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Wednesday, April 29, 1998 Published at 23:02 GMT 00:02 UK

Israel at 50 - Top Internet links

Celebration and remembrance

  • The Orthodox Union maintains the Cyber Home of Judaism, a site with special sections for Israel's Memorial Day, Independence Day and Jerusalem Day. There are tours of old Jerusalem, videos, and daily news reports in English.
  • The exuberant Yom Haatzmaut is Virtual Jerusalem's tribute to Independence Day marking the founding of the State of Israel.
  • is a tribute site dedicated to bringing the sights and sounds from Israel at 50 celebrations from around the globe to the online community

The History of Israel

There is a wealth of information about Israel's history on the Internet - from academic studies to theological debate, but the following sites look from both contemporary and historical perspectives, while providing a solid overview of a complicated subject.

  • The Israeli Foreign ministry's web site has a special section celebrating the 50th anniversary of the country, including a facsimile of Israel's declaration of independence (in Hebrew). The web site also features a history area with a good account of the inception and development of the State of Israel, from the exodus of Jews from Egypt to the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Rabin at a peace rally. All the documents contain hyperlinks to relevant texts. The same server houses a tribute to Yitzhak Rabin, while the Yitzhak Rabin Centre (in Hebrew) is dedicated to the leader's life and works.
  • A description of the work of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport is on the main government server. The official site of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports has resources and teaching suggestions on Israeli culture and festivals including lesson plans about the 50th anniversary. There are also more formal details of Israel's education system.
  • Famous Portraits on the Stamps of Israel is an alternative guide to the history of Israel's founders, using commemorative stamps to tell the stories of famous people with links to Israel, and groups its material into sections such as 'Famous Women' and 'Heroic Lives'.
  • Two sites offer online tours of Jerusalem - Virtual Jerusalem has a tour of the main archaeological sites such as the Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, and other religiously significant monasteries and churches. The Jerusalem Mosaic offers time travel through the city, sampling food, costume, ancient maps and works of art from the city at various periods in history.

Culture and Religion

Israeli and Jewish culture is well-documented on the Internet, with moving tributes to the victims of the holocaust, and virtual tours of Israel's religious sites.

  • Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, is probably the best known of these. Their Internet site is about to be expanded, but at the moment carries details about the museum complex and it's various memorials, as well as information about special events. There are a number of different remembrance projects on the site. For example, the Anguish of Liberation, tells the story of the Holocaust using the testimonies of survivors. The 11th Hour Collection Project, the Hall of Names, is an attempt to remember the dead, to which names can be submitted or searched for via email.
  • The Israel Museum in Jerusalem has an internet page with details of the highlights of the museum's collections, libraries and resources, and is a good starting point for research on the Holy Land and the past, present and future of its people.
  • The Temple Institute, a non-profit institution dedicated to the promotion of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem has a site which features some of their current exhibits. The Temple's Research Institute and artefacts departments publish information on their work.

News from Israel

  • The Internet edition of Israel's leading English-language daily newspaper, the Jerusalem Post, carries news reports from the printed edition, and there is a useful search facility.
  • Haarets Daily Newspaper publishes Israeli news and features in both English and Hebrew.
  • Bridges For Peace is a Christian organisation which publishes news updates and information from the Middle East. There is also an archive of their weekly Dispatch from Jerusalem newsletter.
  • The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America - is a non-profit media watchdog organisation which stands back and focuses on the way Israel and the Middle East is covered by regional and western news services.

Official Israeli Government Sites

  • The State of Israel Government gateway is the first point of entry to all the government sites, and has links to all the country's local authorities and ministries. As well as information on the government and its departments, it includes information on the justice system and Zionist organisations.
  • Specific information on the Knesset - Israel's Parliament, its work and history, and the President of Israel's site can be found via the main government server, as can the Office of the Prime Minister. The prime minister's site is enhanced with audio and video recordings featuring the prime minister, and an archive of online events which he has participated in.
  • The Jewish National Fund contains resources on the government's environmental and redevelopment activities.

Peace and co-existence

  • The Peres Centre for Peace, which has a site on the internet, was set up to advance Arab-Israeli co-operation in the fields of economics, education, and social development. The site provides information about some of the initiatives to get the region's community leaders to meet, and reports on some of the courses on offer for groups such as farmers.
  • A site devoted to promoting democracy for all in Israel is the New Israel Fund, which discusses the issues of civil rights, social justice and religious pluralism from a non-partisan point of view.

Defence and self-defence

  • The Israeli Defence Force has its own site, where Israeli military history and doctrines can be explored. There is also a news archive.
  • The Internet site of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, published by the Interdisciplinary Centre in Israel, provides comprehensive resources on what it sees as international terrorism and counter-terrorism efforts, with an extensive database on terrorist organisations and attacks, especially in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Palestine on the Internet

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