Hebrew characters are not rendered on OEL 5.6. To reproduce the symptom, run the Font2DTest demo and select the Hebrew range.
The Java runtime generates synthesized font properties files because there's no font confing file provided for OEL 5.6. The generated font properties files don't contain any fonts for Hebrew.
This problem was found when looking into 7042148.
The synthesised font properties files skip Type 1 fonts which are not
optimum for desktop rendering. This really an extension of skipping
bitmap fonts. For some reason all the Hebrew fonts
on RHEL/OEL 5.6 are Type 1. And its just Hebrew. The only Type 1
fonts shown up in a call to "fc-match -s sans" on OEL 6 that
are of any interest are these Hebrew fonts.
There are two options
1) Stop skipping Type 1 fonts. Seems attractive except that Type 1 fonts
are not optimum for screen rendering and on some distros I've seen
these pop up as the default Latin font. Arguably a distro bug as when
there are TrueType fonts they should always be preferred.
2) Append the JRE's Lucida fonts. Perhaps even just add Lucida Sans
as the fall back for all the logical fonts as we do in the custom
fontconfig case. Although this doesn't help openjdk.
Went with option 1. If the distros use Type1 fonts so will we.
Verifying this fix needs to be done on a RHEL/OEL 5.6 system with
appropriate Hebrew Type 1 fonts as shown via "fc-match -s sans"