Your Letters and Our Responses!
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I just want to say God bless You all. You will prevail. God is with you.
Mikeal Harmon


The violence is regrettable, and I wish peace to all parties. The State of Israel is so powerful it could destroy the entire region. It is the duty of the stronger to apply peace. Also, after having created this wonderful State of Israel, they have a duty to take care of the original inhabitants, provide them with schools, shelter, medical care and reimbursement. Remember, it is special in the World that anybody can get the privilege of creating a country in a zone formerly inhabited by the original people.

Palestinians react out of humiliation and desperation. You, the stronger party, must not lose your mind over this. Be generous, do the first step over and over for you are the one who took their land. Now it's your land too, but you must be generous. I myself demonstrated with stones and rocks when I was young. The police reacted with teargas. Under your regime, I would be dead for throwing stones. We must stop killing children. Also, The leaders of the World have proven to the citizens of the World that they are sick mentally and maybe even perverted.

I despise, leaders like Hitler, and I despise leaders of today following these footsteps. Leaders of the World are not in love with life and humanity. To protect us from bloodthirsty leaders, we must create a future system, in which everybody must prove their love for humanity before being elected. These leaders of the great Nations are mentally anti-social. As such, I hope for divine intervention in favor of the survival of humanity.

Israel be generous for you take and take. Become a big brother. And, just like Nazis reimburse and pay, pay, too, for what you did to the poor, hungry, and forsaken. Just like the World will not forget the Holocaust. The World will not forget what has been done now. I pray upon you to be better than that. Please, stop your leaders mental malady of revenge and blood thirst. And, give these poor people part of their land. Let Arafat go into retirement. From you, the World expects more, because of your History.


[Note: We received the following e-mail on March 31, 2002. Eds.]

I condemn the terrible terrorism and genocide of occupier Israel. The main politic of Israel is in the blood of innocent people. It is so easy for you to attack innocent people. But these will be never forgetten. But do not forget, you are all covered with Moslem countries and one day you will not able to get help from the West and the US. There is a significant rising anger against Israel from all Moslem countries, including Turkey. Your servants are too few in numbers inTurkey. So if you want to live there, be clever and leave the occupied Moslem lands, especially first from Al-Kuds [Jerusalem].

So I pray from Allah to crush all Israeli killers (but only the enemies and killers, not innocent Jews. We are not like you as killing innocent people).

Salih Kýrca



To my Israeli friends,

I am an ex-Gulf War vet and I have a few words to say. First, I want to state the fact I am an American, I am a Christian, I am of German decent, and I Support Israel. I want to get to the point. I am not a hate-monger nor am I a bleeding heart liberal.

Second, I feel strongly as of September 11th, 2001 America had entered into a position that it can not retreat from and must not retreat from. America must remain an Ally to the fullest extent to Israel.

Third, I know of the slaughter that the Jews have had to deal with since her covenant with Jehovah. I view Israel as the chosen people of God. In all the generations Israel has had to deal with warfare and bloodshed. Under both the Arabs, and Crusaders swords have shed the blood of many Jews. Sad as it may be, more blood will be shed. However, Israel has allies even where she thinks she has none.

The Palestinians should move into Jordan, where they belong. Better yet, perhaps Iraq, Iran, Syria, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. People can be easily fooled. The Arabs play to the tune of a Two-headed serpent. Talk the smooth words of a seducer to the world and carry on a war against the Israeli people in the shadows of arrogance. The Arabs want no peace. They are Nazis with another name. They force Israel into the predictiment she is in.

Zionism!!!! They call Jews the oppressor, when the Jews have had to deal with oppression all these generations. My government and the people of the USA are so blinded by liberalism and stupidity, it makes me sick. They want to understand.... They don't realize the Quran means Jihad and only Jihad. Man, I tell you, how can people be so brainwashed into believing Islam is all love and not war? Aren't we all fooled by the guise of peace when we know the assassin's dagger lurks in the shadows.

Well this year will mark the beginning of sorrows for many of us. I really honestly and sincerely feel the Arab League has no other choice but to attack Israel soon. They will probably do it when we get ready to knock Iraq out. America has no allies in the Arab Nations. We will see who is with us and against us. They use us and we use them. I see no honesty in this ignorant coalition of theirs.

All of Israel is in my Prayers.




[Note: We received the following e-mail in March 2002. Eds.]

It is so evident that the Palestinians do not want peace. They want Israel, all of it. Even if the land went back to the pre-1967 war, peace would not be found.

Their words do not even reflect peace and certainly not their actions. Unfortunately for them, God has already had His say regarding this issue. Israel is His land. Period. I can't understand why our American government keeps asking Israel to refrain from retaliation after all of these years. After the 9-11 attack, we were on the way to what they are calling a "war."

What we have is no war, Israel has a war. 9-11 was an incident which required immediate action just as what has been happening and continues to happen to Israel is past the point of action, it is time to eliminate the PLO. God will be with Israel and so will the U.S. One of the reasons that the U.S. is blessed is due to their alliance and support of Israel. The State of Israel votes with the U.S. more than anyone else at the United Nations and we need to give Israel unlimited support, not words of restraint.
Columbus, Ga., U.S.A.


Oppose the fund- raising efforts to support the Government of Israel.

Every human being inhabiting planet earth must work towards starving any and every barbaric and criminal state whose Government commits crimes against humanity.

Claude Côté


As an ex-UNIFIL peacekeeper, I have seen horror in your region. You people have the ultimate power. You can humiliate the Palestinians as much as you want. But does this behavior give you what all people in the Mideast want the most? PEACE...

One day, the situation on power can be opposite...would you people negotiate with Arafat and his possible nuclear weapons, as if you would not have those, and seeing Arafat destroying your suburbs with bulldozers or rockets.

Israel is not stupid, so start thinking TODAY!

Mazel Tov,


[Note: we received the following e-mail on March 12, 2002. Eds.]

In these dramatical days, in these hours, you have my constant support. Terrorism can be defeated. Terrorism will be defeated. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Brigades of the Martyrs of Al Aqsa, and the Palestine Liberation Popular Front can be defeated.

These wicked organisations will be defeated. As the remarkable popular and political pacifist mobilization, in both sides, proves it, Palestinians and Israelis, who both reprove terror, that nothing justifies, today as yesterday, who are united by blood (Arabs and Hebrews are one family, the Children of Abraham, and Palestine is their original and common land), who are condemned to live together, want peace. Security and peace is the common will of the State of Israel (which, as everyone knows, I support firmly and publically, since always, the legitime right to peace and security, as, with a concrete peace, a concrete security, and a concrete freedom for Palestinian people, complete relations between the State of Israel, with which my contact is well-known, and Arab States) and Palestinian National Authority-which material capacity to contain and eradicate terror is tragically reduced by unadapted operations-,which both reprove and want to eradicate terror.

As Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Government, President Yasser Arafat, a man of peace and dialogue-as the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and his wife, Leah, and as Mr. Shimon Peres-and his Government want security and peace for Israelis and Palestinians.This constitutes a solid basis for a positive and constructive dialogue. This close political and security cooperation remains the only solution for putting a concrete and definitive end to the terrible threat of violence.

Dialogue remains possible. The Palestinian National Authority is not the enemy of the State of Israel. God Bless Israelis. God Bless Palestinians.God Bless you. Amen.

Mawloud Ould Daddah, Dakar, Senegal


Sir: Jordan had the west bank for 16 years and never saw fit to give the Palestinians their own State. The Arab world wants to keep the conflict alive and use the Palestinians as a tool to DESTROY Israel. They don't want a Palestinian State and a State of Israel, they want a Palestinian State instead of Israel. Until Arafat and his murdering hoards stop terrorist attacks in Israel and accept a brokered peace, this conflict will never end. In fact even with a peace agreement,it is hard to imagine the Arab not constantly trying to undermine it in their continuing efforts to DESTROY Israel. All the "bleeding heart" liberal crazies now demonstrating in the Ramallah area are delusional.

JF Compton
Ft. Collins, CO


I was just wondering what organization, if any, is behind this web site, or whether you yourselves are an organization and if so, what is your mission statement, and where are you based.

Our website is not affiliated with any particular organization. The site is run by a group of people dedicated to the cause of objective journalism - in our case, objective writing about Israel. We have no political agenda other than providing our visitors with the truth about Israel -- regardless of whether this makes Israel look "good" or "bad."

To this end, we try to provide our visitors with points of view from all across the political and religious spectrum, so that they can make up their own minds about issues relating to the State of Israel.


Only a close political and security cooperation between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority - which remains for peace and dialogue,but, unfortunately, which has the material capacity to contain and eradicate terror, that NOTHING justifies, today as yesterday, and which is UNANIMOUSLY reproved, is tragically reduced by unadapted bombings and unadapted operations on the ground - can CONCRETELY AND DEFINITIVELY put an end to the terrible threat of terror. Peace remains the profound desire of Palestinians - as the popular manifestations of support, a constant support, to President Arafat's pacifist policy, in Palestinian autonomous territories, during which he FIRMLY condemns violence, prove it - and Israelis - the remarkable popular and political pacifist mobilization prove this deep desire of peace -, who are united by blood (Arabs and Hebrews are one family, the Children of Abraham, and Palestine is their original and common land), who are condemned to live together. Peace remains possible. Hope remains. Shalom.


Mawloud Ould Daddah, Dakar, Senegal


The ignominious and crual terrorist attack of Saturday, [March 2, 2002,] in Jerusalem, unanimously reproved, and the criminal murders of Israeli soldiers, unanimously condemned, are terrible dramas. In these painful moments, may God, The Merciful,Assist with His Merciful Support, the israeli nation and its leadership.You have my total support.


Mawloud Ould Daddah, Dakar, Senegal


Is it possible for an individual to contribute funds to the State of Israel?

Thank you.

There are plenty of ways to contribute to Israel. First of all, you might invest in a new or existing company in Israel. Related to this, you might consider visiting Israel -- Israeli businesses thrive on purchases made by tourists from abroad. In addition, below is a partial list of groups that gladly accept contributions/investments:

State of Israel Bonds: The site to purchase Israel government bonds

LIBI: Provides for the social, medical, and educational needs of Israel's soldiers

Friends of the Israel Defense Forces: Provides free food to Israeli soldiers, adopt-a-soldier programs, on-base recreation centers, assistance to widows and orphans, scholarships, and other means of making life easier on Israel's soldiers

Jewish National Fund: The site to have trees planted in Israel

Yesha Council: A right-wing organization, dedicated to supporting Israeli settlers in "Yesha" ("Yehuda v'Shomron" - Judea and Sumeria, also known as the West Bank - and Gaza)

Peace Now: A left-wing organization, dedicated to negotiating peace with the Palestinians

You might also contact the "American Friends" of any Israeli political party you might wish to support.


[Note: We received this e-mail on December 24, 2001. Eds.]

You open your web page with "May Peace soon reign over the entire land of Israel." Are you sincere about this? The news this morning reports that Mr. Arafat wishes to attend the Midnight Mass in Bethlehem but may not be permitted to do so. Can people in Israel not put aside hatreds for one night! Perhaps Mr. Arafat will hear something during the Christian service that will inspire him to work harder for peace.

As a Roman Catholic, I am disturbed that my religion is being demeaned by the powers in Israel who wish to turn the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a political bargaining chip. Let the refrain: "Glory to God in the Highest" resound through the land for one night at least. All of us in the Holy Land pray to the same God in our own ways. Let the three faiths unite in peace. May anyone who wishes to journey to Bethlehem of Judea on this holy night be allowed to make that journey in the spirit of Peace.

Thank you for taking the time to write us. Regarding our statement about peace in Israel, we are a politically neutral website, and while we are quite interested in peace in Israel, we do not take a position about how to achieve this goal -- whether through the "Peace Through Military Strength" that the Israeli Right advocates, the "Land for Peace" that the Israeli Left advocates, or through any other formula. Our job is simply to provide our visitors with the facts and let them decide for themselves what the best policy is.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


After the attacks on our country on 9-11, even though the great majority of Americans have always felt a special bond with Israel, we know now what Israel has suffered for 53 years. I have never sent an e-mail to any government, but at this time I felt compelled to. I am a Christian, my father was a Baptist minister he died 5 years ago, but on many times I heard him from the alter tell the people of the church "the U.S. has remained a strong country because it supports Israel, and God has shown us favor." I still beleive that. I wish you Gods speed in your war against the criminals who continue the terror attacks on your country. God bless you all. Tim White, Lieutenant, Cullman, Alabama, Police


Again, shalom. I am Enache, e-mailing from Romania, and I love the Jewish people. In fact, I know many people who love you and pray for you day by day. Why? Because we are Christians. When one Jew is wounded or, worse, killed, we are very sad in our hearts. We do not believe in the "land for peace" concept, but it's your land, your peace. May your God bless you. Shalom


I would like to congratulate Mr. Sharon on his actions against the terror. God bless him and the State of Israel. I hope that Mr. Sharon will go all the way in fighting the terror and we will have a safe and secure state.

Happy Hanuka to all.

Bat-El Benzino


[Note: We received this e-mail following the terrorist attacks in Israel on December 1-2, 2001. Also, the letter uses the word "Hashem," which is Hebrew for "The Name." It is one of many words Jews use to refer to G-d. Eds.]

Create a sustained bombing and demolition attack on Arafat's murderers by pulverizing as many of their landmarks, houses, hamlets and places as you can. Inflict the severest punishment on them so that they understand that for every Israeli life lost or injured, 50 of them will be destroyed. No quarters given. No longer can you listen to diplomacy. Retribution is now!! It's acceptable for the U.S. to take action against Bin Laden and the Taliban but not for Israel. To hell with those who want Israel to be patient. 50 eyes for an eye is not enough!!!!!!!!!

Hashem bless Israel, its people and Jews all over the world. Hashem bless my hero, Ariel Sharon, and give him help and wisdom to guide the destiny of our beloved Israel. Omein


I just want to ask if I can visit the country, because I'm a Palestinian from Lebanon. I'm living in Lebanon, and I'm a student here. Please, if there is any chance, just tell me and I will try to be in contact.

Thank you very much for taking the time to write us. Unfortunately, the current security situation makes it VERY difficult to arrange a visit to Israel for a Lebanese Palestinian such as yourself. If at all possible, you should go to the Israeli Embassy in Cyprus or in Amman, Jordan (since there is no Israeli Embassy in Lebanon) and present your case there. You would need to demonstrate an EXTREMELY compelling reason in order for your request to be granted. You should also be aware, however, that when you return to Lebanon, the Lebanese government may take action against you, as it strongly disapproves of people who have EVER been to Israel, even for just a short visit.


I really enjoy your site. I didn't agree with your Prime Minister's comments a couple weeks ago, however I don't agree with my own country's (America) position trying to establish "peace" in the Middle East. It is not fair to expect the Israelis to give up land for peace. We should be better allies. I feel as a Christian such a connection with your people. The Jews are GOD's chosen people. I am trying to better understand Judiaism as it is the tree that my faith is grafted to. Yeshua was a Hebrew as such it is important for me to learn Hebrew and more about Jewish customs. It is my understanding that Jews recognise the Islamic people just as they recognise Christians. This an error. I hate noone,however I don't trust an Arab. They are the descendants of Ismael. They will never be happy untill they own all of Israel for themselves. They worship a false relgion of Hate. GOD is Love and Peace not hatered and warfare. In these dangerous times we must keep our eyes open and all our faith in Elohaynu. "Yasem lecha shalom!"


I was touched by your sentiments to the American people on your web site concerning the terrorist attacks of 9-11. For many years I longed to see our country be a better ally to Israel and fight terrorism together. Instead it took 9-11 to get us seriously involved, just as it took Pearl Harbor to get us to fight the evil of that day. I feel that we let Israel suffer too long without assisting in stopping terrorism along time ago the way we should have. I'm sorry we are not a better ally. We have let you suffer terrorism alone and at the same time we've been too soft on the Arabs. The liberal Democrats in this country have made us soft and weak and invited this attack, while the American people were asleep. We are not the vigilant watchmen that the Israelis are and have to be, but maybe now we will begin to wake up. I hope now we will begin to realize what the Israelis have been living through for many years, and how we have to fight along side with and support our best ally. D. Clark, Ca.


My maiden name is Kharas, I understand that it is the name of a small town in Judea, near Hebron. My great-greatgrandfather changed his name to Kharas for reasons not clear to his decendants. Could you please tell me where I might be able to get information on this town. Does Kharas have a translation in English? Was it the name of the town's founder?

Thank you very much.

Kharas is thought by many to be the ancient city of Hareth. In Semitic languages (such as Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic), the "a" and "e" vowels can be interchanged, and the "Kh" can also be written as a "Ch" or simply as an "H." Knowing this, the names look strikingly similar. Also, the modern city of Kharas seems to be where the Bible places the ancient city of Hareth.

Hareth means "thicket." When the young David (the future king) was fleeing King Saul, he went, among other places, to Hareth. In I Samuel 22:5 it states: "And the prophet Gad said unto David, Abide not in the hold; depart, and get thee into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hareth."


I visited your site to hear HaTikva. I'd love to be able to hear it sung. Is it ever sung in English, or might not the English translation fit with the music. (It would make sense that it is not sung in English, I just wondered). I am a woman in the USA. I love Israel, and visit several Israel related sites often. (In fact in my search for HaTikva I've found several English equivalents).

Contrary to some of the other letters posted, I understand the concern of your PM Ariel Sharon, and I took absolutely no offense at the comparison between Czechoslovakia, rather I understand it. I hope my country will always support Israel, and never turn her back on the Jewish people or the nation of Israel.

I am wondering why the Magen David is in the center of the flag, rather than the Menorah. I have an understanding of the significance of the Menorah the Temple. Besides why the Magen David is on the flag, would you please tell me the back ground and significance of it? I have read there is some occultic background.

Thank you for a wonderful site!

We do not know of any time that HaTikvah was sung in English. If you would like to hear it sung (in Hebrew), we suggest purchasing RCA's CD called "World Anthems." The CD was released on June 16, 1998, and is still available in stores.

Regarding the Israeli flag, please visit our Israeli flag section for more details. As for the use of the Magen David (rather than the Menorah) on the flag, the attendees at the Zionist Convention who designed the flag simply believed that the Magen David was a more recognizable Jewish symbol than the Menorah. In fact, before designing the flag, they had already chosen the Magen David as the symbol of the movement. Historically, however, the Magen David is a relatively new Jewish symbol: prior to the eighteenth century, the six-pointed star was no more "Jewish" than any other symbol.

In ancient times, the six-pointed star would often be worn next to a five-pointed star as a decoration or a magic amulet. At that time, the Magen David was not called by this name, and it had no particular Jewish significance; it was simply a popular symbol among various cultures of the ancient world.

The five-pointed star had many associations, only one of which was as the occultic "Pentagram." To the Jews, the five-pointed star represented the Five Books of Moses (the Torah). The six-pointed star only started to be called the "Magen David" (the Shield of David) in the Middle Ages. Previously, non-Jewish magicians had called the five-pointed star the "Shield of Solomon" (David's son). Somewhat following in the footsteps of the non-Jewish magicians, the Medieval Jewish mystics believed that David's shield had the power to ward off evil spirits. These mystics - students of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) - popularized the six-pointed star among Jewish communities, first in the Jewish community of Prague (which made the Magen David its official symbol) and then throughout the Jewish world. Within some three centuries, the Magen David became the most identifiable Jewish symbol.


Thank you for the information on this site. I have read both the Palestinian links and the Israeli view provided on the conflict between Arabs and Jews. I am a Catholic and my husband was raised Jewish, although he claims to be Agnostic now. I have always been very interested in the real cause of the conflict. I believe that many Jews here in America really don't have a clue as to what really has been going on in Israel. While I do believe that the Jews have a right to live in Israel, I am still not convinced that the way in which it all came about was appropriate. Many, many people have died because of it and now America is still sufferng the aftermath. Why was it the the Jews felt the need to displace all the Palestinians living on the land that was set aside for the Jews by the UN? Why couldn't they just settle there and live together? Isn't it understandable that those people would feel violated by having their home taken away. Why did the Jews feel that they had to make the Arabs leave? After what their people went through you'd think they'd be more compassionate and understanding.

Thank you for taking the time to write us. Regarding your questions, we are a politically neutral website and try to take no position one way or the other. With that in mind, we will attempt below to give a detailed response to your query.

When Israel was founded, it offered the Arabs citizenship and rights equal to all other Israeli citizens (with the exception of immigration law, which favors Jews but does have provisions for non-Jewish immigration to Israel).

Some Arabs accepted this offer and became the Israeli Arabs. They live in the areas that have been fully incorporated into the State of Israel, especially Haifa and East Jerusalem. Also, Arab Bedouins who hold Israeli citizenship live in the Negev Desert, and the Druze - another Arab sect - hold Israeli citizenship and live in the Galilee and the Golan Heights. (There are also Syrian Druze who live near their Israeli brethren but on the Syrian side of the border.) The Israeli Arabs, like other Israeli citizens, vote for and serve in the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) and enjoy other rights and privileges of Israeli citizenship. One difference between Arab and Jewish Israelis lies in service in the Israel Defense Forces: in theory, all Jewish Israelis of age must serve in the Israel Defense Forces (although there are certain exceptions, such as for ultra-religious Jews studying in religious academies); by contrast, most Arab Israelis do not serve in the Israel Defense Forces, with the notable exception of Druze Israelis, who do serve in the IDF.

Other Arabs did not accept the offer of citizenship, for a variety of reasons. These non-Israeli Arabs retained the name that used to apply to BOTH Jews and Arabs who resided in the region, before the creation of the State of Israel: “PALESTINIANS," after the word "Palestine," the name for the region that today encompasses modern Israel and Transjordan, which, in turn, became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Some Palestinians continued to use this word to describe themselves because they did not accept the legitimacy of the State of Israel; if Israel was not a legitimate state, then, logically, the region never ceased to be called Palestine, and its inhabitants thus continue to be called Palestinians. Other Palestinians accepted Israel's right to exist but said that part of the region was reserved for an ARAB state; this portion, they said, continued to be called Palestine. (For an explanation of why the region - originally intended for both an "Israel" and a "Palestine" - developed into the State of Israel but with NO accompanying State of Palestine, please visit our Arab-Israel Conflict section.)

(The word "Palestine" was coined by the Romans two thousand years ago when they conquered the region. The Romans exiled almost all the Jews and changed the name of the region, in an attempt to erase all Jewish connection to the area: thus, the city of Jerusalem became "Aelia Capitalina," and Israel - which had split into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel - became "Palestine," after the Philistines, a nation that had ceased to exist long before. The people who lived there thus became known as "Palestinians." While Aelia Capitalina's name was soon changed back to Jerusalem, the region continued to be called Palestine until the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.)

The Palestinian Arabs live in Judea and Sumeria (together known as the "West Bank") and in Gaza; these three regions, while administered by Israel, have not been fully incorporated into the State of Israel. (Today, the Palestinian Authority has taken over many of the day-to-day administrative activities in the West Bank and Gaza.) Many Palestinians also live in Jordan. For full details about the Palestinians since Israel was founded, please visit our Arab-Israel Conflict section.


[Note: We received the following letter on October 6, 2001, following Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's remarks about U.S. President George W. Bush's efforts to form an international coalition against terrorism. Prime Minister Sharon said that President Bush was forming a coalition consisting of many of the countries the Prime Minister considers Israel's enemies. The Prime Minister also said that he did not agree with the United States on the issue of peace with the Palestinians: the United States has been trying to pressure Israel to make peace with the Palestinians, so that this conflict will no longer be an issue standing in the way of the international coalition-building efforts; Prime Minister Sharon, however, has repeatedly said that he will not consider any peace talks with the Palestinians until there has been a period of no violence between the two sides. Sharon said that the United States was trying to build a coalition at the expense of Israel's security. The Prime Minister likened President Bush's apparent amiable attitude toward these countries to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's unsuccessful efforts to make peace with Adolf Hitler. In response, President Bush said that he was personally hurt by Sharon's remarks and that Israel has no better friend than the United States. The Prime Minister later apologized for his statement. Eds.]

Here in America following the injury and death inflicted upon 13,000 Americans [on September 11, 2001] we hear your loud- mouthed leader criticizing us for avoiding an all out Islamic war by carefully forming a coalition of states against terrorism. What is the matter with this guy? Don't we send you enough of our hard-earned aid and money? What has Israel done for the U.S. lately? Anything? Anything at ALL? I can't think of a thing, not one thing. We used to be told that Israel brings stability to the region. None of us believe that anymore.

I do know that our benevolent support of your country makes us accomplices to your 'occupation' of lands which according to the UN and the World Law do not belong to you. The average American finds that very distasteful, and does not embrace your position as well as you think we do. You guys are as bad as the Arabs, and in some ways worse, trading bullets for stones. Sharon has been there too long..............time to retire. He is a war dog who loves violence and war and has personally begun the "Fifty year war". No thanks. We opt out of that one.

You have lost a great deal of U.S. Support.


[Note: We received the following letter on October 6, 2001, following Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's remarks about U.S. President George W. Bush's efforts to form an international coalition against terrorism. Prime Minister Sharon said that President Bush was forming a coalition consisting of many of the countries the Prime Minister considers Israel's enemies. The Prime Minister also said that he did not agree with the United States on the issue of peace with the Palestinians: the United States has been trying to pressure Israel to make peace with the Palestinians, so that this conflict will no longer be an issue standing in the way of the international coalition-building efforts; Prime Minister Sharon, however, has repeatedly said that he will not consider any peace talks with the Palestinians until there has been a period of no violence between the two sides. Sharon said that the United States was trying to build a coalition at the expense of Israel's security. The Prime Minister likened President Bush's apparent amiable attitude toward these countries to British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's unsuccessful efforts to make peace with Adolf Hitler. In response, President Bush said that he was personally hurt by Sharon's remarks and that Israel has no better friend than the United States. The Prime Minister later apologized for his statement. Eds.]

I have felt great compassion and a desire to assist in any way that I could the cause of Israel and its people. This all began with Mrs. Schwartz my 4th grade teacher. Now, Israel sends warning-threats to the country that has stood beside her and provided billions of dollars to her. I don't like that and I don't appreciate it. As to Israel taking its own course against terroism...she sure has done a pretty lousy job thus far. I will no longer read nor have any compassion toward a Jew or Israel. In really pissed me off.



I am an Indian Muslim. I came to know about your site from a search of Arab-Israeli wars. I am very much interested in the history of Israel, and I visited your site to find out about the background of all the present conflicts with Arabs. Frankly, before I came to know about your site, I had a very negative image of Israel and its policies toward the Palestinians. In fact, I thought that the Israel has "no-right" to exist at all, and this is basically due to its policies toward Palestinians. The two sides should exist side-by-side. But now I am happy that I know the near "complete" truth, and now I can see the two sides of the coin.
Finally, I liked the neutral way in which you presented all the facts. I thank you for this neutrality, and I would hope you will continue this trend.

May ALLAH bring peace to All.

Thank you very much for your letter. As you point out, it is our goal to present information about Israel in as neutral a manner as possible. You are absolutely right that every issue has two (and sometimes more!) sides, and we are glad that you find our site to be a good source of information that enables you to make up your own mind about the issues; this is precisely our goal.

>>May ALLAH bring peace to All.

Amen to that! As Jewish High Priests said two thousand years ago in the Temple, "Yasem lecha shalom." (May G-d bring you peace.)


[We received the following letter following the terrible tragedy in America on September 11, 2001. Eds.]

Good Evening...Or I should say Good Morning since it is shortly after Midnight where I am. After the Day of Terror in the U.S. I, like many of my neighbours, went looking for a new, larger American flag. I am fortunate to live in a Navy town where, by the time I could get off work and get to town, ALL the stores had sold out of American flags. I'm proud of my neighbours! So, I went shopping on the internet and ordered a nice American flag from a major flag manufacturing company. In the process, I also investigated an Israeli flag. I got one of those, too. The search for the flag carried me to your site. I'm so thankful! I love your site like I love your beautiful and historic land (yes, I've been there!). I was glad for the links to the English language newspapers, among other things. I put an icon on my desktop to your site and to the newspapers. I'll visit them every evening. Thanks for being there and providing so much information.

We are glad to hear that you have found our site useful as a source of information about Israel. Please continue to visit our site, as we are constantly updating it.


Hello. I'm a freshman and for my history class we had to do a project on the five themes of geography on the country of our choice. I chose Israel, as I am very interested in it and don't learn a lot about the modern issues and people in religous school. I'm also pretty happy to get a grade for studying something I'm allready interested in. Anyway, I was having a lot of trouble finding some things such as the imports and exports, which should be fairly easy to find but weren't. Your site had them and it only took me few seconds to find them, I didn't have to spend a long time looking for one thing. The rest of your site is really interesting, too. One thing that might be interesting to add is something about youth groups. I'm in a country-wide one called NFTY and I'm always surprised at how little people know about it. I know there are lots of groups like it so if you could maybe make a list about them and how to get in touch with them, it would be great.

Thank you for your letter and your kind remarks. It's a great idea for us to include something about youth groups!! We'll get something up on the site hopefully quite soon.

We have certainly heard of NFTY -- it's a great group. We would also like to put in entries about Youth Aliyah, USY, NCSY, Habonim, and others.


[We received the following letter following the terrible tragedy in America on September 11, 2001. Eds.]

In the darkness of the tragedy that befell all those in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the innocent passengers in the planes involved in the attacks, I offer this simple prayer:

Lord in Heaven,

Please give us the strength to withstand the pain of this terrible loss.

Watch over the paramedics and firemen working in the damaged areas. Send them the wisdom and courage they need to help the injured.

Watch over the injured and dying. Embrace them, comfort them and, if you must, take them quickly so they don't suffer for long.

Watch over the families and friends of those who died, so that they can be comforted and look to the future.

Watch over the friends and families of those whose whearabouts are still unknown, and offer them your patience and hope.

Watch over the politicians and guide them to make the right decisions to protect this country. Help them find the person or people responsible for this violent attack so we can resolve this issue as quickly as possible.

Most important of all, give us as a nation the ability to forgive whoever did this in the end.

I ask all these in your name.



Hey there,
I just visited your site, & it looks great. I'm an American, with a love for the land of Israel. Whatever it may be worth, my prayers go out to your nation. I also pray that the United States will never turn our back on you. In this time of great conflict, you need friends more than ever. Even though things may look pretty bleak, I know you will always be victorious. With or without our help. May God always bless your great nation. Never lay down your weapons, & never waive a white flag. Be like Samson if necessary. Don't let the enemy have one speck of Israeli land! I've put a link to your site, on our gospel site. Keep on, keepin on!

The Cissells, Southern Gospel Ministries.

Thank you for your kind words and for linking to our site!


I am Pakistani Christian and being from Asia we are quite aware of about Muslim aggression being faced by you. Like all other the world, we the Christians in Pakistan, firmly believ that you are the true and legitamate owner of the Holy Land. If you like there is group of Pakistani Christans who will be ready to share hand with you to fight against Muslim aggression.


I am a 50-year-old male, Jewish, and am thinking about moving to Israel. Any information you are able to forward or put me in touch with a consular officer here in the U.S. would be most appreciated. It is a decision I am not going to make lightly and require as much information as possible about housing, medical care, passport, etc. Thank you.

Immigration (which, for Jews, is called "Aliyah" in Hebrew), though a rewarding experience, is certainly not one to be made quickly or taken lightly. There are a couple of ways you can go about your Aliyah.

Israel has Aliyah representatives in the U.S. called "shlichim" (singular: "shaliach"). Some people have had very positive experiences following the advice of the shlichim. Others, however, have had very negative experiences, discovering that everything the shaliach suggested or told them was wrong. The experiences vary from shaliach to shaliach; if you decide that you would be interested in using a shaliach, you may have a very positive or a very negative experience. If you use this option, you will be provided with airfare to Israel and will be taken through much of the process of immigration when you arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, in Tel Aviv.

Another option would be to first go to Israel as a tourist. This way, you can spend as much time as you wish, without making any permanent commitments. Then, if you decide to go through with the Aliyah, you can go to the Ministry of the Interior ("Misrad HaP'nim") office nearest to where you are living in Israel and change your status from "tourist" to "Oleh" (new Jewish immigrant).

If you decide to use this option, you will need to bring your U.S. passport with you to the Ministry of the Interior, along with proof that you are Jewish. Generally, a letter from an Orthodox rabbi in the U.S. will suffice for this purpose. We suggest obtaining such a letter, printed on the rabbi's synagogue stationery, before you embark for Israel. Your new "Mispar Oleh" (immigrant number) will be printed in your U.S. passport.

YOU SHOULD ALSO BRING WITH YOU A BUNCH OF PASSPORT PHOTOS, for the various documents you will be receiving. Incidentally, the U.S. and Israel do NOT use the same size passport photos. An Israeli passport photo may be obtained cheaply from photo machines found in malls throughout Israel. (By the way, if you need to renew your U.S. passport while in Israel, you can do so at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, or the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem; most photo shops in Israel will take the proper size passport photo for a U.S. passport, if you emphasize that it is for an AMERICAN passport.)

Your new "Teudat Zehut" (Israeli identity card) will arrive in the mail soon after you receive your Mispar Oleh. The Teudat Zehut is absolutely crucial and must be carried with you at all times in Israel; because of heightened security concerns, police or other security personnel may ask to see it, to verify that you do not pose a security threat. You will also need it at the post office (again, for security concerns), when opening/using an Israeli bank account, and for many other purposes.

As for an Israeli passport, once you have "made Aliyah," you are considered an Israeli citizen and are, thus, eligible for an Israeli passport. As soon as you receive your "Teudat Zehut" in the mail, you will be able to apply for an Israeli passport. What you will need to do is go, once again, to the local office of the Ministry of the Interior and apply there. For the first year after you make Aliyah, you will actually not get a "passport"; rather, you will get a "Teudat Ma'avar" ("Travel Document"), which is basically the same thing as an Israeli passport but is only valid for one year. After that, you will be able to get an ordinary Israeli passport, which will be valid for five years but can be renewed.

You should be aware that it is somewhat difficult to travel on an Israeli passport: some countries don't have relations with Israel at all (and thus don't accept Israeli passports), while other countries require Israelis to obtain visas well in advance of their trips. Assuming you are a U.S. citizen, this problem can be alleviated by traveling on your U.S. passport. Americans can travel to most countries, without having to obtain visas in advance. This is also true for Canadian and British citizens.

If you are a U.S. citizen, you should also be aware that Aliyah will make you a dual citizen - i.e., a citizen of BOTH Israel AND the U.S. This means that you will be legally REQUIRED to enter and leave the U.S. on your U.S. passport and to enter and leave Israel on your Israeli passport. For all other countries, you will have the option of using either passport, although, for the reasons discussed above, you may be better off using your U.S. passport. This is basically the case for Canadians and Britons, as well.

When you become an Israeli citizen, you may become eligible for the military draft, because you are younger than age 52. However, the requirement of military service is likely to be waived in your case, since you are over 50.

Finally, when you become an Oleh, you become eligible for certain benefits from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption ("Misrad HaKlitah"). Among these benefits are the right to be enrolled in the Israeli Health Fund ("Kupat Holim") of your choice for free and to receive a limited amount of free furniture, as well as free housing for a limited time, in an Absorption Center ("Merkaz Klitah"). Some of your immigrant rights (such as the right to ship a limited number of items from the U.S. to Israel without paying customs) expire after only a few years, or when you have used up the rights, whichever comes first. (As soon as you use up a right, a clerk at the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption makes a notation in your "Teudat Oleh.")

For more information about making Aliyah to Israel, please visit the following websites:

Ministry of Immigrant Absorption (includes information about immigrant rights)

Israel Aliyah Center (includes a link with the addresses of offices throughout North America)


Though not Jewish myself I have long had a high regard for Jewish people that I have known and usually support the efforts of the State of Israel to improve its security and gain full recognition throughout the world including the Arab nations. When transfer of control of all the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt was made this seemed to me to be a big mistake at the time it occurred. There may have been other methods of pressuring Egypt for recognition such as granting 10 mile wide strip along the east side of the Suez canal. It seems to me that after each Israeli death from terrorist act that the Arabs should suffer losses of a territorial nature in the West Bank and Gaza and for each year that Arab states and Palestinian terrorist groups continue to spew their venom of hate (radio, schools etc) and refuse to recognize the State of Israel.

Israel is in a position to control the ground and incorporate more land after each death from terrorism and passing year into its national area. Location & configuration of area incorporated totally at the discretion of the State of Israel Israel has won 3 wars and its about time Arabs recognize its existence isn't it?

The Arabs should be told and shown outright that each passing year and terrorist act will cause Arab Palestine to become smaller & smaller. For instance, after this latest assault Arab Palestine should lose as many square kilometers (or hectares) as deaths caused by the assault plus one for the attack itself:
22 deaths + 1 incident = 23 kilometers (or hectares...) more from Arab Palestine into the State of Israel.

Therefore the more carnage the terrorists create the more they defeat themselves in their intentions to drive all Jews into the sea. If the situation were reversed the Israelis will provide the Arabs boats! It does not seem likely that it will take that long for the Arabs to see they are only defeating themselves by further delay & violence.

Arab states and eventually Palestinians abroad and in Palestine might sooner rather than later come to realize that it would be better to make peace and formally recognize and accept the State of Israel. There are certain details that need to be considered in implementing such a plan to coerce/encourage Arab suit for real peace & full recognition & acceptance of Israel (mostly public pronouncement but also control & direction of Jewish settlements in currently Arab Palestine to areas of incorporation)

Please send this suggestion to any Israeli-Zionist thinktank there may be for consideration. If taken seriously, you may contact me if you wish; I may have several additional comments for implementation. (All deaths caused by terrorist acts since 1948 may be considered to determine area size for incorporation & starting with East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as part of the areas of incorporation, etc.)

Here's hoping that taking such firm calculated steps will lead to the way for Israel to gain the respect and acceptance it so surely deserves!


Please advise what role former President Roosevelt played in the assistance of creation of the State of Israel as adopted by UN. It was with Stalin and Churchill.

During World War II, Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill did, indeed, work very closely together. They became known as "The Big Three." However, Roosevelt actually played little role in the creation of the State of Israel. The United Nations - which, as you note, did play a major role in Israel's creation - was founded in San Francisco in 1945. The first UN conference occurred 13 days after Roosevelt died. On May 14, 1948, Roosevelt's successor - President Truman - became the first world leader to recognize the new state.

Having said that, some point out the indirect role Roosevelt played in the creation of the State of Israel. On May 30, 1939, 930 Jews attempted to escape from Europe before the worst of the Nazi persecutions began. On board a ship called the St. Louis, they set sail from Germany, bound for the U.S. However, the Roosevelt administration employed strict annual immigration quotas; the quotas were based on the alien's country of origin. Because the "German" quota had been filled, the Jews on board the St. Louis faced a wait of up to three and a half years before they could enter the United States.

At first, the Cuban government informed them that it would let them wait in Cuba. However, when the St. Louis arrived in Havana, the Cubans changed their minds, allowing only 30 Jews to disembark. Despite pleas to the United States government, the U.S. refused to allow the remaining Jews to enter the United States any earlier. As a result, they were forced to return to Europe, where they perished in the Holocaust.

One of the reasons the State of Israel was founded was to prevent Jews from ever again finding themselves without a place of refuge from anti-Semitism in the Diaspora. Thus, the refusal of the Roosevelt administration to admit the Jews on board the St. Louis was one impetus for the state to be created.


I cannot claim to be a student of either cultures, nor, has my education in history focused upon the events in the region
of Israel over the last several thousand years. I am but an American, far removed from the daily issues and concerns of
life in the Middle East.

Over the course of my life in America I have been exposed to countless individuals from various backgrounds. My own
ethnic roots in fact are the results of the unlikely union of an Irish Protestant and Irish Catholic. A situation that seems
unremarkable in America today, but was simply scandelous, sacreligious and immflammatory 50 years ago as it is in
Ireland today.

Regardless of our paritcular ethnicity or political standing, I believe that we all love our children, that we all want them to
thrive and excel in whatever world they reside, and that we do not wish to seek to exact pain or death from those
around us.

I have read your site, and countless others, in combination with what I have learned in my education in history and those
individuals I have encountered from whom I have benefitted from a highly personal and human perspective . . . I must
ask . . . what does Israel think it is doing?

I have no wish to level any indictment upon the citizen of Israel, of course, but upon its government, whose recent actions
seems to be . . . frankly . . . godless.

I was raised a Christian. Although we part in many ways, the basis for that faith we have common origins and beliefs.
The enemy you maintain keeps common ideals, even passages of the Bible to which we all have agreed are holy in some

Your soldiers are plowing under olive trees . . . you, the chosen people of God, your soldiers are uprooting the Biblical
symbol of peace. How is it that you have so lost your way? Is it anger? Revenge? Fear? Have you forgotten the
wisdom of Solomon? Have you abandoned the teachings of Moses? What has become of Israel, that you would send
gunships against schoolchildren and tanks against farmers with stones?

Pause for a moment and look upon what you do . . . are you the agents of peace? Have you shamed your enemies with
your compassion? Have you earned the blessings of God?

When was it last that a people held all of the military, political and social power and subjected its native population to
injustice and abuse . . . when was it last that you, Israel, held only stones and watched your olive groves be destroyed?

Memories are short, my brothers. God remembers all.


My English is very bad, sorry.

I am Mexican proudly, but I love Israel. When I was 20 years old I dreamt to travel to your country. I was waiting 15 years more, but at the end, in last February I was able to go there, and it will be always the most beautiful thing in my life.

I visited Jerusalem, Masada and the Dead Sea.

I left Mexico City this year on February 15th, and then from Chicago, IL, USA, with a group of Hispanic people I flew to Tel Aviv.

Perhaps, in the future, Israel and Mexico will have more services to fly from Mexico to the Holy Land and in this way, many people such as me, can go to your country. I know that many friends and relatives want to visit Israel.

Goodbye and Shalom.

Relations between Mexico and Israel have started to improve greatly in recent years. For example, on October 13, 1997, Israel sent medical equipment and medicine to Mexico, in order to help Mexicans injured by Hurricane Pauline. Also, in the year 2000, Mexico and Israel signed a Free Trade Agreement that will fully eliminate tariffs on all products mentioned in the agreement by the year 2005. (Although many countries have Free Trade Agreements with the USA, Canada, and the EU today, Mexico and Israel are presently the only countries that have Free Trade Agreements with all three.) We look forward to relations between our two countries becoming even warmer in the future. As you point out, one of the best ways for this to happen is for there to be in increase in flights between our two countries. In the meantime, you can easily fly from Mexico to Israel by taking a regular flight to Paris, London, or another European city and then transferring to a Tel Aviv flight.

Thanks again for writing us and for your kind words.


To all who want a lifetime of living,

I wish that the people of Israel should wake up soon to a secure peace. As an American, I feel for all the families that loose love ones to ethnic violence. This world is such a small island of life compared to the universe. Keep working for Peace. The world is watching. If Israel and Palestine can come to a peace settlement, then there is HOPE for all of us!

But for the record, I am 100% behind Israel. Lots of hard work many hard-headed people, and a few who want conflict always stand in the way. Good luck.


One item you failed to mention about the Six Day War was the unprovoked attack by Israeli air and sea forces on the lightly armed and clearly marked ship, USS Liberty resulting in the death of 34 American sailors and the wounding of 171 others. As a survivor of this blatant attack on an American vessel operating lawfully in international waters, I was wondering what lame excuse the government of Israel was now trying to pawn off on the world. Mistaken identity? Give me a break-the American flag was flying at all times and the ship was easily identifable by the Israeli air forces that made numerous passes before the attack.

Thank you for your letter regarding the USS Liberty. At , it is our goal to present "just the facts," in the most neutral manner possible. At times, being only human, we neglect to include certain items that some would like to see included. For this reason, we always invite our visitors to write us, so that we can correct any errors or omissions on the site.

In response to your request, we are adding information about the USS Liberty attack to our section on the Six-Day War.

Thank you again for taking the time to write us.


Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

It is time to tell the truth about handing over the tax money to the PA. The facts are that these monies do not reach the Palestinian people, but rather are funneled to the PLO to acquire weapons against Israel. In addition, these monies also find themselves in the bank accounts of the top PLO officials from Arafat down. These monies have to be turned over to the legitimate leaders of the Palestinian people. At this time, unfortunately, there are no legitimate leaders.

Thank you for taking the time to write us. As it happens, this site is not run by the Prime Minister of Israel, nor by any of his representatives. However, we have forwarded your e-mail on to the Prime Minister. (His e-mail address is


Could you please give me the website address for the Holocaust Memorial. I'm a long time student of the nation of Israel, from ancient times to the present. I'm presently taking a history course at Kansas State University, the present topic being early 1930's Germany. I need to complete a web site review related to one of the topics we've covered so far..and I believe that a review of the Holocaust site would be very useful in this endeavor.

There are actually three websites that we recommend. First of all, we have a section dealing with the events of World War II and how they influenced events in pre-Statehood Israel (then Palestine).

Also, as you mentioned in your letter, there is the United States Holocaust Memorial.

Finally, we recommend visiting the website of Yad VaShem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, known the world over for having one of the most complete collections of information about the Holocaust.


May I have the e-mail addresses of the ministers for Interior Ministry and Defense. Thanks.

The e-mail address of the Minister of the Interior is:

The e-mail address of the Minister of Defense is:


I am a cantor in a Reform congregation in the United States. You have a TERRIFIC site and I find myself checking every day or so. Good stuff! I've given the address to several friends. A Christian minister friend of mine and I are taking an interfaith study-group from our two congregations plus two independent Muslims to Israel, The West Bank and Gaza in January 2002. I pray for peace for all of us.

We're spending this whole year studying together and developing a common language to understand history, places and issues fromas many perspectives as possible. We are consciously fighting the usual methodology for trips to Middle East that typically have one bias overlay that thoroughly colors all aspects of the trip, learning and engaging with the locals. We have arranged to meet with people and leaders of the Israeli Left and Right as well as Palestinians from their Moderate Wings as well as the Right. Further, we have several contacts in the Arab/Christian community which is routinely overlooked by most Westerners.

Anyway, several of our participants have started checking into your site for background, history etc. They have found a wealth of information and links to other places to enhance their understanding. Thanks for all your hard work.

You're quite welcome! We're glad you have found our site to be such a valuable resource about Israel.


I am a third grade student in the United States. I am trying to find information about how the American holiday of Christmas is
celebrated in Israel. Can you help me?

Thank you for your letter. As the birthplace of Jesus, Israel is a very special place for Christians to celebrate the Christmas holiday. Nonetheless, because the majority of Israel's population is Jewish - and Jews do not celebrate Christmas - you will not find major Christmas celebrations everywhere in Israel, as you would in the United States. However, there are plenty of cities with a significant Christian population where you will find meaningful Christmas celebrations.

In Bethlehem - where Jesus was born - you'll find plenty of religious services on Christmas. Of particular note, Catholics hold a Christmas mass at St. Catherine's Church, and the Greek Orthodox hold a service in the Church of the Nativity. Also, Christians who come to Bethlehem should be sure to visit the grotto; on the floor is a fourteen-point, Silver Star that marks what tradition says is the exact spot of Jesus' birth.

Other cities in which you will find major Christmas celebrations include Nazareth, the city in the Galilee where Jesus grew up, and Jerusalem, where he was crucified. (One of the most important sites for Christians in Jerusalem is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus is buried. In addition, there are many other churches from several Christian denominations located throughout Jerusalem.)

One thing that is interesting is the presence of Christmas Trees in Israel on Christmas. The German custom of decorating a Christmas Tree came to the Middle East only about 150 years ago. Since then, many of the region's Christians - as well as many of the Moslems, who regard Jesus as an important prophet - have made the Christmas Tree part of their annual celebrations.

Many Christian children in Israel anxiously wait for Santa Claus to arrive on Christmas Eve, and they are rarely disappointed! Santa, by the way, is said to travel on a camel by way of the eastern desert. When he arrives, he shakes hands with everyone present and kisses the children. He then asks the children if they have been good this year. And, of course, he distributes presents. Later that night, while the children are asleep, Santa returns to fill the stockings that they have hung at the foot of their beds.

It is interesting to note that not all Christians in Israel celebrate Christmas at the same time. In general, Greek Orthodox, Syrian, and Coptic churches celebrate Christmas at the beginning of January. By contrast, Catholic and Protestant churches celebrate the holiday about two weeks earlier, on December 25. The reason for the December 25 celebration seems to be that this was the day on which the pagan Romans originally celebrated the birthdays of Sol Invictus (the "Unconquered Sun") and Mithras (the Persian sun god); when the Romans converted to Christianity, they retained December 25 as a holiday but changed their focus to commemorating the birth of Jesus.

Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 6. This is not as straightforward as it might initially seem, however. Some Armenians observe Christmas according to the Julian calendar, while others observe it according the Gregorian calendar. (The Julian calendar was instituted by Julius Caesar in 46 BCE, while the Gregorian calendar was instituted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582; the Gregorian calendar is what people commonly use throughout the Western world today.) Thus, while some Armenians celebrate Christmas on January 6, others celebrate it on January 19 (which is January 6 on the Julian calendar).

All the best,


Is there any information available about A.N. Oppenheim? He creates scupltures, etc. His work comes from Israel.

We were unable to locate a website or other source of information about A.N. Oppenheim on the Internet. Your best bet would probably be to contact the Ministry of Science, Culture, and Sports.

They have an e-mail address for public inquiries:

Thank you for taking the time to write us.

I wish everyone in America could read the Jerusalem Post article on the anti-Israel bias demonstrated by ABC's Peter Jennings. It's very sad. He does not speak for all of us in America. I am very much in favor of the Jewish state, and speak in favor of it whenever possible.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

This is a terrific site. I'm going to give it out to many of my friends. There's nothing quite like it and my "hat's off" to you.

Thanks! We're glad you like it.

[These two letters - both from the same person - make reference to the previous letter, in which a student asked for book recommendations. Eds.]

Is it really necessary to list Edward Said's book on your list? The person seeking the information will more than likely hear all the bad things about Israel already.

Mr. Said has been shown to be dishonest in his books. For example, he tells of his background in Jerusalem used a pretext for his anti-Israel passions for the last 50 years. The facts of this Jersualem experience have been demonstrated to be false.

Moreover, there are plenty of books to list without this one being advocated by an Israel oriented website.

Thank you for your letter. is a politically neutral website. Even though we are, admittedly, Zionists, there are many types of Zionists, from the leaders of Gush Emonim on the Right to the leaders of Peace Now on the Left - all of whom believe that adoption of their ideology would be in Israel's best interest. We do not take a position one way or the other.

We also list books and other sources by Palestinians and Arabs, in order to help our visitors more fully understand the many views that have been expressed about the situation in Israel.

All we do is provide the information, in as neutral a manner as possible. We leave it to our visitors to decide who is right.


[Following is the response from the writer of the above letter, as well as our reply. Eds.]

You will not find me one "politically neutral" Arab website concerning the Middle East.

I do not know how you can call yourself "Zionists" when you are tacitly endorsing and disseminating information of Mr. Said, who has is a rabid anti-Israel crusader and a confirmed liar.

You do no service to the State of Israel. The reality is that the Arabs have the public relations advantage for a myriad of reasons. One of those reasons is your dissmenination of Mr. Said's lies; this being done by an organization that calls itself "Zionist." What message does that give to the unlearned. Do you think the unlearned will see Meir Kahane's views on an
Arab website. Do you think the unlearned will even see Yossi Beilin's viewpoints on an Arab website? Of course not. Accordingly, you need to temper your theory with reality. The reality is that Palestine is winning.
Israel is existentially threatened. First do no harm.

A dose of reality is in order.

Thank you for taking the time to write us yet again. Our response to your comments follows:

>> I do not know how you can call yourself "Zionists" when you are tacitly endorsing and disseminating information of Mr. Said, who has is a rabid anti-Israel crusader and a confirmed liar.

We are in no way endorsing Mr. Said's views. Notice that our list of books also includes one by Abba Eban, a liberal (Leftist), and another by Benjamin Netanyahu, a conservative (Rightist). Obviously, we do not endorse the views of BOTH these men, since one cannot at the same time endorse both the views of the Left wing and the views of the Right wing. Again, all we are doing is putting forth the information and letting our visitors decide who is right.

As it happens, the staff members at are quite passionate about their individual political views, and you may be quite surprised to learn what those views are. However, in the interest of objective journalism, we have a strict policy of not letting our personal views influence our dissemination of information on the site.

>>The reality is that the Arabs have the public relations advantage for a myriad of reasons. One of those reasons is your dissmenination of Mr. Said's lies; this being done by an organization that calls itself "Zionist." What message does that give to the unlearned. Do you think the unlearned will see Meir Kahane's views on an Arab website. Do you think the unlearned will even see Yossi Beilin's viewpoints on an Arab website? Of course not. Accordingly, you need to temper your theory with reality.

How can our mention of Edward Said help to advance his viewpoint when we also mention not only Abba Eban but also Benjamin Netanyahu?

Furthermore, what other websites fail to mention is of no concern to us, since on our website, people will gain access to all viewpoints. The fact that others fail to mention all viewpoints is not a reason for us to similarly fail to do so.

Our website's policy of strict neutrality is due to our firm belief in objective journalism. For a long time, the media - whose job is supposed to be to give us "just the facts" and let us make up our own minds - have used their pulpit to advance their particular viewpoints. That this phenomenon exists outside the Western world is obvious. Unfortunately, however, we also find it in the West. For example, in the present-day United States, there is a bias in favor of that country's Left wing. Fear of being "politically incorrect" has caused news articles to be slanted in one direction, when they are supposed to be neutral. Through our policy of strict neutrality, we are trying - in our own small way - to help bring the world of journalism back to objectivity.

Perhaps the nineteenth century philosopher John Stuart Mill best summed up our attitude, in a work entitled On Liberty: "[T]he peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."


I am a 15-year-old from New York City. I am doing a report in which I have to state two sides of a debate in world
history and discuss them. I chose the making of the State of Israel and how many disapproved of it. I was wondering if you knew of any resources I could find to help me on my way. I would rather have books, because our teacher is not
allowing Internet sources. Thank you for your help.

Thank you for your letter. There is, of course, an endless number of great books from which you could choose, and it is difficult to narrow the list down to just a few books. Nonetheless, here are some the ones that we consider to be the most important. They should all be available at your local library:

Eban, Abba, Personal Witness: Israel Through My Eyes, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1992. [Abba Eban is a liberal and one of Israel's preeminent elder statesmen.]

Gilbert, Martin, The Arab-Israeli Conflict: Its History in Maps, paperback, May 1993. [Sir Martin Gilbert is one of Britain's most renowned historians. Among his many accomplishments, he is the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill.]

Gilbert, Martin, Exile; Return: The Emergence of Jewish Statehood, Steimatsky, 1978.

Gilbert, Martin, Israel: A History, William Morrow & Co., April 1998.

Herzl, Theodore, The Jewish State [This book has been translated into several languages and is available from many publishers. Written almost a hundred years ago, it is the foundation of modern Zionism.]

Netanyahu, Benjamin, A Place Among the Nations: Israel and the World, Bantam Books, 1993. [Benjamin Netanyahu, a former prime minister of Israel, is one of the most eloquent spokesmen for Israel's conservative ideology.]

Said, Edward, The Question of Palestine, Vintage Books, April 1992. [Edward Said is a prominent professor at Columbia University. He is well-known as a critic of Western stereotypes of Arabs.]



My name is SICHEM, the name of your first capital of Israël. I made a lot of research about my name and I'm sure that the origin of my name is your region. I 'm looking on Internet to find pictures about Sichem but I have had no success yet. Could you help me to connect me to an interesting site or could you send me something about Sichem ? It is true that my children asking me a lot of questions about Sichem...

Thank you in advance for your kindness and regards.

I hope that the different political problems will find a solution in a short term as I understand the difficulties of this peace discussion...

Have a good day.

Thank you for your letter. Sichem, which, in Hebrew, is pronounced Schem ["shoulder" or "saddle"], is also known as Nablus. We have a description of the city in our Tourism section. We will soon be adding photographs not only to our Schem section, but also to the rest of the Tourism section. In the meantime, here are some links you might want to look at in order to see what the city looks like:

(1) Schem Link 1

(2) Schem Link 2


I am writing to you because my mother had a State of Israel Bond given to her by her father in the 1960's , it would have come to maturity in the late 1990's . But of course she has lost the paperwork and doesn't have the serial number. She has contacted the State of Israel Bond Company and also Chase Manhattan Bank, both of whom say that without the serial number she cannot be helped. Let me tell you that my mother is in a desperate condition, she is out of work, has had to move from her home to rent a room in someone's home, and is really struggling to just stay alive.

If there is any way someone could help her to retrieve this bond it would mean so much to her. It would be a second chance for her, and at least a little security. If any one has any suggestions please let us know.

Thank you, and God Bless.

Thank you for taking the time to write us. We have contacted the Development Corporation for Israel, the representative of State of Israel Bonds in the United States and Canada. They suggested that you give them a call and ask to speak with someone in the Lost Bonds Department. What you need to do is make a claim for a lost bond. You have to provide them with your mother's name and social security number, and they will then try to find the bond using this information. (The problem, of course, is that they had no computers back when the bond was issued, so it's not absolutely certain that your mother will appear in their database. Nevertheless, they indicated that there is a good chance that she will be there.) If they find the bond, they will check to see if it has been cashed. If it has not been cashed, they will issue a replacement bond.

Unfortunately, replacing a bond is not free. They estimated that it will cost anywhere from $1 to $100 to replace the bond. The fees are not from State of Israel Bonds or the Development Corporation for Israel. Rather, they are from the bank and include insurance (so that the old bond will not be cashed) and miscellaneous bank fees.

All the best,


ISRAEL.....You have received a lot of support from Norway. I'm one of the people who has been paying you. STOP KILLING PALESTINIAN KIDS!!!! We have used a lot of our time to help you and Palestine, but you are killing KIDS!!!!!!!!



[We received this e-mail on October 12, 2000. Eds.]

I am neither a Jew nor a Christian but I am 100% behind the State of Israel in this latest conflict.

Personally, I'm tired of Israel being dumped on by the United Nations. Has anyone else noticed when there's "peace talks," Israel always ends up with the short end of the stick?

Yassir Arafat has yet to condemn any of this violence. His silence is deafening (then again, what can you say about someone who carried a gun with him to a UN meeting some years ago?).

Israel has done more than enough in keeping a civilized co-existence with Muslims: Giving up land, allowing more Muslim settlements in THEIR land, etc. Isn't any of this enough? Palestinians had control over present-day Israel for how many years and nothing was ever done with it. Now that the Jews have the land, all of a sudden the Palestinians have a problem? Doesn't make much sense.

Oh, and let's be realistic, there will never be "peace in the Middle East." The fighting has been going on for thousands of years and a few decades worth of meetings isn't going to change that fact.

Anyway, God bless the State of Israel and keep fighting for what is rightfully yours!

Thank you for your e-mail. We welcome comments from our visitors and are glad you have taken an interest in our country.

All the best,


In your page The Arab-Israel Conflict Prior to the State of Israel's Establishment you state the following:

"On April 9, 1948, the Jewish LEHI and Irgun forces attacked Dayr Yasin, a Palestinian village that had signed a non-aggression pact with the far less aggressive Hagana. In the attack, approximately 250 men, women, and children were killed."

It was established by various researchers, and in particular, by the Bir Zeit University, that the number of Arab casualties was between 110-130. The Bir Zeit study found that the number of casualties could not exceed 120. The number of 250 was invented by the attackers themselves and taken and spread by the Arab propaganda. This propaganda was one of the
main factors, to my opinion, that completely ruined the spirit of the Palestinian Arabs and caused their massive flight despite the numerous recorded efforts of the Jewish leadership to persuade them to stay.

I kindly request you to correct the number of casualties according to the historical studies.

In response to your suggestion, we did a little more research and, again, seemed to come up with the number 250 (approximately). See, for example, the book REMEMBERING DEIR YASSIN: THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL AND PALESTINE, edited by Marc Ellis and Daniel McGowan; Ellis and McGowan's number is similar to ours. Similarly, Andrew I. Killgore's article, "Reclaiming History: Israeli Terror Tactics Drive Out Palestinians in 1948 and 1967," on page 17 of the March 1990 issue of the WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS, says that 250 were killed in Dayr Yasin.

We did, however, find an article that referenced the Bir Zeit study that you cite in your letter: "Dispute Over 1948 Killings Brings Troubled History to Light," by Ilene R. Prusher, in the APRIL 6, 1998, issue of the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR. The fact that these findings have, apparently, not yet gained widespread acceptance does not necessarily mean that the new findings are in any way invalid. What it does seem to indicate to us is that there is currently a conflict among historians as to the correct number. As is a neutral site, we will not take sides one way or the other. Thus, in the interest of fairness, we will retain our original figure but will also include information about the new findings.

Thank you again for taking the time to write us.


If the State of Israel is interested in purchasing fresh water in huge quantities and a low price, please contact me at the address below. Include the price you would pay per ton for 400,000,000 metric tons of water per year available during the summer months. If your offer is reasonable, we can proceed.

Thank you very much for your letter offering to sell cheap, fresh water to the State of Israel. Our site, however, is not run by the Israeli government. If you would like to make your offer to the Israeli government, perhaps you may consider sending the prime minister an e-mail. His e-mail address is:

Thank you again for taking the time to write us and for showing your obvious concern for the welfare of the State of Israel.

I found your account of history rather unfortunate as it is rather misleading for those who know little about the conflict.

(I am referring to

In particular, your statement that "large tracts of land were purchased from Arabs, many of whom resided abroad" carries with it the implication in the reader's mind that the Jews had bought up a large proportion of the land of Palestine. It is furthermore not true that the majority lived abroad. Abroad where? You should go back to your sources on this one.

You fail to note also that at the time of the declaration of the state, only 5% of the land was actually Jewish owned land.

You also fail to note the significance of the Deir Yassin massacre. A large part of the mass hysteria and fear amongst the
Palestinian populations of the area that resulted in the Palestinians fleeing into neighbouring countries out of fear of these Jewish
incumbents was actually as a result of Deir Yassin. Israel owes the Stern gang a large debt for solving what would have been a
demographic nightmare.

You also claim that "On May 15, 1948, the day after Israel was declared an independent state, it was attacked by a military force made up of the combined armies of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan. Although few thought it possible, Israel emerged from this war as the victor; by the time the war ended in 1949."

Although this is the way it is often publicised, the Israeli high school text books have now been officially changed to acknowledge that the "Arab army" was not an army at all. They were a number of sympathisers made up of the aforementioned countries but their total number was SMALLER than the Israeli 'army' (militia really) that met them. The Israelis however, with their strong links to Western Europe, also had a much better supply of weaponry.

The fact is that Israel did not expect to lose the War of Independence - the uninitiated may have thought so but looks can be
deceiving. The Israelis were better prepared, larger in number and better organised.

I think this should be made clear. Making it sound like a David and Goliath affair, as you do on your site is rather unfortunate and misses the point.

Thank you for your letter. You bring up some interesting points. Our response to them follows below:

>>In particular, your statement that "large tracts of land were purchased from Arabs, many of whom resided abroad" carries with it the implication in the readers mind that the Jews had bought up a large proportion of the land of Palestine. It is furthermore not true that the majority lived abroad. Abroad where? You should go back to your sources on this one.

Our only point here was that many of the Arabs FROM WHOM LAND WAS PURCHASED resided abroad; we are not saying anything about ALL Arabs who resided in Palestine at the time. Now, as for the Arabs from whom Jews purchased land, Dr. Mitchell Bard, in an article entitled "The Arabs in Palestine," states the following:

"At the end of World War I, some of Palestine's land was owned by absentee landlords who lived in Cairo, Damascus and Beirut. About 80% of the Palestinian Arabs were debt-ridden peasants, semi-nomads and Bedouins.... Analyses of land purchases from 1880 to 1948 show that 73% of Jewish plots were purchases from large landowners, not poor fellahin."

>>You also fail to note the significance of the Deir Yassin massacre. A large part of the mass hysteria and fear amongst the Palestinian populations of the area that resulted in the Palestinians fleeing into the neighbouring countries out of fear of these Jewish incumbents was actually as a result of Deir Yassin. Israel owes the Stern gang a large debt for solving what would have been a demographic nightmare.

As we mention in the section to which you are referring, the people of Dayr Yasin had already signed a non-aggression pact with the Jews (i.e., the Hagana), and the LEHI and Irgun attack was IN SPITE of this pact. We also said that innocent Palestinian men, women, and children were killed in the attack. Furthermore, we point out that the State of Israel's declaration - to which all the events we describe eventually led - came about as a result of what the Palestinian Arabs call AL NAKBA ("The Catastrophe"). If you are still not convinced that our current wording adequately emphasizes the seriousness of Dayr Yasin, you are more than welcome to suggest to us a revision that would properly convey this to our readers.

>>The fact is that Israel did not expect to lose the War of Independence - the uninitiated may have thought so but looks can be deceiving. The Israelis were better prepared, larger in number and better organised.

It is true that Israel had the support of wealthy Jews and others in the West. However, a war cannot be won with money alone; soldiers willing to die for their cause are also necessary. Conditions in Palestine at the time were hardly inviting, and many previously committed Zionist settlers eventually gave up and left altogether. Conditions in the area were so tough, in fact, that when future Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion received a request from his sister, Rivka (who was back in Russia), to help her immigrate to Palestine, Ben-Gurion turned her down, on account of the fact that she would not be able "to find work she is fitted for."

Under such conditions, it, indeed, seemed unlikely that the Jews would win.

Thank you again for taking the time to write us.

I am a Christian Doctor running my own small hospital in Pakistan. I need some people who can be of any help to this place. Can you help in this respect?

Thank you for taking the time to write us. is an independent website not connected in any way with the Israeli government. Although our site is run by Israelis and Zionists, we do not represent anyone other than ourselves. Consequently, we lack the ability to commit anyone to volunteer for charitable causes.

If you are searching for Israeli volunteers for your cause, we suggest contacting the Israeli student travel organization, ISSTA.


Can u e-mail me information about democracy in Israel, as I need the information for an essay.

You can find information about democracy in Israel in our Basic Information section.

There are currently several challenges to the democratic system in Israel. One of the major ones is the need to reconcile the notion of a "Jewish State" (a term taken from Theodor Herzl and more appropriately translated as "State of Jews") with the notion of a democratic Israel.

Israel's Declaration of Independence states that Israel will welcome both Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants. The Declaration also says that non-Jewish Israeli citizens (namely, Arabs) will have rights equal to those of Jewish Israelis. However, the same Declaration emphasizes the Jewish nature of Israel. It also says that Jews are to be given preferential treatment by the Israeli immigration authorities.

Although the status of non-Jews in Israel is controversial, all Israeli citizens have equal voting rights. Also, there are political parties in Israel dedicated to eliminating any inequalities in Israeli law between Jewish and non-Jewish Israelis. Other parties have been set up primarily to represent the interests of Arab Israelis. See our links to Israeli political parties.

There have been other challenges to Israeli democracy, as well. For example, the free speech rights of some Christians from overseas have been limited in part - some foreign Christians are forbidden to speak freely about their religion in Israel, out of fear that they will convert Jews to Christianity. (It should be noted that this is only a restriction on SPEAKING ABOUT the religion; they are still free to worship as they please, as freedom of worship is guaranteed under Israeli law.) This is yet another example of the battle to define Israel as either a democratic state or a Jewish state: if it is called a democratic state, it may not - at least, in theory - infringe upon the free speech rights of foreign Christians; however, if it is a Jewish state, then the Israeli government may have a legitimate interest in protecting Jews from missionaries.

Finally, some may argue that democracy in Israel will not last because the country lacks a written constitution. However, it does have a set of Basic Laws with which all other laws must comply. The Basic Laws serve as a check against "undemocratic" laws; however, the Laws are relatively easy to amend when compared with, say, the U.S. Constitution.

Could you please direct me to a website where I could find the words to the Israeli National Anthem?

Thank you for your letter. In response to your inquiry, we have added the words to Israel's national anthem, HaTikvah, to our site. You can find them at:


A few suggestions for your site--

The Arabic word for The Catastrophe is transliterated as Al Nakba not al naqba, which means "to bore a hole."

Fatah means "opening," as in opening the way back to Palestine. The PLO translates as Munathima el Tahrir el Filisteen, which means the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine.

You make an effort to keep to the facts. In keeping with that I would suggest that the last line of your section on UNR 242 read : "Other than the return of the Sinai to Egypt, in accordance with the Camp Davis Accords, UN 242 has not been implemented." Whether Israel has its reasons or not reality is reality.
The job of a citizen is to keep his mouth open.

Thank you for your letter.

We at make every effort to present the facts - without a bias in favor of Side A or Side B; deciding which side is in the right is not our job. We thus always appreciate letters such as yours, which point out possible errors. Our response to your suggestions follows:

>>The Arabic word for The Catastrophe is transliterated as Al Nakba not al naqba, which means "to bore a hole."

>>Fatah means "opening," as in opening the way back to Palestine. The PLO translates as Munathima el Tahrir el Filisteen, which means the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine.

Thank you for pointing these out. We will correct the information on our site accordingly.

>>In keeping with that I would suggest that the last line of your section on UNR 242 read : "Other than the return of the Sinai to Egypt, in accordance with the Camp Davis Accords, UN 242 has not been implemented." Whether Israel has its reasons or not reality is reality.

In keeping with our desire to present a factual, neutral picture of what happened, we have been intentionally vague as to whether or not UN 242 has, in fact, been implemented. Since UN 242 was passed, Israel has withdrawn from the Sinai (as you point out), and Jordan and Egypt have both recognized Israel as a state. (The recent Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon was not covered under 242, since Israel entered Lebanon many years later.)

Some may, however, argue that Israel - in relinquishing some control in the West Bank (especially in Jericho) and in Gaza, giving the Palestinian Authority some power to govern the day-to-day affairs of residents of these areas - has fulfilled 242 even further. Others may point out that Israel has not FULLY relinquished its control; consequently, 242 has NOT been fulfilled with regard to the West Bank and Gaza.

Because it is not clear just how much 242 has been fulfilled - and we will not take a position one way or the other - we have simply said that 242 was not immediately implemented. It certainly was partially implemented later with the return of the Sinai, and with the recognition of Israel by Egypt and Jordan. Whether it was also implemented in the West Bank and Gaza, even partially, we leave to our visitors to decide.


I live in the USA and would like to know how I go about planting a tree in Israel for someone who has passed away in my hometown.

Is there a particular organization that does this?

Thank you for your help.

The Jewish National Fund has a site that allows you to order a tree online to be planted in Israel. The site's address is:


A great way to get people to come back to your website again and again is to offer free web-based email. I, for one, would love to have an Israel-related email address but there are surprisingly none available out there.

In response to your suggestion, we are now offering free e-mail accounts! Please visit:

Thank you again for your excellent idea.

You don't have anything to do with WW2, you should.

Thank you for your suggestion!

In response to your idea, we have added information about World War II to our Arab-Israel Conflict section.

You can find it at


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