Connect with us
Israel Bonds RRSP


‘Boom!” – report from Israel 

By BRUCE BROWN May 12, 2023 Rehovot, Israel Working from home.  It was after 6:00 PM and my global Teams meeting just started.  Comfortably settled and talking about suppliers, delivery times and prices.  My smart phone, resting next to me, was beeping incessantly with the Code Red missile warning application.  Over 350 missiles fired at Israel over the last couple of days, that’s a lot of buzzing and ringing. 
Rehovot managed to dodge the missiles over the last couple of days.  While we could see the missiles soaring overhead and hear the guided collision with our Iron Dome anti-missiles.  And the non-stop news cycles informing in real time of where rockets were being intercepted.  But in Rehovot… all was quiet.  For the time being.
Since arch-terrorist WhatsHisname died from his hunger strike at an Israeli prison, Israel was bracing for reaction from the Islamic Jihad in Gaza.  In the same way my Canadian cousins warn their loved ones about a pending blizzard – Did you hear the weather report?  It’s going to be a cold one.  Potential white out.  Bundle up.  Hurry home.  We do the same here but for somewhat different reasons – Did you hear the news?  WhatHisname died.  Might be terrorist attacks or missiles from Gaza.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Hurry home.  
That was last week.  And sure enough Israel felt the reprisals with about a hundred missiles indiscriminately fired from Gaza.  Israel waited with its reprisal.  Preferring to respond at a time and place of its choosing – as Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant warned.  Sure enough our reaction came about eight days later.  Revenge, as the nineteenth century French novelist Eugene Sue Mathilde said, is a dish best served cold.  So it was with the pinpoint, targeted assassination of three Islamic Jihad leaders; their names of no consequence.  But each responsible for reprehensible terrorist crimes over the years.  Good riddance.  And with that Operation Shield and Arrow began.
Back to Teams.  About ten minutes into the meeting another siren went off.  This one not only coming from my Code Red application.  But also from outside.  Rehovot was under attack.  “Bruce!” my wife yelled.  “Missiles!”  “Hurry!”  Running to our reinforced safe room which doubles as a den during quieter times.  Not sure my European and US coworkers understood when I shouted into my headset, “Missile siren!  Gotta go!”  Abruptly exiting my meeting and darting to our TV room.  Er… safe room.
We have about seventy-five seconds to reach our shelter before a missile hits or, preferably, gets knocked out of the sky.  As apposed to the fifteen seconds for those living closer to Gaza.  Can’t imagine their stress during these times.  If I feel rushed while showering.  Or, dare I say, while going to the bathroom.  Hey, I like my quiet time.  Settling down with a newspaper or book.  Sometimes surfing YouTube for favorite TV show clips or music videos.  Really taking my time.  But not recently.  Just want to get it over with.  Poop and flush, as it were.  I digress…
Anyway.  We just managed to close the heavy steel door and fortified iron window shutter.  Then.  BOOM!  The loudest boom we ever heard.  My wife and I almost hit the ceiling.  Knowing this was more than the reassuring and softer crash of an Iron Dome antimissile intercepting an Islamic Jihad rocket high in the sky.  No.  This was something much closer.  Much more ominous. 
Numerous calls from friends and family followed.  Were we okay?  Amazing how quickly news travels in times of crisis.  My son texted from the safety of his dorm in the U.S.  A missile landed next to Amit’s home (his best friend).  Then my daughter texted from the relative safety of her work north of Tel Aviv.  A missile hit near Shira’s home (her best friend and Amit’s sister).  And on it went.  With more chilling calls from neighbors. 
I tried rejoining my Teams meeting.  To create some normalcy and attempt a return to routine.  But was too hype.  Too distracted.  Too much happening.  Too much uncertainly becoming clearer as the minutes passed.  Couldn’t focus on discussions about price variances and purchasing systems.  I excused myself again, advising them the precariousness of the situation.
Rehovot suffered a direct hit.  Due to the malfunction of our Iron Dome system.  Just around the corner.  Not far from Amit and Shira’s home.  Curiosity being a strange animal, I walked the two blocks into what was literally a war zone.  A chill engulfed my entire body as my skin crawled with goose flesh.
My favorite bakery nearby.  A gathering place for the shocked.  I considered buying cookies and cakes for our first responders.  Then thought better of it.  Didn’t want to be confused with the celebrating Palestinian street which hands out sweets after such attacks. 
The dark smell of sulfur, carbon and potassium nitrate dominated the air.  A flash back to younger days, of playing with cap guns and the sweet smell of gun powder.  My mind looking for a safer place.
Time came to a halt.  Somewhat apocalyptic.  Traffic snarled and jammed.  Red and blue flashing lights from police vans, firetrucks and ambulances.  Army sappers and Israel’s famed 669 search and rescue unit moving about in their yellow vests.  Local and international news crews mustering about.  Unfortunately ZAKA – the famed orthodox volunteers who collect the remains of the wounded and dead after terror or missile attacks- were scouring the area.  5 wounded.  1 dead.
Alas.  Israelis have learned to move on quickly.  Within hours the streets were reopened.  The destroyed building draped with Israeli flags.  And I joined a Teams work meeting later that evening, this time much calmer than earlier.  Again in search of normalcy and routine.  Echoing Herb Keinon from the Jerusalem Post, specific memories of these military operations -some lasting weeks, some lasting days and some only a weekend – quickly fade into the background.  Difficult to differentiate one from the other.  First Rains.  Summer Rains.  Autumn Clouds.  Black Belt.  Breaking Dawn.  Cast Lead.  Pillar of Defense and now Shield and Arrow.  The list unfortunately goes on.
While Israel takes maximum precautions to avoid collateral damage.  We are known for our warning methods.  Sometimes a ‘knock on the door’, unarmed missiles skimming the roofs as a warning of incoming rockets.  Sometimes dropping leaflets warning of a pending attack.  Even aborting missions when civilians are spotted nearby.  While our enemies indiscriminately shoot missiles -hundreds of them- towards Israel.  Hoping for maximum death.  Maximum damage.  Fortunately our missile defense system renders much of this arsenal ineffective.  Until one gets through.  As it did in Rehovot.  My little shtetle.
Paraphrasing from the New Testament, John 20:19 – may peace be amongst us.
Bruce Brown.  A Canadian. And an Israeli.  Bruce made Aliyah…a long time ago.  He works in Israel’s hi-tech sector by day and, in spurts, is a somewhat inspired writer by night.  Bruce is the winner of the 2019 AJPA Simon Rockower Award for excellence in writing.  And wrote the 1998 satire, An Israeli is….  Bruce’s reflects on life in Israel – political, social, economic and personal.  With lots of biting, contrarian, sardonic and irreverent insight.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Hamas murdered their friend. Now, they help Israeli soldiers to keep his memory alive

David Newman (right): David died helping to save the lives of others who were at the music festival on October 7 when Hamas massacred hundreds of attendees

By VIRGINIA ALLEN (The Daily Signal) David Newman sent a text to a friend the morning of Saturday, Oct. 7. Something terrible had happened. Word quickly spread among Newman’s group of friends, who had known each other since high school.
Newman, 25, had traveled the night before to the music festival in southern Israel, close to the border with the Gaza Strip. It was supposed to be a fun weekend with his girlfriend “celebrating life,” something Newman, who served with the Israel Defense Forces, was good at and loved to do, friend Gidon Hazony recalls.
When Hazony learned that Newman, his longtime friend, was in danger, he and another friend decided they were “going to go down and try and save him.” Trained as a medic and armed with a handgun and bulletproof vest, Hazony started driving south from Jerusalem.
Hazony and his friend ended up joining with other medical personnel and “treated probably around 50 soldiers and civilians in total that day,” Hazony recalls, but they kept trying to make it south to rescue Newman.

But the two “never made it down to the party, and that’s probably for the best,” Hazony says, “because that area was completely taken over by terrorists. And if we had gone down there, I think we would’ve been killed.”
Hazony later learned that Hamas terrorists had murdered Newman on Oct. 7, but not before Newman had saved nearly 300 lives, including the life of his girlfriend.
When the terrorists began their attack on the music festival, many attendees began running to their cars. But Newman and his girlfriend encountered a police officer who warned them to run the opposite direction because the terrorists were near the vehicles, says David Gani, another friend of Newman’s.
Newman “ran in the opposite direction with his girlfriend and whoever else he could kind of corral with him,” Gani explains during an interview on “The Daily Signal Podcast.”
“They saw two industrial garbage cans, big containers, and so David told everyone, ‘Hide, hide in those containers,’” Gani says. “And so what he did over the course of the next few hours is, he would take people and … he was this big guy, and he would just chuck them in that container. And then he would go in, wait, wait till the coast is clear, and then he’d go back out, find more people, put them in there.”
Newman’s actions that day, and the atrocities Hazony and so many others in Israel witnessed Oct. 7, led Hazony, Gani, and several friends to quit their jobs and set up a nonprofit called Soldiers Save Lives. The organization is working to collect tactical and humanitarian aid for the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF.
According to the group’s website, Soldiers Save Lives has supplied over 20 IDF units and civilian response teams “with protective and self-defense gear.”
Gani, board chairman, chief financial officer, and chief technology officer of Soldiers Save Lives, and Hazony, president of the organization, recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to raise support and awareness for their mission to provide IDF troops with needed supplies.
If you would like to find out more about Soldiers Save Lives or donate to them, go to
Reprinted with permission.

Continue Reading


Our New Jewish Reality

Indigo bookstore in Toronto defaced

By HENRY SREBRNIK Since Oct. 7, we Jews have been witnessing an ongoing political and psychological pogrom. True, there have been no deaths (so far), but we’ve seen the very real threat of mobs advocating violence and extensive property damage of Jewish-owned businesses, and all this with little forceful reaction from the authorities.
The very day after the carnage, Canadians awoke to the news that the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust had inspired sustained celebrations in its major cities. And they have continued ever since. I’d go so far as to say the Trudeau government has, objectively, been more interested in preventing harm to Gazans than caring about the atrocities against Israelis and their state.
For diaspora Jews, the attacks of Oct. 7 were not distant overseas events and in this country since then they have inspired anti-Semitism, pure and simple, which any Jew can recognize. Even though it happened in Israel, it brought back the centuries-old memories of defenseless Jews being slaughtered in a vicious pogrom by wild anti-Semites.
I think this has shocked, deeply, most Jews, even those completely “secular” and not all that interested in Judaism, Israel or “Zionism.” Jewish parents, especially, now fear for their children in schools and universities. The statements universities are making to Jewish students across the country could not be clearer: We will not protect you, they all but scream. You’re on your own.
But all this has happened before, as we know from Jewish history. Long before Alfred Dreyfus and Theodor Herzl, the 1881 pogroms in tsarist Russia led to an awakening of proto-Zionist activity there, with an emphasis on the land of Israel. There were soon new Jewish settlements in Palestine.
The average Jew in Canada now knows that his or her friend at a university, his co-worker in an office, and the people he or she socializes with, may in fact approve, or at least not disapprove, of what happened that day in Israel. Acquaintances or even close friends may care far more about Israel killing Palestinians in Gaza. Such people may even believe what we may call “Hamas pogrom denial,” already being spread. Many people have now gone so far in accepting the demonization of Israel and Jews that they see no penalty attached to public expressions of Jew-hatred. Indeed, many academics scream their hatred of Israel and Jews as loud as possible.
One example: On Nov. 10, Toronto officers responded to a call at an Indigo bookstore located in the downtown. It had been defaced with red paint splashed on its windows and the sidewalk, and posters plastered to its windows.
The eleven suspects later arrested claimed that Indigo founder Heather Reisman (who is Jewish) was “funding genocide” because of her financial support of the HESEG Foundation for Lone Soldiers, which provides scholarships to foreign nationals who study in Israel after serving in the Israeli armed forces. By this logic, then, most Jewish properties and organizations could be targeted, since the vast majority of Jews are solidly on Israel’s side.
Were these vandals right-wing thugs or people recently arrived from the Middle East? No, those charged were mostly white middle-class professionals. Among them are figures from academia, the legal community, and the public education sector. Four are academics connected to York University (one of them a former chair of the Sociology Department) and a fifth at the University of Toronto; two are elementary school teachers; another a paralegal at a law firm.
Were their students and colleagues dismayed by this behaviour? On the contrary. Some faculty members, staff and students at the university staged a rally in their support. These revelations have triggered discussions about the role and responsibilities of educators, given their influential positions in society.
You’ve heard the term “quiet quitting.” I think many Jews will withdraw from various clubs and organizations and we will begin to see, in a sense like in the 1930s, a reversal of assimilation, at least in the social sphere. (Of course none of this applies to Orthodox Jews, who already live this way.)
Women in various feminist organizations may form their own groups or join already existing Jewish women’s groups. There may be an increase in attendance in K-12 Jewish schools. In universities, “progressive” Jewish students will have to opt out of organizations whose members, including people they considered friends, have been marching to the slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and similar eliminationist rhetoric, while waving Palestinian flags.
This will mostly affect Jews on the left, who may be supporters of organizations which have become carriers of anti-Semitism, though ostensibly dealing with “human rights,” “social justice,” and even “climate change.”
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg took part in a demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm on Oct. 22 in which she chanted “crush Zionism” along with hundreds of other anti-Israel protesters. Israel is now unthinkingly condemned as a genocidal apartheid settler-colonialist state, indeed, the single most malevolent country in the world and the root of all evil.
New York Times Columnist Bret Stephens expressed it well in his Nov. 7 article. “Knowing who our friends aren’t isn’t pleasant, particularly after so many Jews have sought to be personal friends and political allies to people and movements that, as we grieved, turned their backs on us. But it’s also clarifying.”
Henry Srebrnik is a professor of political science at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.

Continue Reading


Former Winnipegger Vivian Silver, at first thought to have been taken hostage, has now been confirmed dead

Jewish Post & News file photo

Former Winnipegger and well-known Israeli peace activist Vivian Silver has now been confirmed as having been killed during the massacre of Israelis and foreign nationals perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on October 7. Vivian, a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri was originally thought to be among the more than 1200 individuals who were taken hostage by Hamas.

To read the full story on the CBC website, go to

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News