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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 6, 5769, 8/26/2009

      2 For 1: Am I Stupid? Choose A Foreign Capital

      Just a reminder that I post more frequently on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.

      Maybe I'm Stupid

      I just don't understand this "agreement negotiation" as a condition to "peace talks." All of these "conditions" before the "real talks" seem to cover what should be discussed, if you believe that "peace" can be negotiated between a country under attack and the terrorists attacking it.

      Is the United States the enemy? If not, why are we negotiating with them? These negotiations are just the entry ticket to talks with the Arabs. So that means that whatever concessions the USA wrings out of Israel, the Arabs will start at that point and grind us down to nothingness.

      I just don't get it. Why are we participating in this horrendously dangerous game?

      One of Bibi's Better Soundbites

      This is all so obvious, but unfortunately rare to hear it from an Israeli politician in power:
      Netanyahu to UK: Jerusalem is Sovereign Capital of Israel
      Actually in this speech, he gets even better.

      "Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is the sovereign capital of the State of Israel, and Israel will not accept limits on its sovereignty there," he told reporters bluntly. "We have been building in Jerusalem for 3,000 years."

      Moreover, growing Jewish families in the existing communities of Judea and Samaria need schools for their children and homes to live in, he added. "This is different from grabbing land," he emphasized, and said he hoped to find a "bridging formula" that would enable Jews living in the regions to live a "normal life."

      Unfortunately, without consistent action, it's just empty words. And why distinguish between different cities, town, etc into "settlements" and "not settlements?"
      I don't understand why we don't arbitrarily decide which city we should recognize as capital of the countries which refuse to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's Capital City!
      Obviously, New York City is the Capital of the United States, and Liverpool is the Capital of Great Britain.
      Which cities/countries would you recommend?

      Elul 4, 5769, 8/24/2009

      What's Good For The USA, Is Good For Israel!

      There's lots more to read on my other blogs, Shiloh Musings and me-ander, which are updated more frequently than this one and deal with a wider variety of subjects.

      This interesting little New York Times article illuminates some information which I hadn't realized was true. Not even the United States automatically reveals the names etc of its non-American prisoners to the International Red Cross.
      Successive Israeli Governments have just been embarrassments and failures. It's time to stop and use the strength G-d has given us. Nachshon, where are you?

      So, if that's the case, we really don't have to cooperate with the Red Cross or any other international body, nor do we have to give our Arab terrorist prisoners more than the minimal food and medical care.

      We certainly don't have to give them visitors, nor packages. They shouldn't have the rights to lawyers and clergymen. They shouldn't have telephones nor television, videos nor dvd. They are prisoners not campers. They are enemies not friends.

      And not only must we demand that Gilad Shalit be released and sent home, we have other missing soldiers, such as Ron Arad and the others captured decades ago, during the Lebanese War. If they're alive, then let them return home to their families and friends, and if they're dead, let their families bury them here in Israel.

      Israel must stop this nebichy, weak nice-guy schtick and start showing self-respect and determination.

      Successive Israeli Governments have just been embarrassments and failures. It's time to stop and use the strength G-d has given us. Nachshon, where are you?

      Elul 1, 5769, 8/21/2009

      The Fragrance of The Shechina

      I'm having trouble deciding between my two most recent posts on Shiloh Musings.  I'll have to decide by the time I finish the next sentence. You may also like me-ander, my blog which deals with more of the personal and less politics. OK, Shabbat's aproaching, time for the great decision... Just like in a "beauty contest, the runner-up is announced before the winner... That means that you'll have to click No Confidence, No Charisma to read it.


      The Fragrance of The Shechina

      This morning, the first day of the Jewish Month of Elul, I joined other women for a calm and leisurely Prayer and Psalm session at Tel Shiloh. We all felt the Shechina, G-'d's presence, as we prayed to G-d, possibly, in the very same area the Biblical Chana did thousands of years ago. What a contrast to the stressful, crowd-filled Kever Rachel, Rachel's Tomb, which is strangled by concrete and bars. That's one of the reasons I began inviting women to come to Shiloh on Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of each Jewish Month. Tel Shiloh is open for visitors everyday but Shabbat and Jewish Holidays. Tours may be arranged. For more information email telshilo@gmail.com or call 02-994-4019. If you'd like to join my Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayer Group, please email me, shilohmuse at gmail dot com

      Av 29, 5769, 8/19/2009

      Voted Feiglin, Got Barak, The Jewish National Psychosis

      There's lots more to read on my other blogs, Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  And here's a "reading comprehension test" about Mike Huckabee.

      -- Voted for Feiglin And Got Barak or The Jewish National Psychosis

      Many Israeli voters are pro-Jews for Land of Israel, lots more than the numbers who voted for Ichud Le'umi, The National Union. The NU was the only political party not willing to compromise on our Jewish National Civil Rights.

      Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has no pride, endangering the country to please U.S. President Obama.

      What's the point of restricting Jewish life? In all honesty, what's the difference between Bibi's policies and what Tsippi Livne and Ehud Barak support?

      • Why have successive Israeli Governments, whether elected as Right, Left or Center given such authority to the United States?
      • Why is our government negotiating with the United States about our basic rights as an independent country?
      • What is wrong with us?

      Ever since I began sending out my articles, and later on blogging and getting published in a few periodicals, I'm asked the same question:

      Why aren't Israelis out in the street protesting?

      There seems to be a serious national psychosis, personality disorder, which affects most Jews both in Israel and the galut, abroad.

      Jews are always in the forefront of all civil rights protest movements, except when Jews are the victims!

      Even though successive "gestures" to our enemies have only brought us terrorism and war, we keep trying to give them more.

      Patriotic Israelis who support Jewish Rights in the Land of Israel voted for the Likud, even though Bibi Netanyahu made it clear that he was pushing "Center" policies and disenfranchising the more Right wing members of the Likud, especially Moshe Feiglin.

      I'm a pragmatist, maybe simplistic in my logic. I see things clearly. I look at the facts, the actions. Don't try to sway me with theory and wishfulness. It just doesn't work on me. I'm probably a bad candidate for hypnosis.

      My priorities are simple.

      • The Land of Israel for the People of Israel, the Jewish People!
      • We can't trust anyone but ourselves and G-d Almighty!

      The Jewish Month of Elul, the preparatory month before Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur, the High Holidays, begins tonight.

      Chodesh Tov

      May it be a good month,

      A month of Tshuva (Repentance) and Blessings.

      Av 24, 5769, 8/14/2009

      New Israel Fund and Pro-Divestment Groups

      Please feel free to visit my other blogs, me-ander and Shiloh Musings, which are updated much more frequently and deal with a wider variety of topics.  Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach!

      This post was first posted on Shiloh Musings as:

      New Israel Fund, Paving The Road To Hell With "Good Intentions?"

      In another week, it'll be the Month of Ellul, the month we prepare ourselves for G-d's judgement on Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur. For that reason, I want to be as careful as I can when discussing the NIF, New Israel Fund.

      Judaism has a principle of "Hakarat HaTov," recognizing and point out the good. For that reason, I must say that a number of years ago I first became acquainted with the New Israel Fund's Shatil Department. I was then working with a small, struggling apolitical NPO, non-profit organization, and was sent to Shatil for training in fund-raising. They conducted workshops for a variety of organizations, mostly Left-wing or "alternative life-style," but there were a couple of groups like mine. One reason was to be able to say that they help "everyone," and the other was that, even today years later, there is no comparable service from the Right nor the religious. I was extremely impressed by their knowledge and professionalism.

      Recently there have been expose`s about how the NIF supports organizations dangerous and disloyal to the State of Israel:

      Yet while the New Israel Fund claims that it does not support groups that call for divestment from Israel, NIF funds the Coalition of Women for Peace, which recently hosted a meeting in Jaffa, where Naomi Klein spoke with local activists about the struggle against the occupation and the Palestinian call for BDS [boycott, divestment, sanctions].

      The following is from the CWP’s description of the event.

      “Klein's public meetings, in Ramallah, East Jerusalem, Haifa, and Jaffa drew hundreds of people to hear her clear-eyed analysis of why it is time for a full boycott of Israel until the occupation ends, Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel have full and equal rights, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees is fully realized under international law... Her presentation of why BDS is right, now, was remarkable in that she consciously presented it as a positive, movement-building tool to build a joint future with Palestinians, rather than as simply a method to punish Israelis. She spoke clearly about BDS as a tool of non-violent solidarity, comparing not complying with the BDS call with crossing an invisible picket line.”

      CWP has also called upon Norway to divest from Israel as did grantees Mossawa and Machsom Watch, as well as NIF affiliated organization The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions.

      The New Israel Fund denies it, but it is clear that they are associated with NPO's which lobby for divestment. Divestment is not in Israel's interests.

      I'd like to believe that the present situation is just the results of a mistake, misplaced good intentions. But the big problem is that whether intended or not, the New Israel Fund is empowering dangerous groups.