A massive cyber-attack against United with Israel’s website turned into a blessing for both the Land and the farmers of Israel.

This week, during the height of Israel’s War with Hamas, the United with Israel website suffered a cyber-attack. The attack was initiated soon after a mass email blast was sent to encourage participation in a pre-Sabbatical Year fruit tree planting campaign.

The website (www.unitedwithisrael.org) was shut down for nearly one day, as hundreds of thousands of supporters were denied access to the site.

Along with the IDF and other Israeli government sites, United with Israel had experienced numerous cyber-attacks during the Gaza War in November 2012, and had upgraded its systems then, but apparently that upgrade was not good enough.

In an effort to help observant Israeli farmers, who risk suffering financial loss during the Sabbatical Year known as shmita, United with Israel send an eblast to encourage its members to plant more fruit trees for Israeli farmers, while there is still time.

Cyber-attacks against Israeli sites have been increasing. Due to the cyber-attack, supporters were prevented from entering the website and planting trees.

After working through the night, the server was upgraded and further levels of protection were secured. The website was up and running the following day.

It appears that the attack may have been a blessing in disguise. The following day, after an email was sent out explaining what had occurred, the response was an overwhelming demonstration of support – with hundreds more tree orders being placed online.

The message was loud and clear – we can defeat Hamas by turning an attack into something productive! And so in a strange way, the cyber-attack netted positive results for both the Land and the farmers of Israel, many of whom are suffering from incessant rockets attacks in southern Israel.

There is still time to participate in this important project. Doing so will not only beautify the Land of Israel and help farmers who observe shmita, it will enable Israel supporters to defeat Hamas in a tangible way, by turning a cyber-attack into growth and blessing.


More About Shmita – The Sabbatical Year

The Sabbatical Year, known is Hebrew as shmita, is almost here, with just 10 days left to plant in Israel.

In the Bible, the Nation of Israel is told that when they enter the Land of Israel… “the seventh year shall be a complete rest for the Land” (Leviticus 25:4)

Agricultural work such as sowing, seeding, pruning and harvesting and more are subject to the laws of shmita which require the Land to rest every seven years.

Many of these activities are prohibited for a period of time before the onset of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

The last day to plant trees in Israel – for over a year – is on August 11, 2014.


Written by: United with Israel Staff

plant fruit trees in israel