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Hamas Exploits Google

By IsraelNationalNews.com

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 terror organization.


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 Illinois.

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 Bethlehem.


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 Jewish education.

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

By IsraelNationalNews.com

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 city.

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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