INTERNET TRAVELLER By Hilary Ostrov C.W.*


With an election approaching both here and in Israel, I was somewhat curious to find out what the word is on the 'net. The A-Z of Jewish Israeli Resources was a good place to start! There is a politics page which points the way to everything from the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) CyberCenter for Pro- Israel Activism to the Yisrael Ba-Aliyah movement's Home Page. And many more in-between!

Yisrael Ba-Aliyah, means both "Israel on the Rise" and "Israel for Immigration" and the movement was formed in June 1995. They strive for "integration not segegation" and one of their founding fathers is former famous refusenik, Natan Sharansky.

Of the major parties in Israel, I was able to find Likud on-line with quite a sophisticated page - everything you wanted to know can probably be found there! But as far as I could tell, the Labour Party does not yet seem to be "with the program"!

If you are interested in the latest poll to see who is ahead, Peres or Netanyahu, since this is the first Israeli election in which the Prime Minister will be chosen via a direct vote, you might want to check the JCN Israeli Elections Page. Not only can you find the latest Dahaf survey results, but you can even cast your ballot in JCN's straw poll. As I write this, if the straw poll is to be believed, surfers seem to prefer Netanyahu (53.38%) to Peres (46.62%). But according to Dahaf, Peres (at 49%) is ahead of Netanyahu (44%).

Feel free to draw your own inferences as to what might account for the significant difference between netizen's opinions and those of Israeli voters! Are surfers more likely to favour Bibi or is there some other underlying factor which would account for this discrepancy?! The discussion has been going on at JCN since early March - and the continuum of opinion certainly seems to run the whole gamut, including those who are quite vocal that Jews who do not live in Israel should not enter into the discussion!

Canadian Polling companies such as Environics and Angus Reid are getting on the net and conducting their own surveys about various issues. In view of public concern about the impact of poll results on election outcomes, as well as talk of publication of such poll results being banned at critical junctures of Canadian election campaigns, it will be interesting to see in the years ahead how this might shake-down on the net!

During the lead-up to our own Provincial election, I was somewhat surprised to find that the newsgroup bc.politics had so few topics being discussed that bore any relation to BC politics! But it seems that this gap will be very quickly filled! CBC local TV news will have an up to the minute web page dedicated to the election.

Another relative newcomer to the BC web scene is quite timely. You might want to check out the NetBC Home Page, "a news web about British Columbia designed exclusively for Internet readers ... composed of inter-connected threads of information ... [which are] interactive and multi directional."

You can participate in NetBC polls and add your two-cents worth to a variety of Round Table discussion topics. Oh, and btw (just a reminder, "btw" is "'netspeak" for 'by the way'!), the Web Editor and Publisher is none other than Victoria's Sid Tafler, a past director of Canada's oldest synagogue who "speaks Hebrew and has visited Israel more times than he can remember." I know I'll be following Sid's commentary and analysis of the BC campaign as it progresses!


*Hilary Ostrov is a Chartered Webaholic, who lives in New Westminster, BC. When not busy "surfing the net", she is a consultant and educator who offers Internet "driving lessons", hypertext authoring and design of World Wide Web "Home Pages", and computer- related training. She can be contacted via e-mail (hostrov@telus.net) or telephone (604) 525-3055

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Copyright © 1996 Hilary Ostrov

This article was submitted for publication and appeared in the The Western Jewish Bulletin, Vol. LXIII, No. 19

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