By REBECA KUROPATWA With the ongoing terrorist attacks continuing in Israel – to the point that during Ambassador Dennis Ross’s recent talk in Winnipeg, he referred to the situation as “a new normal” that we will need to get used to for the next while – the Winnipeg chapter of Canadian Magen David Adom (CMDA) has launched a new fundraising campaign to send another ambulance to Israel.
Over the past two years, the Winnipeg chapter of CMDA, thanks to generous donations from people throughout Winnipeg and Manitoba, has donated two ambulances to Magen David Adom (MDA) Israel.
This make it possible to provide a physical and emotional lifeline to the people of Israel, showing them that Manitobans care and realize the importance of saving lives.
John Plantz and the “Buy a Piece of the Ambulance” campaign
This year, to ensure the goal of being able to meet CMDA Winnipeg’s commitment of sending one ambulance per year, a member of the Winnipeg board, John Plantz, spearheaded a new way of gathering the needed funds for the ambulance – with the “Buy a Piece of the Ambulance” campaign.
Plantz’s commitment to CMDA Winnipeg began following the passing of his friend and CMDA supporter, John Thiessen, who had often encouraged Plantz to get involved.
Plantz was born a Christian and it was not until later in life that his grandfather divulged to the family that they were, in fact, Jewish. This revelation changed Plantz’s life and moved him to explore his roots, which he began by studying archaeology in Israel.
“CMDA is a vital part of Israel’s existence,” said Plantz. “It’s there where the rubber meets the road. By getting ambulances for the State of Israel, we’re helping make a difference for the people of Israel and assuring that people get the help they need in their time of need.”
How it works
Speaking of the fundraising campaign concept, Plantz said: “The Buy a Piece of the Ambulance campaign is really a giant black and white picture of an ambulance that is to be bought for Israel. We have another picture in colour of the same ambulance, which is cut into pieces – like a puzzle – and it will be pasted onto the black and white picture as people purchase these pieces.”
While some donors may be able to donate the actual cost of the piece they buy, the majority will be made as a symbolic act. Donations are “sold” in multiplications of 18, as the number 18 or “Chai” in Hebrew means “life.” For example, symbolically saving 10 people would be $180.00, 20 people would be $360.00, and so on.
“We would like to send another ambulance this year and we can only do this if people will participate with us,” said Plantz. “People can make a difference and, if we all do a part, we can be a blessing to the people of Israel…and, now is the time to stand up with Israel.”
To help with the ambulance drive, the chapter has recently been (and is continually) looking for more people wanting to get involved in the chapter in any way. And, some supporters are stepping up to the plate.
One such person is Andrew Voth (32), along with his brother, Jeremy. Voth works as a yard manager for Reimer Soils. He is a Christian, by faith, and Israel supporter.
Voth has lent his support to Israel and the Jewish people ever since the first time he visited Israel in 2008 on a biblical tour. He has since returned to Israel a second time, in 2013. Both of those trips were led by John Plantz.
“I was looking to engage my time more usefully. One day John [Plantz] asked if I would like to come to a CMDA meeting, and my love for Israel drew me there,” said Voth. “I know the importance of Magen David Adom’s work for all the people of Israel. It’s a lifeline to those in distress and often in conflict situations.
“Unfortunately, with the current situation in Israel, there will only be more of a need for MDA to fill and a need for people like myself to step out and walk beside and support our Jewish brothers and sisters.”
The Winnipeg chapter of CMDA has also recently welcomed on board Israeli intensive care nurse, Ana Kazakevitch (37), a newcomer from Israel who was personally affected by a terrorist attack that killed her mother 17 years ago.
After the terror attack, Kazakevitch received support from a wonderful volunteer organization called, “Sella,” which assists people who have been impacted by terrorism. Kazakevitch later joined Sella and supported others.
“As an intensive care nurse, I appreciate and admire MDA’s professionalism and endless devotion to their work,” said Kazakevitch, who is married and has two young sons. “And, when I was told by Regina Teplitsky about Winnipeg’s chapter of CMDA, I was glad to join them.
“All Israel citizens are exposed to the endless stress induced by terror attacks on a daily basis. MDA deals with multiple challenges, finding themselves in the middle of unusual situations, like how they should give first aid being attacked by rocks and bullets. I, for one, think that they deserve every possible support.”
How to help
If you would like to buy a piece of the ambulance, please sent a cheque made out to “CMDA” to Ami Bakerman, the Winnipeg chapter treasurer (at 699 Toronto St, Wpg, MB, R3E-1Z4) or visit the website to make a donation (at http://www.cmdai.org).
For more information, contact Ami at (204)-771-7326 or email@example.com.
Hamas murdered their friend. Now, they help Israeli soldiers to keep his memory alive
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 https://www.soldierssavelives.org/
Reprinted with permission.
Our New Jewish Reality
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.
Former Winnipegger Vivian Silver, at first thought to have been taken hostage, has now been confirmed dead
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 https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/israel-gaza-vivian-silver-1.7027333