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      The Eye of the Storm
      by Batya Medad
      A Unique Perspective by Batya Medad of Shiloh
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      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:

      Shiloh Musings



      Kislev 24, 5770, 12/11/2009

      Gilad Shalit Still Imprisoned, Good Intentions Gone Bad

      Have a Chag Urim -Enlightened- Chanukah Sameach!  Enjoy this double-Shabbat Chanukah Holiday.

      Just to remind you that I write much more frequently and on a much wider variety of topics on my other blogs, Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  So, I highly suggest that you read them, too, also the comments, even for the same posts you'll find here.  Enjoy in good health!

      Gilad Shalit Still In Arab Prison, Good Intentions and The Road to Hell

      No doubt that the various organizations and demonstrators demanding to bring Gilad Shalit home to Israel have all the best intentions, but good intentions, as the saying goes, frequently lead to Hell.  They've made a hell of a mess, and the leaders and family refuse to admit that their tactics are totally wrong.

      They should not be protesting at the Israel Prime Minister's Residence, nor any Israeli official or office. The Bring Gilad Shalit Home protest movement as it now exists is as mistaken, misguided and dangerous as its cousin Appease sic Peace Now, (an organization which only encourages our enemies causing terrorism and war.)

      The protests, demonstrations, demands and petitions should be focused on those holding him, those cooperating with them and those ignoring the injustice.  Demonstrate at:

      • The International Red Cross
      • The United Nations
      • The United States Embassy, Consulate etc
      • European Embassy, Consulate etc
      • All human rights offices here in Israel
      • and all "PA" offices
      • If you can think of other places, add them in the comments, thanks.
      Gilad Shalit is not in an Israeli prison, so Israel is neither able to nor responsible for freeing him.  Yes, of course, he should be freed and sent home.  The only way would be to totally change the campaign's focus.

      Kislev 21, 5770, 12/8/2009

      Ashmnu Bagadnu We Have Sinned... Plural

      I write much more frequently on Shiloh Musings and me-ander, so please visit those blogs and read my articles. You may also find the comments there on this article interesting.

       Ashmnu Bagadnu אשמנו בגדנו In The Plural

      Hat tip: I thank Hadassa for getting me on this track.
      We are in this together, whether they like it or not! It's not enough just to say "Ashmnu Bagadnu אשמנו בגדנו."

      Most Jewish prayers are in the plural.  Many Jewish prayers and rituals are only permitted to a minyan, quorum of ten men. The words Ashamnu Bagadnu אשמנו בגדנו  "We have become guilty, We have betrayed G-d," from the "Vidu'i," are the cornerstone of the Yom Kippur Prayers, when we ask G-d for forgiveness for all our sins.  Note that they end with the suffix "nu" "נו."  That's the first person plural, "we/our."

       How will supposedly Torah observant people reply to G-d when asked why they only supported Jewish rights to their little corner of the world?  People like Meir Rubinstein, mayor of the haredi town Beitar Illit, don't see themselves as part of the Jewish People's mitzvah, G-d given commandment, to settle the Land of Israel, Eretz Yisrael ארץ ישראל.  A call for "exceptions" to the YESHA building freeze brings us back to "you can't be a little bit pregnant."

      Rubenstein is no different than the secular Lefists in Tel Aviv who don't understand that without recognizing Jewish Rights to places like Shiloh, Shechem and Hebron, they have no right to be in Tel Aviv.

      We are in this together, whether they like it or not!  It's not enough just to say  "Ashmnu Bagadnu אשמנו בגדנו."  We must sincerely admit where we have sinned as members of the entire Jewish Nation/People and do everything in our power to correct them (our sins.)

      Kislev 17, 5770, 12/4/2009

      The NRP/JH 's Hershkowitz Got It All Wrong!

      Please visit Shiloh Musings and me-ander for more frequent and more varied articles.  Thanks!

      The NRP/JH 's Hershkowitz Got It All Wrong!

      He's mixing up the "uniform" with politics.  We Dati Le'umi (religious-nationalist) Jews are not of his political ilk.  Hershkowiz hasn't a clue.  There's nothing to unite us NU Ichud Leumi voters with his Bayit Leumi (Jewish Home/National Religious) Party.

      Religion isn't my politics.  There's lots more to the NU than religion and dati leumi supporters.  That's why I'm turned off by what Hershkowitz wrote as the "subject" of the letter:

      "Re: Political Unification of Religious Zionism"

      Emphasis mine.  I've never supported an Israeli political party which is based on religion and marketed as exclusively religious or non-religious.  I'm totally against such a thing in prinicple.  I only vote for parties which understand the importance of a united Am Yisrael, People of Israel for Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.  That's the unification I look for.  I also disagree with those in Hatikvah which think it should be the secular version of the NRP.

      Eretz Yisrael and Jewish Nationalism should unite us.  It troubles me that the dati le'umi establishment is so knee-jerk against it.

      There are quite a few Israelis who agree with me on this but see the Likud as the best political tool/party to unite Israelis.  That may sound good in theory, but no party has destroyed more Jewish homes and communities in the Land of Israel than the Likud.  Moshe Feiglin's premise that he can take over the Likud and make it truly nationalist party is mistaken.  The Likud leadership is entrenched in its power-hungry Center-Leftist ideology.  Principles and loyalty to the Land of Israel are very low in its list of priorities.

       The polls show that Hershkowitz's party is sinking and may not even get into the next Knesset.  That's why he's asking Ketzeleh to join him.  I suggest that Hershkowitz return to his university career and admit that his beloved NRP is finished.  The voters reject it and for good reason.

      Kislev 12, 5770, 11/29/2009

      Protest or Posturing? Are There Any YESHA Leaders?

      Just a quick reminder that I post much more frequently and on a wide variety of topics on my other blogs, Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  You're welcome to click and visit.
      I'd say that we've been had, bamboozled, conned!

      Rebellion From The Ranks? Or Just Posturing?

      I'm one of the simple citizens, Israeli citizens disgusted but not really surprised that our Prime Minister, the Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu has buckled under "foreign pressure," and declared a new White Paper forbidding Jewish growth in the Land of Israel.

      What irony that Bibi sent Benny Begin off to defend it.  Begin son of Menachem sounded just like his father, and I trust him even less. I remember Menachem Begin's claim that his giving the Sinai to Egypt would guarantee Israel's eternal possession of Judea and Samaria.

      As compensation for the destruction of Jewish communities in the Sinai many communities were rebuilt with international guarantees in Gush Katif, and we all know what happened to them.

      And yes, those two unprecedented massive destructions were under the rule/administration of the Likud. Yes, only the Likud can do it. Israel's Loony Left Defense Minister Ehud Barak sent out official orders forbidding future building right before Shabbat. 

       Ariel's Mayor Ron Nachman condemned it and claims that he will ignore them.  Beit El's Mayor Moshe Rosenbaum ripped up the orders he received. Efrat has suffered from building hold-ups for eight years already.

      How ironic, since Efrat, as the largest community of Gush Etzion, has always marketed itself as "not a settlement," being in the "Israeli consensus" to always be in Israel.  It's about time that residents of Gush Etzion take a good look and good listen and admit that those who object to my being in Shiloh don't see their addresses as any more acceptable.  They should unite with us and proudly say that they, too, are "settlers."

      Nadia and Ruth Matar's Women in Green (or was it Moetzet YESHA?) had a great slogan in its early years:

      YESHA ze kahn!  YESHA is here!
      I attended their demonstrations all over the Jerusalem area to show the old defunct "green line."  Most Israelis have no idea where it was.  Remember that the Six Days War was in 1967; that's forty-two and a half years ago.  Even Israelis in their mid-forties who grew up in Jerusalem can't remember what it was like before we liberated our Land.  They can't imagine Jerusalem without Ramat Eshkol, French Hill, Ramot, Giloh etc.
      Barak, meanwhile, said at a closed meeting at his ministry in Tel Aviv, "We are talking about a unilateral step, at the government's initiative, which has been coordinated with the United States, with the intention of advancing the diplomatic process with the Palestinians."
      That means that we get nothing for it.  And Israel has tried that method with one consistent result every time. It has only made things worse, more terrorism and more death and destruction for Israelis.
      Binyamin Netanyahu and family may be occupying the Prime Minster's Residence, but our government's policies are from Ehud Barak, whose Labor Party received very few votes.  I'd say that we've been had, bamboozled, conned!
      Now, it's very "photo op" that Moshe Rosenbaum and Ron Nachman have made their little protests.  What's next?

      Kislev 9, 5770, 11/26/2009

      Bibi's Capit, Kaput

      If you want to read more of my writing, then please check out my blogs, Shiloh Musings and me-ander. I also appear on Voices TV. Now for my reaction to the latest Israeli Government fiasco:

      Bibi's Capit, Kaput
      there's no doubt in my mind that the Likud and its forerunners have been the worst governments for our security and strenghthening our hold on our Historic HomeLand

      Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's capitulation to foreign demands for a building freeze in Judea and Samaria should make him totally kaput for those who kept insisting that he's Right and Reliable.  I could have titled this:

      Re: Bibi, I Told You So!
      Granted that I haven't trusted the Likud, and its forerunners (Herut, GaHaL) since Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Accords to give Egypt's Sadaat the Sinai over thirty years ago.  But ever since I heard Bibi speak to us Jbloggers at the very first International Jewish Bloggers Convention almost a year and a half ago, I had no doubt that he'd be worse than Labor/Kadima in power.
      Why worse?  Simply because he doesn't have the great orator Binyamin Netanyahu in the opposition to point out the faults in those dangerous Left wing policies.
      Of course the Arabs aren't happy, because they want us dead and gone, not restricted.  This new policy certainly won't bring us peace, just more terrorism and war and international pressure.
      Having lived through most of Israel's history up close, there's no doubt in my mind that the Likud and its forerunners have been the worst governments for our security and strenghthening our hold on our Historic HomeLand.  Having Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister hasn't improved things one iota.