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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



      Elul 21, 5771, 9/20/2011

      Words, Oaths, Hatred and Truth

      It's hard to believe that Rosh Hashannah is just over a week away.  How many of us prepare spiritually as much as we prepare our kitchens and wardrobes?

      You can read more of my writing on me-ander and Shiloh Musings.  Please do.  I post there much more frequently.

      Words, Oaths, Hatred and Truth

      Not for the first time and certainly not for the last, Dry Bones pegged it 100% correct, right*.

      In Judaism, words have powers.  If you say you're going to do something, you must do it, because by saying you've made a נדר  vow, neder, an oath.  To prevent the commitment, we're supposed to preface all of our words with בלי נדר "bli neder," not to be taken as an oath, promise.

      In today's world, all sorts of important people and governments have special offices filled with PR public relations experts, master "spinners," who compose fancy statements in the names of their employers to "fix" the "foot in mouth" miss-statements of their bosses/employers.  Of course, it's all fiction.  Just because someone reads out one of these "little speeches" doesn't mean that anything has changed in the mind of the "guilty."  It's just a formula statement to get out of trouble.

      Yesterday morning, at Pardess, Rabbi Reuven Grodner taught us about the various levels of vows in his "Rav Soloveitchik on Repentance" course. For each type of vow:

      • gross error
      • poor judgment
      • anger

      Nullification is a process, not just a superficial recitation of words.  Each level demands a different process.  It's a "cleansing" like any repentance.

      Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a terrible mistake when he stated that he's in favor of a Pseudostinian AKA Palestinian sic State.  It doesn't matter how he defines that "state" and what limitations he suggests for it.  A "state" is a "state."  Haggling over details won't save him or us.  Bibi must recognize his error in words and judgment.  Netanyahu must firmly state that he made a great error.  Then he must, in the most public way and place-- yes, the United Nations is the perfect forum-- the Prime Minister of Israel must make it clear that there is only one Nation native to the Holy Land, and that's the Jewish Nation.  We have a State of Israel, and it's the only country that has any historic right to be here.

      Here we are in the Jewish Month of Elul, the time for תשובה Teshuva, Repentance.  One can repent any time of the year, but no doubt that G-d has timed this opportunity for a reason.

      right* Why is it that right means correct and is also the side of the political spectrum that sees things most clearly and pragmatically?

      Elul 12, 5771, 9/11/2011

      Post-9/11 Silence

      Here in Shiloh, we know the Holidays are approaching, because our pool has closed.  Nights and mornings are colder.  The kids and teachers are in school.  Our school is now thirty years old.  It's hard to believe that thirty years ago we moved to Shiloh.  You can read more about ordinary life here on me-ander and Shiloh Musings.

      Post-9/11 Silence

      Silence, The Sound of Silence....

      For ten years I've been waiting for Americans to tell Israelis how they now understand what Israel goes through all the time. Terrorism isn't rare in Israel.

      Our southern cities are targeted by Arab terrorists launching dangerous missiles almost daily.

      And the world is silent...

      Arab terrorists massacre Jewish families in their homes.

      And the world is silent...

      Arab suicide terrorists blow up buses, killing innocent civilians.

      And the world is silent...

      Arab terrorists stab Jews.

      And the world is silent...

      Arab terrorists uproot and destroy Jewish vineyards and orchards.

      And the world is silent...

      Arab terrorists shoot and kill Jews traveling.

      And the world is silent...

      Arab terrorists throw boulders at cars murdering the Jewish passengers.

      And the world is silent...

      Fool, said I, you do not know, silence, like a cancer, grows Hear my words and I might teach you, take my arms then I might reach you But my words, like silent raindrops fell, and echoed in the wells of silence Paul Simon

      The terrorists who attacked the United States ten years ago, 9/11, are connected to the Arab terrorists who attack Jews in Israel. World terrorism won't end until all terrorism, including the Arab terrorists attacking Jews in Israel are totally destroyed.

      Elul 3, 5771, 9/2/2011

      Jordan Isn't Palestine, sic

      It's the Jewish Month of Elul, the month of intraspection, Teshuva, Repentance.  My friends and I held our monthly women's prayers at Tel Shiloh.  I write more about my everday life, thoughts and opinions on me-ander and Shiloh Musings.  I have a mind of my own as you can read here:

      Jordan Isn't Palestine, sic

      Jordan isn't Palestine, sic.  Sorry if it puts me in opposition to many of the people I otherwise respect and agree with.  I consider articles like Yoel Meltzer's to be very dangerous.  I consider the "Jordan is Palestine" sic movement-ideology to be very dangerous.

      That's because it's based on the premise that there is a "Palestinian people," history, land etc. which must be recognized and compensated for the existence of the Jewish State of Israel.

      There never was a country called Palestine.  The name was chosen by European diplomats to bring back to life the long gone Biblical enemies of the Jewish People, the Philistines who lived on the Mediterranean coast thousands of years ago.

      If you take a good look at this map, you'll see that post-World War One, most of the Middle-east was divided into "mandated" areas under British and French administrations.  Today's countries and borders are modern, Twentieth Century, not based on ancient history.  That's one of the reasons the area is so volatile.

      Only the Jewish State of Israel developed from national self-determination and has an ancient history which is directly connected to the modern one.

      Av 16, 5771, 8/16/2011

      The "Right of Return," Jewish Rights to The Holy Land

      Humidity is increasing here in the HolyLand.  That's a sign that summer is ending, and G-d willing the humidity will go, excuse the expression,  whole hog, into winter rain.  You're invited to read more of my writing on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  The month of Av is half-way over, so it's time to make plans for Rosh Chodesh Elul.  Women, there will be an extra special event at Tel Shiloh, prayers and a short tour and lecture in memory of one of the women who attend frequently. 

      Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh

      Rosh Chodesh Elul Tuesday,

      August 30, 2011 8:30am

      Shiur Torah,

      Torah Lesson

      Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors

      תפילת נשים

      ראש חודש אלול בתל שילה

      יום ג' 30-1 8:30

      יהיה שיעור תורה

      נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות


      The "Right of Return," Jewish Rights to The Promised Land



      Arlene Kushner's latest research paper about UNRWA for David Bedein's Israel Resource Review is full of facts we must digest.  It appears that the basis for UNRWA's refusal to just resettle the Arabs in other places is based on their mantra "the right of return."


      Now, let's get to some very simple history. 

      • The only people to have an independent nation based on common history, culture, religion etc in this part of the world, middle-east, with Jerusalem as its Capital City is the Jewish People. 
      • For any other group to claim rights is pure identity theft.
      • The Jewish Religion is older than the Christian religion and both are older than Islam.

      The Bible (Jewish Bible) is a historic document and ancient writings which chronicles the Jewish People and its attachment to the Holy Promised Land.  That's the basic summary, main idea of what's written in it.


      As a Jew I demand RIGHT OF RETURN!

      Av 9, 5771, 8/9/2011

      Eternally UNRWA

      It's the 9th of Av here in the HolyLand.  Some of the Jewish world has alrady broken the fast after 25 long hours.  G-d willing the Messiah will take charge before next year's fast and mourning.  Then we'll be celebrating, G-d willing.


      There's lots more to read on me-ander and Shiloh Musings.  And now for the main attraction:

      Eternally UNRWA


      One of our Betar friends sent us Rafi Dobrin's  What if Jews had followed the Palestinian Path? based on Warren Kozak's article.

      It is doubtful that there has ever been a more miserable human refuse than Jewish survivors after World War II. Starving, emaciated, stateless—they were not welcomed back by countries where they had lived for generations as assimilated and educated citizens. Germany was no place to return to and in Kielce, Poland, 40 Jews who survived the Holocaust were killed in a pogrom one year after the war ended. The European Jew, circa 1945, quickly went from victim to international refugee disaster. Yet within a very brief time, this epic calamity disappeared, so much so that few people today even remember the period. How did this happen in an era when Palestinian refugees have continued to be stateless for generations? In 1945, there were hundreds of thousands of Jewish survivors living in DP Camps (displaced persons) across Europe. They were fed and clothed by Jewish and international relief organizations. Had the world's Jewish population played this situation as the Arabs and Palestinians have, everything would look very different today. To begin with, the Jews would all still be living in these DP camps, only now the camps would have become squalid ghettos throughout Europe. The refugees would continue to be fed and clothed by a committee similar to UNRWA—the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (paid for mostly by the United States since 1948). Blessed with one of the world's highest birth rates, they would now number in the many millions. And 66 years later, new generations, fed on a mixture of hate and lies against the Europeans, would now seethe with anger.

      I commented:

      The template for the British plan for the "mandate" was the India-Pakistan population change. But the Arabs weren't interested in establishing a country. They just liked the free handouts.

      World history is full of reports of population exchanges.  Before Great Britain actually dealt with the solution to the Mandate in Palestine it was busy dividing up the Indian Subcontinent.

      That resulted in two countries, India and Pakistan.  They were separated by religion, Hindu and Islam.

      The partition was promulgated in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Indian Empire. The struggle between the new dominions of India and Pakistan which resulted from the partition displaced up to 12.5 million people in the former British Indian Empire, with estimates of loss of life varying from several hundred thousand to a million... Massive population exchanges occurred between the two newly-formed states in the months immediately following Partition. Once the lines were established, about 14.5 million people crossed the borders to what they hoped was the relative safety of religious majority. Based on 1951 Census of displaced persons, 7,226,000 Muslims went to Pakistan from India while 7,249,000 Hindus and Sikhs moved to India from Pakistan immediately after partition. About 11.2 million or 78% of the population transfer took place in the west, with Punjab accounting for most of it; 5.3 million Muslims moved from India to West Punjab in Pakistan, 3.4 million Hindus and Sikhs moved from Pakistan to East Punjab in India; elsewhere in the west 1.2 million moved in each direction to and from Sind. (complete article)

      This was going on just after World War II, a war which threatened the very existence of Great Britain, and during the height of Etzel and Lechi underground activities in British Mandated Palestine.  To some think tank of the time, it probably looked like a clever idea to offer the Arabs an equal chance for statehood, even though there was no national movement to run it. (And they obviously ignored the fact that they had already invented a country, Hashemite Jordan, in the land that had been allocated to be a Jewish one.)  The modern Zionists had been incubating a national government for decades, and they were ready to administer their own country. Another important fact to remember is that many more Jewish refugees from Arab countries made their way to the new Jewish State, Israel:

      Although much is heard about the plight of the Palestinian refugees, little is said about the Jews who fled from Arab states. In 1945, there were more than 870,000 Jews living in the various Arab states. Many of their communities dated back 2,500 years. Throughout 1947 and 1948 these Jews were persecuted. Their property and belongings were confiscated. There were anti-Jewish riots in Egypt, Lybia, Syria, and Iraq. In Iraq, Zionism was made a capital crime. Approximately 600,000 Jews sought refuge in the State of Israel. They arrived destitute, but they were absorbed into the society and became an integral part of the state. In effect, then, a vertible exchange of populations took place between Arab and Jewish refugees. Thus, the Jewish refugees from Arab countries became full Israeli citizens whereas the Arab refugees who fled their homes in Palestine, remained “refugees“ unaided by the neighboring Arab countries. Little is heard about the Jewish refugees because they did not remain refugees for long. Of the 820,000 Jewish refugees, 586,000 were resettled in Israel at great expense, and without any offer of compensation from the Arab governments who confiscated their possessions. During the 1947 UN debates, Arab leaders threatened the Jews living in their countries with expulsion and violence if partition were to occur. Egypt's delegate told the General Assembly: “The lives of one million Jews in Muslim countries would be jeopardized by partition.“ Following the 1947 United Nations vote to partition Palestine, Arab violence against Jews erupted throughout the Middle East and North Africa. (complete article)

      Here we are over sixty years later.  Billions of dollars and innumerable man-hours have been spent trying to coach the Arabs into some semblance of government. The UNRWA refugee camps are thriving, because, unlike similar places in other societies, the residents prefer living there in perpetuity than making productive independent lives.  They have created a culture of terrorism unlike any other place in the world and any other time in history. This is a classic case of throwing good money after bad.  When will the world, including too many Jews and Israelis, wise up and just stop supporting this dangerous wasteful policy/ideology.  Treat, punish the terrorists as is done in the rest of the world.  For the sake of true World Peace, there must be a total policy change.  Otherwise, things will only get worse.