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      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 18, 5772, 7/8/2012

      IDF, Keep Compulsory Draft!


      Today's a fast day, the 17th, actually the 18th of Tammuz.  We fast to remember the destruction of Jerusalem and our Holy Temple.  This fast initiates a period of three weeks during which our mourning becomes more and more intense culminating with the 25 hour fast of Tisha b'Av, the date the Temple was destroyed and other tragedies happened to the Jewish People.

      Our sages say that one of the reasons G-d allowed them to happen was that we didn't treat each other properly.  There was sinat chinan the worse type of hatred.  The Jewish People must work together to prevent that sin.  That's one of the reasons I wrote:

      IDF, Keep Compulsory Draft!

      I used to think that I agreed with most of Moshe Feiglin's points, except for his totally unrealistic idea that he could and would take over the Likud.  Feiglin is no close to taking over the Likud than he was when he started his campaign. 

      Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu  proved it before the last elections when he got the Likud "court" to approve his "tweaking" of the Knesset list to move his backers yes-men up ahead of Feiglin and other Right wing candidates.  That move was totally immoral and antidemocratic.  I still can't believe that Bibi had the gall to attempt it and didn't think the Likud would let him pull it off.

      All Feiglin has succeeded in doing is get people to vote for Likud which gives us the policies of Meridor and Barak.  Netanyahu has been saying for years --I heard him with my own ears-- is that he wants the Likud to be a Center party, not Right.

      Now Feiglin is joining the "stop the draft" campaign.

      So the Right doesn't really want this compulsory draft and the Left doesn't, either.
      More ridiculous is the fact that not only is the IDF not interested in this draft, but it really doesn't need it, either.

      Says who? I don't see how Feiglin comes to those conclusions.

      Israel is a small country with a very heterogeneous population.  It is also a country in danger all of the time.  Surrounding countries and even those further away consider it their primary aim to destroy us.  We are nothing like the United States.  The USA doesn't really need much of an army.  Most of their soldiers are fighting foreign wars.  The country itself is not in danger.   I can see most of you opening your mouths to talk about 911, terrorism and all that.  To fight terrorism you don't need a conventional army of tanks and an air force.  The American system is irrelevant to Israel and its needs.

      Israel needs every single type of soldier.  The IDF must utilize the varied talents of the population to defend the country.  Our school system must educate the youth about the importance of defending the country.  Our history, citizenship and geography curriculum must be rewritten so that every student understands why we're here, what our rights are, our legitimacy etc.  We need soldiers from the Left, Right and Center and from the secular, traditional, dati and chareidi.  For many Israelis, the army is the first place they really get to know a wide variety of Israelis and understand that we must live and work together.

      Feiglin claims that the soldiers in a professional IDF will be respected and admired, unlike the situation in the USA.  He's wrong, just like he was wrong about his taking over the Likud.