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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:
Shevat 4, 5769, 1/29/2009
The roads near French Hill, Jerusalem, have changed yet again. Not all that long ago I ranted about our loss the the combination bus stop and "trempiada," around the corner from French Hill. Now if you're coming from north of Jerusalem, like Shiloh, or even Pisgat Ze'ev and Neve Ya'akov, you have to take a very round-about way to French Hill. And if you're going by bus, you need an additional bus or walk further and through an Arab neighborhood.
Monday night was the opening of the Jerusalem Conference in the Hyatt Hotel, which is between French Hill and Mount Scopus and in what's considered an "Arab neighborhood." I've walked there from French Hill, and that was my plan. But the bus didn't stop across from French Hill. It took the bridge and left me off at Ammunition Hill, across from Ramat Eshkol, catty-corner from the "white statue," which isn't a Calder.
I was stuck with a dilemma. How could I go to the hotel? Walking through French Hill was no longer a reasonable option, due to distance and an "unpleasant" section of roadway. Walking up as it to the hospital would take a while, too. Taxis aren't in the budget of the unemployed, and there is a direct road straight to the hotel, but I've only seen Arabs walk there. I called my husband to ask, and he answered:
I tried to get myself into a strong, confident posture and pace. They say that body language is a great defensive weapon. But really, an over-weight middle-aged behatted woman with a backpack strapped to my back, and a fanny-pack and camera strapped to my waist, I definitely didn't look very Arab. I looked like one of those crazy Jews from a sic "settlement."
The road felt very long. I was nervous about terrorists and being run over, since there wasn't a sidewalk. And I've already been run over by an Arab terrorist. I noticed the guard, and he noticed me, and soon I got to the end of the road, turned right and could already see the hotel.
Over the following two days, I took that route, again and again and again. This may not follow the Laws of Physics, but I am sure that it got shorter and even shorter. The last time I walked it, close to 2pm yesterday, it only seemed a couple of blocks long. And, no, it didn't sprout a sidewalk.
I'm glad that I walked it, because it is now the best way to get between French Hill and Ramat Eshkol. And I faced and conquered a fear.
Please believe me; it looked much more frightening in the dark!
Shevat 4, 5769, 1/29/2009
Today I managed to attend a couple of sessions/panels at the Jerusalem Conference. I took notes, but this I'm writing from memory. It stood out, because it's a typical and fundamental flaw in Israeli thinking.
Many politicians were included as speakers and panelists at the conference. Most plentiful were Likud MK's (Members of Knesset) and the wannabees, the "hopefuls" running on the list. They generally gave such good Right-wing speeches, you'd expect them to be in Ichud Le'umi.
Likud MK Silvan Shalom was one of the speakers in "The Threats Facing Israel and the West, Is There a “Clash of Civilizations?" I had missed Rabbi Gold's introductory remarks, but I was told that when Silvan Shalom criticized him, it was clear that MK Shalom had misunderstood the rabbi's words.
MK Shalom tried to prove that dangerous ideologies can be defeated by military means. I have no problem with that basic premise, just the example he gave. He described World War Two as nations uniting to fight the ideology of Nazism. That wasn't the situation. No country cared about internal Nazi ideology. They didn't care when Jews and other "undesirables according to Nazi ideology" lost their jobs, homes and lives. If Nazi Germany had just stayed in Germany, nobody would have gone to war. The European countries which were at war against Germany were in defense of their existence. They were fighting the German military, not the Nazi, pro-Aryan ideology.
No country, and that included the United States, went to war against Nazi Germany to save Jews. I have no doubt that the myth is believed by the vast majority of Israelis, and that's why they suffer the delusion that America is our friend and would save us, if necessary. This fundamental flaw endangers us. We must be strong, self-reliant and independent.
I also partially disagree with a later speaker, Maj. General (reserves) Yossi Peled past OC Northern Command, Candidate for Likud, who said that "unlike most every other country, Israel can't afford to lose even a single war."
True, G-d forbid, losing a war would mean the end of the State of Israel. But the Jewish People have been in existence for thousands of years, and we have suffered defeats and the destruction of our ancient country and independence. And as the world saw in 1948, we've come back to life.
If G-d forbid this modern country is destroyed, then in a hundred or a few hundred years, the Jewish People will try again and G-d willing finally get it right.
Please pray that G-d succeeds in planting true wisdom in our leaders.
Shevat 3, 5769, 1/28/2009
I don't yet have time for a very detailed report on the Jerusalem Conference, so let this illustrated post suffice.
Here's one of the charts, from an Arab internet site, shown during the talk by Lt. Colonel (res) Jonathan D. Halevi, Senior Researcher, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. We're just not "on the ball" when it comes to utilizing modern technology.
Yes, it's hard to believe. Aren't Jews supposed to be so smart? Well, it looks like we're not using our G-d-given talents for our own needs.Here are a couple of scenes from the opening night. Apparently I missed some very interesting statements yesterday morning when I was on my Matan Tour, which I'll bli neder blog about later.
It was during the session called, Israel under Attack, and the Civilians of the Gaza Area Respond. Sharon Katz, of Voices Magazine, told me that the crowd was incredulous. Politicians, from southern Israel, who spoke "crowned" their remarks with support for Disengagement.
It's very disappointing, though not surprising, that Left wing politicians are so glued to their ideology that they can't see the terror and hatred through their Left-tinted lenses.
Tevet 29, 5769, 1/25/2009
Ruthie Blum Leibowitz got it 100% right, plus extra credit, in her media article about the media's infatuation with Barack Hussein Obama.
Ironically, during the campaign bloggers and mainstream journalists who stressed Obama's middle name were attacked for using underhand tactics to ruin his image, but when it came to his Inauguration as U.S. President, he, himself, used that very Arab/Moslem middle name. As a kid, even in Indonesia, he was known as "Barry," but at some point he began to use his full, non-white sounding, name, Barack Hussein Obama. Unlike many Afro-Americans who changed their American-sounding names to Arab ones when they became Moslems, like Cassius Clay becoming Mohamed Ali, Obama was given his name at birth, as "junior," named after his Kenyan father. Americans are in for a rough ride. Bush was booed at the Inauguration, something that bodes danger for the American public.
It is not going to be easy for Obama to please his fans, and they're not the subtle polite types.
Israel should send , George Mitchell, his emissary back home. Obama will soon be so embroiled in own domestic problems that he won't have time for us if we're firm.
The timing of this visit is a blatant interference in Israeli Elections, and G-d willing it will totally backfire on Kadima, Labor and Obama. How it will affect the Likud depends on how Bibi Netanyahu welcomes Mitchell. If he tells him to get lost, then he'll benefit, but if he tries to negotiate with him, then the Likud will suffer, because it'll show that push comes to shove, the Likud is no different from Kadima.
Tevet 27, 5769, 1/23/2009
In case you've been wondering why I haven't posted all week, we were sans Internet in Eilat. Here are some pictures. And I'll end this post with a movie from my very first trip to Eilat.
People have been sending me articles and letters warning that "a vote for Ichud Le'umi, National Union, will put Kadima back in power." And the NRP diehards, in their new Jewish Home hats, are claiming that "NU is a wasted vote." Shtuyot, total and utter garbage, scare tactics. And then there are others claiming that we "must vote for Likud to get Feiglin in the Knesset."
I'll take these point by point:
Yes, I have no doubt that my support for the Ichud Le'umi, National Union, is the correct way to vote in the next Israeli elections.