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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



      Adar 6, 5771, 2/10/2011

      Who Really Is That Jordanian King Abdullah? And More...

      The Jewish Calendar is based on the cycle of the moon, so we'll be celebrating the next Rosh Chodesh, new moon in just a few weeks.

      Women's Prayers at Tel Shiloh
      Rosh Chodesh Adar II
      Sunday, March 6, 2011
      Dvar Torah, Short Torah Lesson
      Please come and invite family, friends and neighbors
      תפילת נשים
      ראש חודש אדר ב' בתל שילה
      יום א' 6-3
      יהיה דבר תורה קצר
      נא לבוא, לפרסם ולהזמין חברות, משפחה ושכנות


      I post much more frequently on Shiloh Musings and me-ander, so I recommend that you visit and check out the comments, too, which are different from what you'll find here.

      The following post gives some very basic history, a prerequisite for understanding the Middle-East's current events.
      There is no "Jordanian People."

      And Who Really Is That Jordanian King Abdullah? And Whose Land is This?

      I just read Arlene Kushner's latest posting, which got me thinking.  It's time to remind everyone that the king in Jordan has a very flimsy historical connection to what is called Jordan.  As I write this, "From Israel: Blowin' in the Wind" isn't yet on Arlene's site, but I trust that she'll have it up shortly and recommend reading it in its entirety.

      Apparently many Arab leaders are getting nervous because of the spreading instability/unrest/demonstrations/violence and are setting up "insurance/emergency arrangements."

      The news this morning was that PA president Mahmoud Abbas has secured Jordanian citizenship, as have his entire family and several other major Fatah figures such as Ahmed Qurei, Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh and Muhammad Dahlan.

      According to Khaled Abu Toameh's report on this in the JPost, application for citizenship was made by PA leaders at a time when they were urging Jordan not to grant Jordanian citizenship to Palestinian Arabs so that they might "consolidate their Palestinian identity."

      Jordan, itself, is a time bomb.  The skeleton, which is ignored by most international diplomats, the media and history books, is that Abdullah's family has a very recent and weak connection to the land and people they rule.
      King Abdullah II, a Hashemite, sits uneasy on his throne, and fears the demographic threat of a growing Palestinian population within his kingdom.
      Abdullah should be worried.  His family isn't native to the area at all.  They are Hashemites who were brought in and declared royal rulers.  Read this:

      Although the Sykes-Picot Agreement was modified considerably in practice, it established a framework for the mandate system which was imposed in the years following the war. Near the end of 1918, the Hashemite Emir Faisal set up an independent government in Damascus. However, his demand at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference for independence throughout the Arab world was met with rejection from the colonial powers. In 1920 and for a brief duration, Faisal assumed the throne of Syria and his elder brother Abdullah was offered the crown of Iraq by the Iraqi representatives. However, the British government ignored the will of the Iraqi people. Shortly afterward, the newly-founded League of Nations awarded Britain the mandates over Transjordan, Palestine and Iraq. France was given the mandate over Syria and Lebanon, but had to take Damascus by force, removing King Faisal from the throne to which he had been elected by the General Syrian Congress in 1920.

      In November 1920, Emir (later King) Abdullah led forces from the Hijaz to restore his brother’s throne in the Kingdom of Syria. However, the French mandate over Syria was already well planted, and Emir Abdullah was obliged to delay his pan-Arab goals and focus on forming a government in Amman. Since the end of the war, the British had divided the land of Transjordan into three local administrative districts, with a British “advisor” appointed to each. The northern region of ‘Ajloun had its administrative center in Irbid, the central region of Balqa was based in Salt, and the southern region was run by the “Moabite Arab Government,” based in Karak. The regions of Ma’an and Tabuk were incorporated into the Kingdom of the Hijaz, ancestral home of the Hashemites. Faced with the determination of Emir Abdullah to unify Arab lands under the Hashemite banner, the British proclaimed Abdullah ruler of the three districts, known collectively as Transjordan. Confident that his plans for the unity of the Arab nation would eventually come to fruition, the emir established the first centralized governmental system in what is now modern Jordan on April 11, 1921.

      King Faisal I, meanwhile, assumed the throne of the Kingdom of Iraq in the same year. The Hashemite family ruled Iraq until King Faisal’s grandson King Faisal II and his immediate family were all murdered in a bloody coup by Nasserist sympathizers led by Colonel Abdel Karim Qassem on July 14, 1958. The Hashemites suffered another major blow in 1925, when King Ali bin al-Hussein, the eldest brother of Abdullah and Faisal, lost the throne of the Kingdom of the Hijaz to Abdel Aziz bin Saud of Najd. The loss, which was brought about by a partnership between Ibn Saud and followers of the Wahhabi movement, led to the establishment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and brought to an end over one thousand years of Hashemite rule in Mecca.

      Emir Abdullah soon succeeded in loosening the British mandate over Transjordan with an Anglo-Transjordanian treaty. On May 15, 1923, Britain formally recognized the Emirate of Transjordan as a state under the leadership of Emir Abdullah. This angered the Zionists, as it effectively severed Transjordan from Palestine and so reduced the area of any future Jewish national home in the region. The treaty stipulated that Transjordan would be prepared for independence under the general supervision of the British high commissioner in Jerusalem, and recognized Emir Abdullah as head of state. In May 1925, the Aqaba and Ma’an districts of the Hijaz became part of Transjordan. (complete article)

      There is no "Jordanian People."  
      There is no such thing as a Palestinian people and history

      It's a very recent invention of political and diplomatic convenience, less than a hundred years old.  It's much newer than the Zionist movement, and I have no doubt that if the Jewish People hadn't begun its return to the historic Jewish HolyLand, the middle-east would have had been ignored by the western world.

      And that brings me to the most important point which must not be ignored nor white-washed.  There is no such thing as a Palestinian people and history.  It's a fiction, a modern invention.  The only People to have a national history and tradition based in this part of the world is the Jewish People. 

      Judaism is more than a religion.  We're a People-Religion-Nation

      We are unique.  We've survived our enemies.  We have returned to Our Land from which we had been exiled.  Statisticians have calculated that very soon most Jews will be living here in our historic homeland.  All those reports, predictions and attempts over the millennia to declare us dead are totally mistaken. 

      We the Jewish People live and thrive in the HolyLand, thank G-d. 

      Adar 3, 5771, 2/7/2011

      Ehud Barak vs The IDF

      Thank G-d it's raining. I'm not even upset that the laundry I hung out to dry keeps getting soaked.  G-d is good.  Don't forget it!  Man is the problem.

      There's always more to read on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.

      Here's another of my rants against the faux "peace talks," or call them apease talks.

      With The Arab World in Increasing Chaos, Let's Take a Sabbatical From "Peace Talks"

      And now for the main attraction:

      Ehud Barak vs The IDF

      I'll never forget how when the present and lame duck IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi was appointed he was considered the antidote for the hands off, pro-tech elitist Ehud Barak.  Pundits had blamed Barak for IDF failings and considered Gabi Ashkenazi of the Golani Brigade to be the best alternative-change possible.
      I can't figure out why Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has resurrected Barak's career...

      I'm no expert (have no secret knowledge) in the internal workings, political-personal dynamics and manipulations in the high offices of the Israel Defense Forces, but from body language, simple newscasts, events and other kishke judging criteria it's more than obvious that Ehud Barak and Gabi Ashkenazi are polar opposites.  We're talking Antarctic iceberg versus hot tropical jungle.  I've never seen Barak in person, but I'll never forget the live coverage of him at a Labor Party convention showing obvious physical repulsion to an upset Ethiopian political hopeful.  Israeli men, especially those who've been through the army in tough front-line units, are generally big huggers, not afraid to grab a friend in trouble, whether it's physical or emotional.  I was shocked by Barak's obvious coldness.

      I have seen COS Gabi Ashkenazi in person.  Our sons play on the same IFL American Football team.  When his schedule allows, he watches the game just like any other parent.  He graciously poses smiling with everyone who asks and spontaneously played with my other son's dog.  Nobody can picture Ehud Barak ever being so friendly and accessible.

      I know even less about Barak's latest, very rushed-so-how-carefully-can-he-be-investigated COS nominee, Benny Ganz.  There's just my gut if Ehud Barak wants him there must be something bad feeling.  The latest news is that he's cancelling Yair Naveh's sixty day subbing and rushing in Ganz.  I'm no fan of Naveh, but in my experience, whenever something is rushed like that, it's bad news.  It takes more than a week for a proper investigation.  Of course, extending Askenazi's term another few weeks would have been the wisest, but wise and Ehud Barak aren't synonyms.

      This is very worrying.  When Ehud Barak was first nominated as Chief of Staff, his supporters claimed that he was totally brilliant and liked to take apart and put together complex machinery, watches or clocks as I remember.  Now, that may be fine for a university professor, but it's not the sort of hobby needed for Chief of Staff, Minister of Defense or politician.  It's too non-people solitary.  OK, yes, he has reached the top of Israel's political and military echelons, but don't forget that he failed.  He left an army which relied on machinery rather than the old and successful "follow me" practice, and he was booted out of office as Prime Minister because of the rampant Arab terrorism which reached its peak when he was PM.

      I can't figure out why Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has resurrected Barak's career and given him so much power.  This is very troubling.

      Shevat 26, 5771, 1/31/2011

      ...How Many Years Until Stability Returns to Egypt?

      First of all, a reminder that this Friday (and also Shabbat) is Rosh Chodesh Adar I, and G-d willing I'll be at Tel Shiloh for our monthly Women's Prayers.  Please let others know.  All women are invited.  It's a Jewish custom that Rosh Chodesh is a special women's only holiday, so treat yourself to a prayer date at Tel Shiloh.
      Rosh Chodesh Adar I Women's Prayers Tel Shiloh
      תפילת נשים
      ראש חודש אדר א
      תל שילה
      יום ו' 4-2 9:30
      ...יהיה דבר תורה
      Friday Feb. 4 9:30am
      There will be a Dvar Torah
      כולן מוזמנות. נא להזמין אורחות מחוץ לשילה
      Please spread the word.
      It's possible to go by bus or drive
      Tel Shiloh, Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, June, 2009

      To contact the tourist office telshilo@gmail.com or call 02-994-4019

      And of course you know that I post much more frequently on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  Please visit and comment here and there.  Thanks

      With Mubarak on His Way Out, How Many Years Until Stability Returns to Egypt?



      I have no doubts that it will take many years for Egypt to fully calm down.

      This isn't a simple western-style government change.  The rioters are making demands; they're not working to rule better, more fairly. It's very naive and unrealistic to expect good government by western standards.  Maybe things will improve, but not immediately.  And I'm not saying that Mubarak was good, but if Obama is so sympathetic to the rioters' demands, he should have been putting pressure on Mubarak to make changes for the past two years.  Instead of doing that, the Obama government has been putting pressure on Israel to discriminate against Jewish Civil Rights.  I just hope that all these riots, in Tunisia, Egypt and ? will take the pressure off of us.

      --just a note.  One of the clips may not be working here and can be found on Shiloh Musings.

      Shevat 13, 5771, 1/18/2011

      Double-Header, Barak and Building

      Thank G-d we've been having some rain, not enough, but rain just the same.  I blog more frequently on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  You may enjoy joining the comments there.

      Building A Future for Jews in The Land of Israel


      Our enemies can talk all they want, but we're building homes for Jewish families here in Shiloh, Israel.  And people are buying, thank G-d.


      We're the only people who have a national history here.  This is Jewish Land, our Land and there's no way to deny it.


      Barak Backs Himself Into A Corner

      Ehud Barak has left the Labor Party.  This may be his next exit from politics.  He was defeated after being Prime Minister and somehow bounced back, because Binyamin Netanyahu wanted a Center-Left government and appointed him Defense Minister.

      Ehud Barak isn't all that popular with ordinary Israelis any more.  I can't imagine too many people voting for a breakaway party headed by him.  Like many former IDF Chiefs of Staff, he was pretty popular early on in his retirement from the army, but his reign as Prime Minister was so terrible, terrorist-terrible, that his luster was quickly tarnished.  The Labor Party itself hasn't been doing well in recent elections, and a split is the last thing it needed.

      It's interesting that Barak is touting his new party/faction as Center, not Left.  That should have him fighting with Kadima and Bibi's vision of Likud for votes. Politics is fun to watch, to observe.  I prefer it to reality TV.  It's the real thing....

      Shevat 8, 5771, 1/13/2011

      Terror, No One's Immune

      Jerusalem is preparing for the running of the lightrail downtown.  This week, I felt like part of history by riding a bus on Jaffa Street. Yes, as usual, I do blog a lot on Shiloh Musings and me-ander, and of course you're invited to visit and comment on those blogs.

      Terror, No One's Immune

      As a victim of a terror attack, lightly wounded when an Arab terrorist ran into innocent Israeli civilians waiting at a bus stop almost fifteen years ago, I was given a very personal lesson in how we can't control terrorism.  When I complain about the dangerous route of the new, soon to be functioning (at least that's what they tell us) multi-doored (impossible to guard and supervise) Jerusalem lightrail, which goes through Arab neighborhoods considered dangerous for ordinary Jewish Israelis, I've been saying:
      "They planned it as if it was in Arizona, like the Phoenix lightrail."

      Did I give Arizona an "eyin haraa," evil eye, like a jinx?  The Tucson, AZ terror attacker murdered a little girl who was davka born on 9-11, the date of America's largest terrorist attack.  If that had been the plot of a book, nobody would have accepted it.

      Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, whose Jewishness is not accepted by mainstream Torah Judaism, may have been targeted because of her Jewish identity.  There's no proof that Jared Loughner shot her for that reason, mainly because he has not been cooperating with the authorities and hasn't revealed his motivation.  Everything so far is guess-work.

      I guess Arizona isn't all that safe.  There's deadly hatred all over. Is this connected to George Friedman's theories, predictions about the next decade?


      hat tip: IMRA

      It certainly looks like things are getting more dangerous all over the world.  The Arabs, the Muslims aren't afraid.  They are enthusiastic and aren't restricted by PC norms and morality.

      If we're going to defeat terrorism of all stripes, we must open our eyes and take off the gloves.  They won't be destroyed by Lala Left sweetness.  They consider their enemies weak jokes and they're right about it.  We must fight force with force.