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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:

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      Tammuz 17, 5768, 7/20/2008

      Zot Shelanu-- That's Why!


      A month and a half ago I wrote Still Hoping, which included a promise or two. One promise I kept here and here, but I didn't explain what happened to The Hope, HaTikvah, the "hopeful" Israeli political party which hoped to be headed by MK Dr. Arieh Eldad.
      I've decided to create a "pretend" party, the one I'd want to vote for.

      I really tried. Yes, I really tried to like and trust Hatikvah, but I could no longer lie to myself, nor to those of you who read my blogs for information you can't get any where else.

      My report about their Yom HaAtzmaut-Independence Day Reception didn't tell it all. I left out the lack of professional organization, no registration of participants to get their names, numbers and what they volunteer to do. I didn't mention the horrendously boring program, the history lecture by the university professor, nor the fact that the organizers made no efforts to meet and greet the attendees unless I was intentionally snubbed.

      To put it very simply, there are tested and proven techniques for establishing successful ideological and political movements. None of them were used, and without them, the movement hasn't a chance.

      But I gave them another chance, so desperate for a political party with an ideology I could support. The same person who had invited me to the reception then invited me to a parlour meeting. The host was a name I had read many times in "letters to the editor." I was encouraged. So I went there to meet the founder/organizer of Hatikvah.

      I didn't let the paltry number of participants bother me, nor the fact that I was younger than all by a couple of decades. I was impressed that those very elderly people managed to walk up all the flights of stairs. Then the speaker began... to lecture us. He started off bragging about how many generations his family has lived in Israel. I couldn't get the significance of it unless he's anti-immigrant. I tried to cut off some personal tangents by the other participants about their experiences in the pre-state undergrounds, very politely wondering what that had to do with the subject at hand.

      I even stayed after the speaker said that Hatikvah was established because their study showed that the only group of Israelis who didn't have a party to support was the secular right. I disagreed and tried to explain that for people like me, religious-right who in principle don't vote for religious parties, there isn't a reliably right wing party. He looked at me blankly, unable to comprehend my point.

      But half-way (or less) through the very detailed university lecture about the history of the State of Israel I begged the speaker to get to the main topic. He insisted that we wouldn't understand anything until we heard his entire speech.

      That was too much and I left.

      There is no political party, nor leader I trust to get us, the State of Israel, out of this dangerous mess we're in. So since I love politics and won't be teaching this year, I've decided to create a "pretend" party, the one I'd want to vote for.

      Zot Shelanu!
      It's Ours!