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magen david adom

How to help


“Moving our children to safety” is a campaign launched by the Jewish Agency for Israel to send Israeli kids living in Northern Israel to summer camps in central and southern Israel. Not only will this help bring them to safety, but it will also provide some much-needed relief for these kids, supposedly on summer vacation, from being cooped up indoors and in bomb shelters amidst the daily tensions of war.

Harry has more about this program:

While giving pizza to soldiers is a noble cause, this is a chance to make a difference in a child’s life. Many of these immigrants just made aliyah from Ethiopa a few months ago and have spent the last few nights and days crammed into the bomb shelters of the absorption centers where they live.

For Montrealers who wish to contribute, Federation CJA has set up an Israel Crisis Relief Fund, which will be supporting this program, among others. They have a handy online donation form, so please give generously.

By the way, Canadian Magen David Adom can also use everyone’s support – in general, but especially right now.


I will not shed any tears for Arafat. He was a murderer, an innovator of nothing but terrorism, and a failure in his supposed “causes”. I’m sickened by how the world has accorded him status of a “national leader” when he’s really nothing more than a thug.

But I refuse to rejoice at the news of his death. I won’t cry but I won’t dance for joy either.

Of course, there’s a practical reason. Arafat’s death likely means civil war for the Palestinians. As the various factions fracture and try to outdo each other, I fear more Israeli deaths amidst the chaos – both of Zahal soldiers and of civilians. There is no reason to rejoice even the prospect of this.

But beyond that, I find it gruesome and morally reprehensible to rejoice at the death of anyone, even an enemy. Maybe even especially an enemy. That’s what gives us our humanity. That’s what gives us our respect for life and our love of life and our unwavering commitment to celebrating life, not death.

Arafat embraced death. He wanted to die a “martyr”. He sent scores of Palestinians out to murder Israelis with bombs strapped to their chests. In his arithmetic, every Israeli death was a Palestinian victory and every Palestinian death was a Palestinian victory.

When I see footage of Palestinians dancing in the streets after 9/11 or after a suicide bombing against Israelis, it makes my stomach turn. When I hear firing of guns in the air and cries of revenge at every funeral for a “martyr”, it makes me realize that there are those who view loving life as Israel’s weakness.

It’s not a weakness. It’s a strength. And that is why I will not share in the sentiment that is being expressed in some circles of happiness at the news of Arafat’s death.

But Israelis do not dance and rejoice at death. They dance and rejoice at life. They love life. They embrace life, living it to its fullest and then some. It’s a marked difference that’s obvious to even the casual observer.

I’m not sorry Arafat’s dead. But I refuse to celebrate death in even the smallest way. I prefer to celebrate life.

Update: In case you’re wondering, I don’t view participation in Meryl’s call to donate $25 to Magen David Adom as a celebration of death. To me, that’s the ultimate way to affirm the protection of life in the face of news of the death of a terrorist. If Arafat caused so many thousands of people to need ambulances, it is the support of people who care that will provide the ambulances to help them. Personally, I can’t think of anything more fitting.


Marking Arafat’s passing


If and when the reports of Arafat’s death are confirmed, Meryl’s making a $25 donation to Magen David Adom as part of her Dead Dictators Pool Matching Fund initiative. I happen to think that it’s an ironically appropriate way to mark the passing of a dictator who caused so many innocent people to need MDA’s […]

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In Brief


The news keeps happening much faster than I can keep up on it. Funny how that happens, ain’t it? At any rate, until I can successfully build my time machine that will allow me to “pause live reality” and catch up while everyone else is in freeze-frame, here’s an in-brief recap: Sharon’s Gaza disengagement plan […]

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The news I’d been dreading


In a deceptive period of quiet in Israel, it was easy to get lulled into a false sense of security. Simple to believe that no attacks meant that the attackers weren’t trying. Which, of course, is nonsense: the security fence and the IDF raids was merely doing their jobs at prevention. Today, there was a […]

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Why I support Magen David Adom


More reflections on why I think it’s so important to support Magen David Adom: Magen David Adom has been a cause rather close to my heart, ever since my dad got food poisoning on a flight to Israel about 6 years ago and was rushed to a Jerusalem hospital . . . in an ambulance […]

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Blogathon 2003


The incomparable Meryl Yourish is raising money for Magen David Adom. Her goal – along with bloggers Lair and Michele – is to raise $60,000 to donate a brand-new ambulance to Israel. Check it out and give generously!

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More on Magen David Adom


It really pisses me off to hear allegations that Israel doesn’t do enough to provide emergency rescue services, especially considering the Canadian and worldwide campaigns against Magen David Adom. And especially when I read things like this: The event featured guest speaker Sarah Kronis, who has worked as a volunteer with Magen David Adom for […]

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Good ol’ Canadian spinelessness


Ha’aretz Reports that Ottawa is training Palestinian security forces in “peacekeeping” in anticipation of an eventual Israeli pullout of the Disputed Territories: Thus, the Palestinians responded positively to an invitation by the Canadian government and sent a group of senior Palestinian security officers to Bosnia and Macedonia to learn first-hand about the international forces operating […]

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B’nai Brith sues Canada


B’nai Brith is suing the Canadian government in attempt to force it to outlaw the so-called “political” and “charitable” (read: fundraising for terrorism) wings of Hezbollah. Hamas and the Islamic Jihad were finally (belatedly) banned this week, and Hezbollah’s military wing on the terror list as well. But where do they think these people get […]

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