Israel.com Article in Jerusalem Post

Jpost, the top israeli newspaper, published an article on the upcoming Israel.com auction at moniker

You would think Israel.com would be an exciting, detailed Web site on the Jewish state, designed to attract tourists from abroad. But when the Web address is punched in to your Internet browser, all you get is a simple page with an Israeli flag smack in the middle.

In contrast, Australia.com has a virtual tour video where a young man from down under guides you through the complex and fun site, and Mexico.com helps Net surfers plan their entire vacation in “just one click.”

But come May 23, Israel.com should be on its way to becoming exciting and informative. The domain name will be auctioned off to the highest bidder on the Moniker.com live auction site. The physical auction will take place at the T.R.A.F.F.I.C East Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Moniker.com CEO Monte Cahn estimates the Israel.com domain name will go for at least $5.5 million; its owner, Jean-Noel Frydman, currently living in Miami, registered it for free in 1994.

Frydman says the site has the potential to provide important information about Israel, to educate and attract millions of people from abroad.

“That is one of the main reasons why I registered the site,” he says. “It was right after the [Oslo] Peace Accord and I thought it would be a good tool for an investment for Israel and I didn’t want anyone to misuse it.”

Frydman is finally letting go of the site because of the state’s 60th anniversary.

“There has never been a better time to make something of Israel.com,” he says. Israel.com can become the great “gateway to the Jewish world.”

An Israel Tourism Ministry spokesman in London says that if the Web site is bought by the right person, it will have a great impact on the Jewish state.

“Hopefully, the Web site will provide alternative information that will balance and add to the present media. There sometimes is a bias in the media and this Web site will be able to counter that bias,” according to the spokesman.

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