Newsletter : 5fax0328.txt
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Hamas Exploits Google
The Hamas terrorist organization has bought advertising on the Google internet search
site and has boosted itself to near the top of the list in searches in Arabic for the
words Gaza, Palestine, Jihad and Jerusalem. Google representatives said they are
investigating the matter and will remove the advertising, which shows pictures of tunnels
that terrorist have exploded. The Hamas group is on the United States government list of
Easter Celebrations Peaceful in Holy Land
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)
It was a peaceful Easter in the Holy Land, where a lull in violence brought the largest
turnout of pilgrims since Israeli-Palestinian fighting erupted four-and-a-half years ago.
Easter celebrations began at dawn Sunday, as thousands of Christian worshippers converged
on Jerusalem's holy places.
Pilgrims from around the world gathered for an Easter sunrise service at the Garden
tomb in Jerusalem. They sang hymns of the resurrection in a stunning atmosphere, the
garden is said to resemble the place where Jesus was buried. Facing the empty tomb,
worshippers declared, "The Lord is not here, he is risen!"
Easter mass was celebrated at the ancient Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem's
walled Old City. Priests and monks in white robes chanted the liturgy, as fragrant
incense rose above the tomb Christians believe to be the place where Jesus rose from the
dead. It was the best turnout of pilgrims in years, a tangible result of the mideast
cease-fire. "Where we've been, the people have been incredibly friendly, both Palestinian
and Israeli, and I haven't experienced any fear," said Dave Moody, who came from
Kathy Bridges of Kansas said it was an opportune time for a pilgrimage. "We felt
comfortable with what existed here, as far as the safety of the Israeli army, the peace
conditions. We feel that they're working towards a peace," said Bridges, and that she was
glad she came. "I am thrilled, I am absolutely thrilled, it's a wonderful experience."
Bridges said walking in the footsteps of Jesus renewed her faith. "You can actually see
the places where he walked, the hills, the valleys, the locations, where they were [in
relation] to each other, and it makes the whole Bible come alive."
It was a peaceful Easter that gave a boost to Israel's battered tourism industry, and
no one was happier than cash-strapped Palestinian shopkeepers in Jerusalem and
Israel Set to Implement Gaza Pullout
By Robert Berger (VOA-Jerusalem)
Israel's plan to pull out of the Gaza Strip this summer is set for implementation,
after a key obstacle is removed. Israel's embattled leader got an additional boost from
the Bush administration. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cleared the last major legislative
hurdle to the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as he won enough support to pass the
state budget this week, despite stiff opposition from hawks who oppose the Gaza pullout.
Failure to pass the budget would have toppled the government and put the Gaza
withdrawal on hold. Now, it appears that the army will begin dismantling 21 Gaza
settlements in July. Sharon got another boost, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
reiterated American support for Israel's plan to hold on to big West Bank settlement blocs
in any final peace agreement with the Palestinians.
"While we will not prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations, the changes on
the ground, the existing major Israeli population centers will have to be taken into
account in any final status negotiations," she said on Israel Radio. That position
infuriates the Palestinians, who have long insisted that all West Bank settlements be
dismantled. "The choice at the end of the day is between settlements or peace, and I hope
the choice will be peace," said Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.
But Sharon doubts that Israel and the Palestinians can reach a final peace agreement
resolving thorny issues like the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, and final
borders. Sharon has made no secret of his strategy, to get rid of overpopulated,
impoverished, and violent Gaza, while tightening Israel's grip on the biblical heartland
of the West Bank.
Jewish Genealogy Month April 10 - May 9)
Israel News Faxx Services
Avotaynu has declared the month of Nisan 5765 (April 10-May 9)--the Passover season--as
"Jewish Genealogy Month." In association with this event,, a poster was created that will
be distributed to Jewish genealogical societies free of charge for posting in synagogues
and other Jewish institutions in their area.
The poster was created by the graphic artist, Caroline Guillot, of the French Jewish
genealogical society, Gen Ami. Its theme is "Changing Numbers Back to Names". At the 1995
International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, Arthur Kurzweil identified Jewish
genealogy's responsibility in documenting the Holocaust with the statement, "When the
Nazis rounded us up, they took away our names and gave us numbers. We genealogists are
involved in taking away the numbers and giving back the names."
Tracing your family roots is more than finding out who are your ancestors. You must
read about Jewish and world history; in the process, you learn much about Jewish customs,
Jewish culture, and the Jewish religion. Pursuing genealogy makes you feel much more
Jewish. In his book Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren?, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi
of England, says that the way to combat today's rampant intermarriage and assimilation is
to provide our children with a good Jewish education. Doing family history and learning
the details of our grandparents' and great-grandparents' lives is one element of that good
Individuals who would like to receive copies of the poster can send $6.00 to cover
postage and handling ($11.00 outside North America) to Avotaynu's offices at 155 N.
Washington Ave., Bergenfield, NJ 07621.
Tel Arad National Park
Tel Arad, on the outskirts of the modern city of Arad, has both a lower and an upper
city. The lower city was inhabited only during the early Canaanite period (3150-2200
B.C.E.). At the time, the 250-acre Canaanite settlement with its 1,200-meter-long wall was
one of the largest cities in Eretz Israel. The squares, public buildings, residences,
temples, and open areas were all planned down to the last detail. The streets were
designed so that the rainwater would run into a reservoir, dug in the lowest section of
The residences, all built according to the same plan, consisted of a large open room
and a smaller additional room, which was used either as a kitchen or a storage area. The
entrance to the house was on one of the short sides of the larger room. Archeologists term
homes like this "Aradian" after Tel Arad.
The upper city is called "the hill of fortresses" and was initially settled during the
Israelite period, which began in 1200 B.C.E. Over the years, a number of fortresses were
built here, each on the ruins of the previous one. The fortresses were surrounded by an
unusually sturdy wall. In the fortress courtyard, archeologists found an Israelite temple
with a sanctuary and a small room which served as the Holy of Holies. The Arad temple is a
smaller version of King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. Remnants include a meter-high,
red-painted gravestone found on the tiled platform of the Holy of Holies; an altar in the
courtyard outside the temple; and shards inscribed with the names of priestly families.
The fortress stood in different forms until the Persian period (sixth century B.C.E.).
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