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      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

      And:

      me-ander

      Iyar 18, 5770, 5/2/2010

      "Densely Arab Populated," The Big Lie


      Shavua Tov, Have a Wonderful Week!  Today is Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer, a favorite day for Jewish weddings.  Mazal Tov!

      I blog/write much more frequently on Shiloh Musings and me-ander, so I hope that you'll visit those blogs. Thanks

      "Densely Arab Populated," The Big Lie

      Here's another of my contributions to rebranding, trying to change that gut-level, misunderstanding most people all over the world, including Israel, have about Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

      I'll never forget reading that phrase "Densely Arab Populated" in The Jerusalem Post a number of years ago.  The writer was describing Judea and Samaria.  Ever since then, I always request that tourists and visitors take a good look.  I've even dramatically opened my dining room window, even on a freezing winter's day, to stick my hand out and say:

      "Look at these empty hills.  This isn't a painted mural or photograph.  There's plenty of land here and no need for the Arabs to insist that it's all theirs."

      I'm always amazed to hear people imply that my home and community of Shiloh must be surrounded by Arabs.  That's the impression they get from the media and politicians.  Here are a couple of pictures I took recently walking between Shiloh and Shvut Rachel, the Jewish community just east of my house.

       Walking Between Shiloh and Shvut Rachel

      Walking Between Shiloh and Shvut Rachel

      It's an easy walk, just takes a few minutes.  There's an unpaved road.  And no, we weren't armed.  This may not be what the media claims and the politicians and diplomats believe.  Remember that most high political officials get their news information via a predigested news digest, summary, composed and edited by staff members with agendas.  Yes, to put it simply, they (politicians and diplomats) don't know bupkes.

      These are untouched, uncropped pictures I took.  Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights and most of the Gaza Strip are just as empty.  If you believe the press, you've been had.  So please pass this around, thanks.