It remains ISRAEL21c’s prime objective to be sure that Israel is not defined by the conflict aloneIt hardly seems possible that five years have gone by since we first took the ISRAEL21c website live. And more than six years have elapsed since Eric Benhamou and I asked some other concerned people to join us in helping show the world that there was more to Israel than the images we were seeing at the start of the second intifada now more than six years later.

Thinking about what we’ve accomplished – nearly 1,500 stories now populate this website which has spawned as many as a million derivative web pages; nearly 4,000 stories with positive images of Israel and Israelis have been placed in mainstream American media; the ISRAEL21c model has been adopted in Canada, Great Britain and in France and the organization is seen and respected as a leader in a movement to change the way Israel is presented to the world as a way to change, once and for all, Israel’s image in the world – makes me proud.

So much has been achieved, and while credit is due to the staff and writers ISRAEL21c, the real thanks goes to you… the readers of ISRAEL21c with a special thanks to those of you who have shown your support by clicking on the donate button and helping to support and expand this still vitally needed program.

As Israel makes its way through turbulent times and through a gauntlet of difficult issues, both within and from without, ISRAEL21c makes its commitment to the people of Israel and to those who support Israel that we will continue to show the world who the Israelis are and all that they accomplish in spite of the often violent distractions provided by politics and current events. There is more to Israel than the sad, dispiriting news of conflict and it remains ISRAEL21c’s prime objective to be sure that Israel is not perceived or defined by the conflict and the conflict alone.

In 2003, then prime minister Ariel Sharon told Newsweek magazine, “Because of the conflict we often have the sword in our hand and the world cannot see all the fields in which we lead, all the contributions we make to the world…”

At ISRAEL21c, we see our work as trying to help Israel hold up the other hand – the hand that works each day to make the world a better place in so many ways – and to point attention to that hand as well. Now more than five years into our work, we’re please to see so many people joining us in that effort.

In 2007, we will join with our partners in the organized Jewish community and the government of Israel to try to change the way the pro-Israel community communicates and advocates about Israel. This series of training sessions to be conducted in every city where Israel has a consulate in the US began last May in San Francisco and will continue on January 11th in Boston. We?re hoping for nothing less than a complete revolution in the way people see Israel and communicate about Israel.

Thanks so much for your continued patronage and support. Please let me know if there is any way in which you think we can do our job better or help you with your pro-Israel communications work.