MidEastTruth.com makes the case for Israel
By Mike Cohen
MONTREAL Two and a half years ago, Lior Ben Ami arrived in Montreal
with his wife Nina who was posted here as the vice consul of Israel. A
computer system manager by profession and a former member of the Israeli
navy, he decided to put his background to good use in September 2001 to
a website packed with plenty of facts and commentaries backing the Jewish
It all started with a powerpoint presentation I created in response to a lot of Palestinian propaganda filled with lies but very effective which was flooding the net, Ben Ami, 32, told The Jewish Tribune. I made the presentation, sent it out to my friends and family, and within a short time, I received over 800 emails from people around the world, from over 30 countries, who expressed their enthusiastic support for the presentation and asked whether there was a website available with more materials.
With this, what is now one of the leading pro-Israeli websites on the net was born, with everything from videos, cartoons, powerpoint presentations, and articles. There are thousands of daily visitors from around the world, and a mailing list of more than 5,000 subscribers.
I run it, from home, on my personal computer, but the site itself is hosted in California, he says. I run the site with the help of volunteers from around the world who refer materials to me; also, professors and journalists from Israel, the U.K., Canada and the U.S. volunteer their articles to be published on our site.
This is an entirely volunteer endeavor, with no organizational financing or support. Ben Ami works at the Consulate, running the communications room. However, he is quick to point out that the site is completely independent of the Israeli foreign ministry.
In the beginning, the site was hosted on the free hosting service, geocities.com,
but the downside of this service was a limited bandwidth and annoying
pop-up banners. After a few weeks, the founder of a non-profit site called TzedakahTogether.org wrote
to Ben Ami, saying he really liked it, and generously offered to host
MidEastTruth for free. He made aliyah to Israel recently and may not be
able to continue hosting it from there. For this reason, Ben Ami has made
an appeal to subscribers and visitors for donations to help support the
site and enable its continued growth. The response has been positive,
With the help of a handful of friends and family from Israel and the US, Ben Ami runs the site, spending a few hours each day canvassing for materials and updating the site. We are all working people who spend our free time on this project out of love for Israel (and with no financial renumeration, he says. As I mentioned before, hundreds of subscribers help us comb the media for good materials.
Born and raised in Tel-Aviv, Ben Ami served his military duty in the Israeli Navy (1990-1993) on a missile ship, where he was an operator and technician of guided missile weapon systems.
When he began the site, Ben Ami was working part-time, and doing physical therapy, recovering from a serious illness he suffered during his wifes previous posting in Abidjan, Cote dIvoire. In fact, when we arrived in Montreal, I was in a wheelchair, he says. The free time I had available enabled me to spend many hours creating and maintaining the site. Now, I work full-time, but the help I get from volunteers around the world allows the site to keep prospering I only work on the site on long nights and weekends.
Ben Amis wife concludes her tour of duty in the summer of 2004,
at which time the couple will return to Israel. The website will continue
to prosper, he hopes. To subscribe, click here.