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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



      Shevat 7, 5768, 1/14/2008

      We Shouldn't Be Surprised

      Israeli thought police may be focusing on us bloggers, according to the article that Carl cited.
      We really shouldn't be very surprised. Remember, that this is the same government which has jailed young, barely into their teens, girls for their loyalty to our ancient Homeland.
      The Israeli riot police who brutally attacked the passive demonstrators in Amona were ordered to use "use their clubs whenever necessary" by their officers.
      I'll never forget how my students, terribly embarrassed, told me how they were beaten and that they saw their rabbis grabbed by the police and thrown out of the windows, head-first.
      It really galls the Leftist Israeli establishment, politicians, academics, media, judicial, etc. that their youth has dreams of making money and leaving the country. Jealously is the prime mover, motivation in all of their anti-democratic and totalitarian actions.
      A few years ago, they began to notice that the elite units in the army and the young officers were primarily from "national religious" backgrounds. At first they didn't care, because it was obvious that a disproportionate amount of soldiers killed in Lebanon were from religious families, meaning that their sons were safer. But then they heard their sons and grandsons calling front-line soldiers "fri'erim," suckers, and they were presented with expensive bills from psychiatrists for army deferments. It began to look like an epidemic, rather than a rare, embarrassing occurrence.
      If Dosh was to draw your typical Israeli "new Jew" farmer today, there would be a beard on his face and tzitziot flying out from under his shirt.
      A hundred years ago and fifty years ago all of the "great modern Jewish thinkers" predicted, without any doubt whatsoever, that Jewish ritual, strict observance of Jewish Law, was outdated and would end. The truth is the opposite. Most of their descendants, if they have any, aren't Jews, and Torah-observant communities all over the world are growing.
      People like me may be "locked out" of the mainstream media, but blogging has given me the opportunity to run my own "news magazine." That's what I think of my blogs. They are the modern, high tech samizdat.
      If the Israeli Government goes after me for my opinions, then I'll take it as a vote of confidence that I'm saying the truth.