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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 9, 5769, 2/3/2009

      Our Problems With Turkey Started On the Temple Mount


      Many are upset and concerned over the state of relations between Israel and Turkey and that a crisis has started.  But it didn't begin when Erdogan walked off the Davos podium, angry at (of all people) Shimon Peres.

      How short memories people have.

      It started two years ago and it was over the Temple Mount.

      Here, reread this:

      Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has agreed to a Turkish inspection of the construction work at disputed holy site in Jerusalem, the Turkish prime minister said Thursday. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Olmert had shown him photographs of the construction work, but had failed to convince him that it would not harm the holy sites there.

      The Israeli premier agreed to a Turkish suggestion for a technical team from Turkey to inspect the site, Erdogan said. "Israel should respect the holy places rather than increase tensions," Erdogan said Thursday ahead of his meeting with Olmert.

      So, our Prime Minister sought, I guess, to revive the Ottoman Empire.  Who needed an "outsider", and a Muslim one to boot?

      And then, we discovered an attempt, by Turkey, to sneak in Hamas (here):

      The Deputy to the Turkish ambassador to Israel said Friday that no decision had been made about the members of the delegation set to arrive in Israel early next week to examine the construction work at the Mughrabi Gate in Jerusalem. The official was responding to earlier reports that Turkey was considering sending its senior foreign affairs advisor, Ahmet Davutoglu, to lead the delegation.

      ...Army Radio had reported that Davutoglu, was close to the Hamas leadership in Damascus and had initiated the visit of Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Mashaal to Ankara following the movement's election victory in January 2006...the Turkish Embassy official told the Post, "Davutoglu is one of the official advisors to the Turkish prime minister and has always expressed a neutral and constructive attitude towards Israel."

      Well, looking at things this way, this current flare-up was an explosion waiting to happen, and one we ourselves, well, Olmert, at least, set in motion.

      Diplomacy is not for the unimformed, the forgetful, the pooh-poohers.