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      From the Hills of Efraim
      by Yisrael Medad
      This blog will be informative, highlight foibles, will be assertively contentious and funny and wryly satirical.
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      Yisrael Medad is a revenant resident of Shiloh, in the Hills of Efrayim north of Jerusalem.  He arrived in Israel with his wife, Batya, in 1970 and lived in the renewing Jewish Quarter, eventually moving to Shiloh in 1981. 

      Currently the Menachem Begin Center's Information Resource Director, he has previously been director of Israel's Media Watch, a Knesset aide to three Members of Knesset and a lecturer in Zionist History.  He assists the Yesha Council in it's contacts with the Foreign Media in a volunteer capacity, is active on behalf of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount and is involved in various Jewish and Zionist activist causes.  He contributes a Hebrew-language media column to Besheva and publishes op-eds in the Jerusalem Post and other periodicals.

      He also blogs at MyRightWord in English and, in Hebrew, at The Right Word.

      Shevat 6, 5768, 1/13/2008

      Anti-Presidential-Party-Pooper Petition


      President George W. Bush's stay in Jerusalem was traumatic.  And I am not referring solely to the political ramifications ("occupation") or the interference in internal Israeli politics ("protect Olmert").  On Wednesday last week, Jerusalem, for the most part, was a ghost down.  The next day, Thursday, the north was shut down when he went Ramallah and the south was shut down in the afternoon, when he went to Bethlehem. It was a mess and it was outrageous.

      I am sure that many people, even those who agree with his pressure on Israel, are personally angry at what he had done to the city. My daughter, for example, was told to stay home for two days as the area she worked in was part of the inner area that needed to be protected and it wasn't worth opening because no one could get there anyway.

      So, while we keep up the political counter-pressure and ask our friends and allies abroad to do the same, I think what is needed is a public petition to be signed by as many Jerusalemites as possible.  That petition will ask President Bush to please stay in Tel Aviv when he next comes here in May.  He can fly up by helicopter for any celebrations and go right back.  If he stays in the capital, very simply there will be no celebrations.  No one will be able to get anywhere, visit, dance, set off noisemakers, etc.  It will be the dampest party ever.

      Maybe the readers of my blog in America will write the White House along these lines and get their Senators and Congressmen to send the President a bipartisan message: let Israel celebrate its national holdiay freely and without undue interference.  We don't mind admiration from America, but Americans, tell your President not to poop our party.