UK aid floods in for troops

By Simon Rocker, January 14, 2009

Around 3,000 parcels containing thermal wear and chocolate have so far been delivered to Israeli soldiers serving in Gaza in a campaign launched by the Zionist Federation and backed by the JC.

The ZF raised £45,000 in a week to buy the goods which were delivered with messages of solidarity via volunteers in Israel.

Alan Aziz, the ZF executive director, said; “We’ve already had messages back from soldiers. It’s very humbling to hear from soldiers how much it means to them to know that there are Jews and non-Jews who are thinking of them and support them at a very difficult time.”

Other organisations have been stepping up aid to Israel over the past week. A 12-person solidarity mission set off to the country on Monday on behalf of the UJIA, led by its vice-chairman Geoffrey Ognall, which will include visits to Ashkelon and Sderot.

On Monday night Eli Benson, executive director of Magen David Adom UK, met Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Sderot to assess the emergency medical service’s needs.

The previous day, leaders of, in Israel for the World Wizo annual meeting, organised a visit by the international representatives of the women’s organisation to the kindergarten attached to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital. Loraine Warren, chairman of , and Michele Vogel, president, brought toys for children in the kindergarten shelter. 

OneFamily, the JNF-linked charity set up to help victims of terrorism, this week began short respite tours to Northern Israel for families from the south of the country in range of Hamas rockets.

British- born lawyer Trevor Asserson was part of a delegation that delivered 5,000 food parcels to Israeli soldiers in Gaza on behalf of the charity Yad Eliezer.

Another Israeli organisation, Panim el Panim, has appealed to diaspora Jews to send emails of support to Israeli soldiers. Colonel Geva Rap, who runs the organisation, is currently commanding a unit in Gaza. He had been due in the UK this week to speak to Jewish schools about its work promoting Jewish unity in Israel.

Last updated: 4:52pm, January 14 2009