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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Shiloh’

Shiloh Musings: Nastiest US Presidential Elections Ever!

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Last night on BBC they broadcast Obama campaigning for his former opponent Hillary Clinton. The racist scare tactics and dangerously inciting negative comments about Donald Trump would get someone jailed if it had been against a non-white candidate.

But since the Left is firmly coated in Teflon, even linguistically, he can get away with it.


This is a nasty campaign. The so-called “debates” were more like street fights using verbal knives and sharpened sticks.

As poorly as our Israeli politicians sometimes act, I think that the Americans have been dragging politics to an even lower level.

More than that, this entire election season, from the runup to the primaries and now as the candidates slug it out to the final voting deadline, the entire world can see how disunited the United State really is.

  • There is no “American People.”
  • The “melting pot” has failed to make a tasty “cholent.”
  • Even though the rates of all sorts of racial and religious intermarriage has never been higher, the disparate groups of people living in the United States of America are just getting more and more suspicious and hateful of those they consider “different.”
If Hillary wins, I just can’t see her undoing the social damage of the campaign, especially after her repeated “deplorable” comments stereotyping and condemning Trump supporters.
And if Trump wins, so many Americans can’t stand him and don’t trust him. I can’t see him calming the waters either.
Neither of the candidates have displayed the talents, personality and character that the USA needs in their president right  now. And Obama’s anti-Trump campaigning has been so vicious that there’s no way he can undo the damage.
The lines separating the disparate groups of American society may have been redrawn, but they seem deeper than ever. And trust between them is at an all-time low.
Neither Trump nor Hillary has shown his/herself as “presidential,” or does the word and concept “presidential” have new meaning in the twenty-first 21st century?

Good luck America and Jews come home!
Batya Medad

Shiloh Musings: Time for Me to Just Wait and Watch American Presidential Elections

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

With just over a week to American Election Day, I think it’s time for me to just find a comfortable seat to observe the fireworks. This is possibly the most bitter election campaign ever. Even when in 1964 Barry Goldwater ran against Lyndon B. Johnson, two very different candidates, it was nothing like this. OK, in 1964, nominees were still chosen by politicians and party “machines,” not by primaries. So, Goldwater didn’t have the super long build up of primaries campaigning that Donald Trump has had.

And if you don’t know, Goldwater was totally trashed by LBJ. I was in my teens, and I still remember one of, or the main, campaign slogans you heard from the Goldwater camp:

“In your heart you know he’s right.”

Now over fifty years later, decades after Ronald Reagan did the unthinkable and got elected by the “silent majority,” I see Donald Trump as another step in the rising confidence of the Right.

America has changed a lot in these last fifty-two years.

Hillary Clinton was also a teenager when Goldwater ran against Johnson. I wonder if she had her plans to run for President hatched by then. Or was she more inspired by the aim to correct George McGovern’s highly competent wife, Eleanor, who seemed to make peace with her role as hostess during the 1972 Elections, rather than using her talents for higher office. And just in case you don’t know, Richard Nixon defeated George McGovern.

And about the upcoming American Elections, there’s no unity in the polls. It seems that the various companies or NGOs that poll people about their voting plans each ask different segments of the American public whom they plan to vote for, because there are enormous discrepancies. Also,  there has been a rise in Trump’s numbers and a drop in Hillary’s.

I watch BBC TV News, and they are now trying to prepare people for a surprise. There’s no consistency in poll results, so they have just been showing the range of numbers.

Considering that Hillary’s supporters find Trump despicable, and Trump’s supporters consider Hillary a criminal, whoever wins will have an awfully hard time governing and making Americans feel like one country.

And it’s not just a matter of how the two disparate groups of supporter feel. I don’t remember ever hearing such foul and nasty remarks by presidential nominees about opponents ever before. This does not bode well for the United States of America!

Batya Medad

Arab Terror Gangs Attacking Travelers in Judea and Samaria

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

A gang of nearly a dozen Arab terrorists attacked Israeli motorists near the site of an archaeological excavation close to the Okafim Junction late Tuesday afternoon.

Numerous vehicles came under a hail of rocks as the attackers hurled stones at the motorists as they traveled past the Arab gang.

It’s not clear whether anyone was physically injured in the attack, nor is there any information yet on how many vehicles were damaged.

Israeli drivers also came under stoning attacks as they drove near the Yehuda Farm archaeological site near the Judean Arab city of Halhul, along Highway 60 in Gush Etzion. The site is close to the spot where Asher Palmer and his baby son Yonatan were murdered in a stoning attack by Arab terrorists several years ago.

Arab terrorists also attacked drivers traveling along Highway 60 north of Jerusalem in the Samaria region, as they approached the Jewish community of Shiloh, and at another site northeast of the Palestinian Authority capital city of Ramallah, where a female traveler sustained a minor hand injury from shattered glass.

Hana Levi Julian

Shiloh Musings: Being Protected by The Succah

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

All or most of us grew up on the story of the three  pigs, who each built a different kind of house, straw, sticks and bricks. And when the wolf came to attack, only the brick house provided protection. This true story I’m now going to tell goes rather differently. 

Your typical succah, the “booth” we’re commanded by Gd to live in for the week of Succot, is more like a house made of straw or sticks.

a neighbor’s succah, fabric like a house made of straw (photo by Batya Medad)


the inside of my succah, like a house made of sticks (photo by Batya Medad)

Even though technically, according to Jewish Law, a succah can be made with bricks, as an inner patio or dining-room that has a removable ceiling/roof, the spirit behind the law is that it be more mobile or temporary, like in these photos. And even if you have one of those rooms with a removable roof, it’s the schach, some sort of branch, whither actual branches, narrow wooden beams or these bamboo sticks you can see in the photos above which make the room/structure a kosher succah.

I don’t know if the Jerusalem Municipality still does it, but when we lived in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem, 1971-81, the municipality would drop off free schach (freshly pruned tree branches) every year. And every year I’d show up, the only woman fighting a bunch of aggressive men for those leafy branches to top our succah. I’d bring some string, and tie my hard won collection onto the baby carriage and then drag them to our building. And since they were of such value, I’d then drag them up the three flights of stairs and into our apartment to the balcony where we had our succah.

Having grown up on the story/fable of the “three pigs,” I never really thought of a succah as a shelter or protected place. Of course, it’s supposed to be a spiritual time and structure… 

As the kids grew up, first in Jerusalem and later in Shiloh, we had a family custom. Every Succot during Chol Hamoed, the “intermediate days,” we’d go to the Kotel, pray and then eat in the enormous community succah set up there. I’d bring “American style” picnic food, sandwiches with fruit, and was always surprised/amazed by the other people who showed up with pots of delicious smelling meat, chicken, vegetables, rice etc, which they’d set up on the tables as if they were home.

One year, probably over twenty-five years ago, we heard strange noises, like popping or shooting, coming from outside the succah. Most of us just ignored it. We were too busy eating and enjoying the holiday spirit in the succah. Then soldiers came in and told us we had to leave.

“It will be dangerous to stay, since Arabs were attacking Jews at the Kotel.”

The Arabs were throwing large rocks from their perch on Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount, at the Jews praying down below.

IDF soldiers were responding by shooting teargas canisters at the terrorists. In the safe, protected succah, we could only smell the food. But the second we left the succah, we felt the teargas in our eyes and nose. It was horrible. We had to walk a few hundred meters and climb lots of stairs until we got the the Jewish Quarter, which was also affected by the teargas.

We would have felt safer if we had stayed in the straw/stick hut with the leafy roof, which had filtered out the tear gas. Of course we couldn’t have stayed there long enough for the air to clear. The ancient stone walls of the Old City kept the tear gas in, which was more dangerous. I don’t know how long it took before the air cleared. It certainly took many hours if not days.

Ever since then, I think of the succah as a protection, a shelter. We, the Jewish People, are governed by the rules of Gd, not nature and science.

Chag Sameach
Have a Wonderfully Joyous Holiday 
Batya Medad

Shiloh Musings: “Strategic Advantage” like Living with a Disease

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

For decades already, basically since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, successive American governments have promised to “help” the State of Israel by assuring us “Strategic Advantage” over our neighboring enemies.

That is how Nixon and Kissinger supported, sic, Israel during that war. Their aim was to allow Israel a victory without its truly defeating Egypt and Syria. They wanted Israel to be fully dependent on American aid/support without its being destroyed/defeated. This was the first time Israel had fought a war for survival with any sort of foreign ally. Our 1967 Six Days War’s victory was ours and ours alone, with the help of Gd and the Jewish People all over the world.

Israel’s tragic mistake, which we’re still paying for, is not acting like a victor should. We didn’t fully accept the surrender of the Arabs in 1967. We’ve been attempting to negotiate “peace” ever since, which just makes us look weak and act weak.

That’s why Egypt and Syria thought they had a chance to defeat us just six years after their defeat. This yearning for peace makes us appear weak, which isn’t an illusion. That’s why the State of Israel has been accepting the fork-tongued assistance and aid from America. The latest package/deal from Obama is the actualization of the Nixon-Kissinger plan. The conditions for Israel’s acceptance of the aid, sic, buy-in-America shopping coupons is the weakening of the Israeli military industries, which makes Israel even more dependent on the USA.

“Strategic Advantage” does not give Israel the ability to fight our enemies into submission. We can only “slap it” and if we need more weapons, it is only with American approval/permission. They not only hold the purse-strings, they have the keys to the factories. 

If you liken our enemies to a “cancer,” this is very much like those who have been told by their doctors that the best scene scenario is “living with cancer” which can be controlled by periodic or frequent doses of chemo, just enough to keep the cancer from growing and not enough to kill the patient.

It’s one thing when you have no choice, as in certain types of cancer, but we do have a choice. This American so-called aid is also an addiction. Withdrawal may be painful for a period of time, but afterwards the body will recover and be healthy.

The Jewish People have just celebrated the beginning of the new year, 5777. It is time for us to take charge of our fate, continued existence. Gd will help us if we take the right steps.

Gmar Chatimah Tovah
May We Be Sealed in the Book of Life
Batya Medad

Final Obama Battle Waged Against Amona Jews

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The new, and, God Willing, final confrontation between the departing Obama Administration and the still ticking Netanyahu government appears to center on Amona, located on a hill overlooking Ofra in Benjamin Region, at the heart of the liberated territories.


Amona was founded in 1995, and has 200-plus residents — 50-plus families. Amona’s very name is a densely packed tale of occupations: it is mentioned in the Book of Joshua 18:24 as Kfar HaAmmonai, meaning Village of the Amonites, but the Amonite kingdom was well to the east of the Jordan River, so that when the Israelite tribe of Benjamin took it over, it actually liberated it from foreign occupation. A dozen or so conquests later, Amona was initially redeemed and rebuilt in 1995, not as a community but as an archeological site and the location of the Mekorot national water company’s containers. In 1996, the head of the regional council, with the support of the defense ministry, placed three caravans with young people from Ofra on the Amona hill, for strategic purposes.

Since then, and until 2005, a succession of Israeli governments invested in Amona’s infrastructure and encouraged its settlement by young families, mostly from nearby Ofra. In fact, in 2001, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon encouraged the locals to start building permanent homes, into which they moved from the 30 or so caravans where they lived. In 2003, then Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu participated in the celebrations of opening the community’s first mikvah. There was no doubt that the State of Israel was sanctioning the Amona enterprise.

In 2004, the Amana residents completed construction of nine permanent homes. Then, in October 2004, the Israeli Civil Administration ordered the demolition of the same structures, based on complaints that the lands had been acquired illegally from local Arabs who used to graze their flocks there.

According to the Amona residents, the reason they can’t produce the proper registration of their land has to do with the Palestinian Authority law that penalizes anyone who sells land to Jews. Over the years, dozens of Arab real estate brokers who dared to sell to Jews, often through a straw man, have been imprisoned and even executed. The Jews of Amona claim they purchased most of the land from local Arabs, with the understanding that they would protect the sellers’ identity by not registering the sale.

In July 2005, Peace Now petitioned the Supreme Court, complaining that no demolition had been executed. And in November 2005, the destroyer of Gush Katif, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, ordered the demolition of Amona be carried out by the end of January 2006.

On February 1, 2006, local Jewish residents and a few thousand protesters, including several MKs, clashed with a force of 10,000 Police, Border Guard, and IDF troops. The cops were as brutal and cruel as Israel had ever seen. An estimated 300 Jewish protesters were injured. Young Jewish girls accused the cops of sexual assault.

Eventually, the nine newly built homes of Amona were destroyed.

In December 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the entire community of Amona had to be evacuated and their homes demolished. The court has rejected an idea by then cabinet secretary and now Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit, that in cases like Amona, where government was involved in a community’s establishment, the Arab claimant be compelled to accept market value or comparable land. Most recently, Habayit Hayehudi cabinet ministers have suggested moving the Amona residents to nearby land — and that is the move which caught the ire of the lame duck Obama Administration.


On Wednesday, in an angry press release reminiscent of the Days Secretary John Kerry was first realizing there was no Nobel Peace Prize for him for fathering a new Palestinian State, the State Department “strongly condemned” the planned Amona move, stressing it violates Israel’s promise not to build new settlements. State Department’s deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, said

“it is disheartening that while Israel and the world mourned the passing of President Shimon Peres, and leaders from the US and other nations prepared to honor one of the great champions of peace, plans were advanced that would seriously undermine the prospects for a two-state solution that he so passionately supported.”

Never mind what you do to us, look what you’re doing to Shimon!

The NY Times cited Martin Indyk, Obama’s special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and, as rumors have it, President Hillary Clinton’s next envoy for the same Sisyphean chore, who threatened, as only a Jew who passionately hates the idea of an independent and strong Israel can: “At a certain point, the administration may well decide that there needs to be consequences for what it now sees as an effort to close off the two-state solution.”

For his part, Spokesperson Toner told the State Dept. press briefing on Wednesday:

“…when we see Israel carry out this kind of action – new settlement activity, announcement of new settlement activity – that, frankly, contradicts its stated goal to have or to achieve or pursue a two-state solution, it raises serious concerns and we have to publicly and privately convey those concerns to the Government of Israel.”

Then came this from Toner:

“…with regard to the UN Security Council and any action at the UN, our position hasn’t changed. We’re always concerned, frankly, about one-sided resolutions or other actions that could be taken within the UN, and we’re always going to oppose those kinds of resolutions that we believe delegitimize Israel and undermine its security.” Then, having paid the proper lip service, Toner delivered the zinger: “But we’re going to carefully consider our future engagement, if and when we reach that point, and determine how to most effectively pursue and advance the objective that we all at least claim to share, which is that of achieving a negotiated two-state solution. That work is going to continue with our international partners and we’re going to continue to make clear when we have concerns, such as we do today, with regard to Israel’s actions. We’re going to make those concerns clear to the Israeli Government.”

Do you see the veiled threat of the US deciding to support or abstain at a UNSC unilateral vote on establishing a Palestinian State?

Netanyahu heard it, loud and clear. On Wednesday night, Israel’s Foreign Ministry (PM Netanyahu is also the Foreign Minister) issued a statement rejecting the American criticism, arguing that the construction plan the cabinet initiated a week ago does not constitute building a new settlement, and, besides, “the settlements are not the barrier to peace.”

“The 98 housing units approved for the Shiloh settlement do not constitute a new settlement,” went the statement. “These units are to be built on state-owned land in the existing settlement of Shiloh, and will not alter its municipal boundaries. These housing units are intended to provide housing to the residents of Amona who must leave their homes according to home demolition orders issued by the Supreme Court of Justice.”

The Netanyahu argument will probably not persuade Toner or Kerry and Obama for that matter. Their vision inherently encompasses Judea and Samaria as Judenrein (German for “clean of Jews”), and so the argument regarding Shiloh’s unchanged municipal boundaries is meaningless to them — they hold there shouldn’t have been a Jewish Shiloh there in the first place.

Or, as Toner put it,

“…that’s particularly why we find [Israel’s] actions so befuddling, when it takes actions such as continued settlement activity that run counter to what we’re all trying to achieve here. And so we’re going to continue to press that case to them. We have a very close and very frank and candid relationship with Israel. We’re going to continue to call it like we see it, and when we see this kind of activity that we believe is counterproductive, we’re going to say so.”

Al Quds reporter Said Arikat pressed Toner:

“You keep saying that the UN is a forum that is somehow inherently opposed to Israel, while in fact, it was created through that UN organization. But let me ask you this: I mean, if this is in occupied territory, which you acknowledge, and there are laws that pertain to the occupying power’s rights and privileges or obligations under international law, why not push forward, put your weight behind what is internationally lawful in this case, and bring Israel to bear on these issues – holding it to account?”

Toner would not say, because to actually reveal what the Administration is, presumably, planning for the day after November 8 could start WW3. But there’s no doubt that, should the US decide to support a UN vote on a two-state solution, Amona, that ancient home of the invaders from across the Jordan River, will definitely play a major role in the decision.

David Israel

Shiloh Musings: U.S. VP’s are More Than Just Postscripts This Year

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

If you go over the history of the United States, not all that many Vice Presidents took over the Presidency. And during the campaigns, most were forgettable or worse. But this year’s/next month’s American Presidential Elections have an element that rarely if ever seen. Not only is the sum total of the Presidential candidates’ ages higher than ever, 139, but neither has been very open about her/his current health situation. If you have the time and patience to calculate click here for the Wikipedia listings of candidates.

Does this mean that seventy is all that ancient? Gd forbid! But in 2008, Obama, who was all of  47, made John McCain’s age, 72, an election issue.

This year the Americans are choosing between two retirement age candidates, and for that reason, let’s take a quick look at their Veep choices aka running mates.

Like Hillary’s kissing Suha Arafat after her anti-Israel speech filled with lies, the Democratic nominee, Tim Kaine,  is haunted by his boycott of Bibi’s speech to Congress. From my perch here in Shiloh, Israel, I don’t like what I see coming from the Democratic Party.

In all honesty, I know even less about Trump’s Veep,  Mike Pence. Considering that Trump has no congressional experience, I’d think he’d draft someone with a good track record. Remember that JFK never managed to pass his platform, and it was the congressional power house, Lyndon B. Johnson, who got the job done when he assumed the presidency after Kennedy was assassinated. So the information I just read in Wikipedia “During Pence’s twelve years in the House, he introduced 90 bills and resolutions; none became law.[42]” may not be good for Trump.

May Gd save us all…

Batya Medad

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/shiloh-musings-u-s-vps-are-more-than-just-postscripts-this-year/2016/10/06/

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