Creating a new kind of information service.We launched the beta version of this website two years ago on November 1, 2001 with, what I wrote at the time, “one goal above all others – to shine a light on the Israel that is virtually obscured by today’s headlines about violence, conflict and upheaval.” Two years have come and gone and, sadly, our work is even more needed today. Terror has invaded the lives of Israelis like never before, and the media continues to focus on violence and destruction, leaving little room to cover the extraordinary contributions Israel’s society makes to the world community every day.

As I look through the archives of this web magazine, I am proud of what ISRAEL21c has done, but even more proud of the Israel that has been portrayed in these pages. Herein is the story of the 21st century Israel that exists beyond the crisis: the Israel of high tech development and advanced medical research, the Israel where culture, creativity and innovation thrive, the Israel that is a force for decency and democracy in the world. Hundreds of thousands of visitors have surfed these pages; our stories have been picked up and reprinted by hundreds of websites, newspapers, synagogue newsletters and other mainstream media.

We sought to fill a niche and in fact we’ve created a new kind of information service. Our efforts have grown beyond this website. We have a staff in Israel that not only finds the stories for the web magazine, it works with our American public relations resources to place stories with positive images of Israel in mainstream American media. During 2003, more than 500 such stories have appeared in daily newspapers and broadcast news programs with a combined audience conservatively estimated at more than 600,000,000. ISRAEL21c hasn’t solved Israel’s image problems, but it has sought to counter balance the intensely negative images Americans have come to see all too often in the past 3 years.

Since our launch, channels dedicated to Israel’s cultural contributions and profiles of 21st century Israelis have been added to our original offerings on health, technology and democracy. Our Points of View section has offered lively and controversial opinions and commentaries on Israel, the world and even the conflict. We remain non-partisan, non-political and dedicated to the proposition that by educating Americans about the Israel that exists beyond the conflict, we are adding positive and necessary information that can be used by Americans in their ongoing democratic debate about what kind of world we are going to live in.

As before, I urge you to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and to let your friends know about our unique and interesting website. Urge them to subscribe now too. And look for new features and a new look for our website that are being developed now and will be introduced before the end of the year.

We at ISRAEL21c thank you for your support. We’ll remain steadfast in our commitment to showing Americans how Israel adds value to American life, or shares the values that underpin American life – even as Israel remains a target of an unprecedented campaign of terror.