology understand?
*Synagogues where men can find a minyan to pray the afternoon prayer from its earliest to latest permitted time. Those places don't have women's sections. It's not accepted for women to just enter those shuls. So women who have taken it on to pray Mincha, like myself, are always looking for a quiet, discreet spot.
As ambivalent as the Israeli government was from the beginning of Jonathan Jay Pollard's nightmare with American law, I don't think it's a secret that getting him released from prison and bringing him to Israel are far from the top of the Israeli Government's "wish list."
Pollard's punishment has been totally unprecedented when taking into account that he gave information to an ally. He did not work for an enemy of the United States.
Over the twenty-five years he has been imprisoned, he and his second wife, Esther, have become the darlings of Israel's Right. Actually, it was former MK Geula Cohen of Techiya who was the very first Israeli official to champion his cause. Pollard's an intelligent man who worked with secret American security information before his arrest.
I have no doubt that Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not want an unmuzzled Jonathan Pollard in Israel. The classic children's story of The Emperor's New Clothes ends with the townspeople agreeing with the little boy who said that their ruler was stark naked. But in Israel, when someone on the Right points out the mistaken Leftist policies of the government, they are frequently jailed. The proof's in the pudding, because after twenty-five years of difficult imprisonment, Pollard doesn't seem closer to release.