Popular Articles

Foodbenders Saga Far From Over

In the haze of complete ignorance about Israel, Gaza and the Mideast, Foodbenders’ owner appears to be enjoying the attention, no matter how antisemitic her newfound friends are.

Read More »

"I know who I fought against in 1967. I didn’t fight against the Palestinian people. From 1948 to 1967 the owner of the West Bank and Jerusalem was the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The enemy I fought against was the Jordanian army.”

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Lt.- Col.Yoram Hamizrachi, IDF veteran, father, mentor, friend

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Lt.-Col. Yoram Hamizrachi East, the former Israeli commander in South Lebanon and father of TheJ.Ca founder and Publishing Director, Ron East, took me under his wing and taught me about Middle Eastern geo-political affairs, community and multicultural activism, citizen journalism, the art of radio, and how to burst the balloons of the rich and entitled class in society, among many other things. That he had moved to Winnipeg, and come into my life, was a miracle.

I was raised in a typical for the era, Orthodox family from the North End, and graduated from a Jewish high school. But I had never known anyone with such distinguished military service and mastery of human communication as Yoram. On his father’s side, he was a 7th generation Jerusalemite. He entered the IDF as a paratrooper in 1957 and ten years later as a reservist, he fought to free East Jerusalem in the Six Day War. 

Today marks the 53rd anniversary of his participation in an overwhelming moment for modern Zionism. On June 7, 1967, Yoram advanced from the American district to the Damascus Gate, before reaching the Western Wall. He was among the first Israeli troops who captured the Old City of Jerusalem and celebrated by praying at the holy Kotel Ha’Ma’aravi.

His wife, Beate Zahn, was an incredibly brave, tough and sharp-minded woman from Germany who was an ambulance driver in Jerusalem during the war. The day after the victory, she drove through the Mandelbaum Gate into the Old City to pick up wounded, and heard her name called out. She stopped, and there Yoram was. The enormity of the miracle was clear to Beate, who drove a wounded Jordanian combatant to Shaarey Zedek Hospital. Had the tide turned, there would have been no similar life-saving effort for Israeli soldiers, in fact almost certainly the opposite.

Get thej.ca a Pro Israel Voice by Email. Never miss a top story that effects you, your family & your community

Returning to journalism and broadcasting, Yoram covered the Yom Kippur War for German Television in 1973. In the late 1970s, he rejoined the IDF as a colonel to work with the Lebanese Christians. He stayed for several years and became the first Israeli officer to work with the South Lebanon Army, and became known as “King of the North” to Israelis. He departed military service upon a profound disagreement with the expansion of military actions into Lebanon by Ariel Sharon, and resumed his career as a journalist.

He had a clarity about the nature of war, the lines that are drawn, and the human cost it exacted, that was unmatched by any speaker I have seen.

“I know who I fought against in 1967”, he once told a panel discussion. “I didn’t fight against the Palestinian people. From 1948 to 1967 the owner of the West Bank and Jerusalem was the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The enemy I fought against was the Jordanian army.” In his later years his paintings reflected horrific images of destruction and human suffering that were a window into the personal toll his experiences in war had taken. About 15 years ago, Yoram and Ron, also an IDF veteran, established the first community-wide Yom Hazikaron service in Winnipeg to pay tribute to Israel’s fallen heroes.

Homemade dog tag Yoram hurredly crafted for the Six Day War

After Yoram returned to journalism, in the spring of 1982, he immigrated with his young family to Winnipeg where he had cousins. I met Yoram when he was standing at a bus stop near the Jewish high school. My then-wife and I drove by and recognized him from his interview that same morning on the CTV Morning news program about the war in Lebanon against the PLO. We hadn’t realized he was actually located in our city so it was quite a surprise to see. He accepted a ride to the shopping centre, and that chance meeting changed my life. Yoram and Beate readily accepted my young family into their home and I became the primary babysitter for their children Tahl, Ron, and Dan.

In early 1985 he assumed duties at the International Centre working with immigration settlement issues and hired me as his ‘boy Friday’ — liason, typing documents, researching, translating for him from Hebrew to English, and introducing him to the players in Winnipeg’s media and political scene. In turn, he taught me … almost everything.

In the era of the Charter of Rights and rising tensions within newly-arrived Asian and African communities struggling to survive in the core area of Winnipeg, they found in Yoram a man with a knowledge of a huge variety of diverse cultures from his career in the IDF, a man who willingly attended their events and celebrations, represented them in grievances, and who was their voice to power. Yoram would champion their needs for housing and real jobs, and would not let them be fooled by “Folkloramas and wine and cheese parties”.

Lt.-Col. Yoram Hamizarachi and his paratrooper comrades, posing together after liberating our eternal capital

A special citation awarded Yoram by the commander of the Lebanese Army in South Lebanon for his “courage, devotion, sacrifices and personal example”.

I saw the strategic brilliance of his military mind first-hand when we were an integral part of the first ‘truce talks’ that led to an uneasy peace brokered by Yoram and Manitoba Human Rights chair Claudia Wright between rival ethnic gangs in the hot summer of 1985. The city of Winnipeg had not seen anything like it, with guns and machetes becoming a frightening reality and police scrambling to even understand the forces at play. With allies like Afro-Carribean leader Wade Williams and Urban Indigenous leader Damon Johnston, Yoram and Claudia were able to hear out the issues between the warring sides and reduce tensions.

A special citation awarded Yoram by the commander of the Lebanese Army in South Lebanon for his "courage, devotion, sacrifices and personal example".

Premiers, Mayors, and elected and high-level officials from all levels of government, including school boards, actively sought out Yoram’s wise counsel on many issues. I was fortunate to be a part of those meetings and discussions. The depth of his knowledge and incisive questions were unique and tremendously effective at advancing discussions and forging partnerships. He was a personal advisor to several Canadian Foreign Ministers on counter-terrorism and a sought-after expert in terrorism, instructing courses for the Canadian and US military and police forces across North America. He later worked as a development officer for First Nations communities and opened an art cafe, and was a University lecturer on political science.

As the years passed, when I was offered opportunities in radio, TV or documentary films, I turned to Yoram for his approval. He was the guiding light of the daily talk show I hosted on radio for 4 years and Yoram made many appearances until his passing in October 2010 , discussing transparency and accountability of government and institutions, Middle Eastern geopolitics, and the rise of different forms of antisemitism in the Internet age. In 2019, Ron launched TheJ.ca as Publisher, and I took the role of Editor-in-Chief. For us, this enterprise is taking the lessons of Yoram and putting them into action on a daily basis, in defence of Jewish communities and of Israel.

As a leading political reporter on world affairs, Yoram drew assignments in the most hostile locations in the Middle East, including Iran.

Recently I was honoured to be part of a revealing gathering with a longtime friend and operative of Yoram’s. He provided secret details to Ron and I, about the crucial role Yoram had played in the rescue of Ethiopian Jews – ‘The Lost Tribe’ – in the mid-1980’s. Marshalling resources, funding and political willpower, Yoram would be key in establishing escape routes, itineraries and supplies while governments worldwide, with little exception, stood by. Neither Ron or I had a clue he had done any of this – and neither did Beate.

His legacy both in Eretz Israel and in Canada continues to grow as time passes, and his personal relationships with Israel’s most prominent leaders is only now starting to emerge from his private files. 

TheJ.ca was inspired by the passion and character of Yoram, his love of journalism and advocacy that spoke out for unheard viewpoints and human rights for all, his dedication to the State of Israel and Jewish culture, and his love for the little man.

May his memory be a blessing to us all.

Marty Gold is the Editor-in -Chief of TheJ.ca. Known for investigative reporting, he has specialized in covering municipal and provincial politics, and a wide range of sports and entertainment, in newspapers, magazines, online, and on his first love, radio. His business and consulting experience includes live events and sales, workplace safety, documentary productions, PR, and telecommunications in Vancouver, Los Angeles and across Canada, and as a contestant on CBC-TV Dragon’s Den.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

Politics

Religion

Culture

Memoriam and Obituaries

PodcastS

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Previous
Next