I turned on the computer early this morning preparing to transmit an article to TOI and for some unknown reason I was unable to connect neither to TIMES OF ISRAEL nor to the BLOGS. I tried several times for almost two hours and I finally came to the conclusion that my computer had been hacked.

Yet, I was successful in logging on to all other sites including the Hebrew press and the Jerusalem Post. Curiosity overwhelmed me. How was it possible to download every other site but not the two sites that I wanted? I was angry and frustrated, thinking that it would cost a great deal of money to be un-hacked by a local computer repair shop.

I sent, instead, an e-mail to my editor notifying her of my problem. And the reply came back, “it’s not your computer. TOI has been hacked and our tech team is working to correct it”.

On one hand, I felt sorry for the TOI staff. On the other hand, I was relieved that it was not my computer which was at fault.

When I clicked on to the TOI website, all that appeared on the screen was a very large picture of a Muslim boy holding high above him a Turkish flag. There was a message above the picture in Turkish and in Arabic. The source of this was sent with an emblem marked AKINCILAR. At first, I thought it was the name of a Turkish computer website but upon research I found that it is the name of a small Turkish village in the province of Sivas, population about 3000.

The one sentence Turkish message read: “Dunyada tek nefer de kalsak yinede Gazze’ye Filistine’e sahip cikacagiz”, which, when translated into English, reads: “We will keep Gaza with Palestine while we stay in the world alone”.

It made no sense other than a Turkish source had hacked into the TIMES OF ISRAEL. I don’t know how to track a hacker nor how to locate the exact source responsible for  the transmission.

But a thousand kol ha kavod’s to TOI’s brilliant tech staff. After half a day of frustration and concern I have just found the website up, repaired, and ready to work again. Readers cannot understand my joy in the “re-birth” of our website. It is our chain of connection to the world inside and outside of Israel. Those of us who write for the TIMES OF ISRAEL are extremely delighted that our messages can be received and read. What an honor it is to our hard-working tech staff for their long and devoted efforts to correct a nasty situation sent to us from Turkey.

I wish there was a way to reply to the horrible hackers but in place of it, I wish for God’s curse for those criminals responsible for their hacking.

Their fingers should be hacked off.

Welcome back, Miriam and Anne, our Editor and Deputy Editpr respectively. Bruchim ha ba-im !!

May TIMES OF ISRAEL continuing operating “in good health” for generations yet to come.