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Date: Thu 6 Jan 2000
Subject: What have you done for Israel this week?


Can you honestly say that you have done anything concrete to help Israel this
week? If you are like most people you did not participate in a
demonstration you did not phone or fax the White House and you did not
write your Senator or Congressman. With Israel in so much danger and facing
so much pressure how can you justify doing nothing?

Before discussing what you can do to help it is important that you realize
why you must help. Surely we all understand that it is a constant stream of
amazing miracles that is keeping the State of Israel alive today. Israel is
so outgunned outnumbered out-petrodollared out-realpolitiked and
out-geopolitiked that with or without the Golan and Yesha there is no
logical way that Israel should continue to exist for even a moment. It is
obvious that only G-d's will not borders politics demonstrations or
e-mail campaigns will determine Israel's survival.

But that does not free us from the responsibility of shtadlanut. Although
the Rabbis had no doubt about G-d's decisive power in our lives and history
they also articulated the principle of "ayn somchin al hanays."
Superficially there may appear to be a contradiction in this set of Rabbinic
positions. Upon closer analysis however the contradiction disappears.

The Rabbis require us to do as much as we can to solve our problems not
because our efforts accomplish anything directly but because our efforts
make us worthy of G-d's miracles. By doing the best we can under the
circumstances we face we can hope to merit G-d's intervention. If on the
other hand we do not do all that we can--if we fail even to try to fight
injustice if we are willing to stand idly by our brother's blood--what kind
of people are we and what kind of miracles do we deserve?

Bearing that in mind the question is now what can you do for Israel this
week. We invite you to join our organization VIPAC which offers a very
simple solution.

VIPAC is an acronym for the Virtual Israel Political Action Committee. Moish
Berkowitz (YC/RIETS 1972) and I (Martin Elsant YC/RIETS 1975) started VIPAC
in 1997. We are now approaching 500 members. We send pro-Israel e-mail to
the White House each week urging more support for Israel's Biblical
historical and security claims in Judea Samaria Gaza and the Golan Heights.

Our philosophy is simple. In a democracy the political leadership responds
to vigorous and vocal constituencies. There is little doubt that if the
White House were getting one million pro-Israel e-mails each week its Middle
East policy would change dramatically. The problem is that VIPAC does not
yet have a million members! But if you join today and urge others to join
you can be part of the solution. If you visit our site at you
can review our archive of past letters learn more about us and hopefully
join us in our effort.

There really is no excuse not to participate. For those who are very busy
and have little free time VIPAC is perfect because it requires so little
time from you. For those of you who don't like the wording of the letters
you can copy and edit the letters and change them to your liking so they
precisely reflect your point of view. At VIPAC we encourage you to do so
for two reasons. On an ethical plane we do not want people sending out
messages with which they do not agree. Secondly on a practical level we
believe that many different letters supporting Israel instead of many copies
of the same letter will have a greater impact on the White House.

And for those of you who think e-mail has no impact and think the White
House gives more weight to conventional mail (from the post office with a
stamp on it) you can still join VIPAC. You can just click on the printer
icon and send it off in an envelope to the White House every week. You can
get the street address for the White House from our web site as well.

For those who feel that American citizens have no right to interfere with
Israeli politics VIPAC meets those objections as well. As a group we do
not send letters to Israeli leaders. We only petition the American government
regarding its foreign policy and aid programs. This is something which we
as responsible American citizens have an constitutional right--even an
obligation--to do.

All of us can and should participate in VIPAC. With a minimal amount of
effort we can demonstrate our concern for the State of Israel and thereby
help to prove ourselves worthy of Hashem's miracles.

Join VIPAC today! (




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