ISRAELI AIR SHOW

As part of the Air Force Graduation ceremony, the IDF put on a spectacular airshow for the visitors.

BLACKHAWK HELICOPTERS

Blackhawk helicopters start the show with a flypast of the flag of Israel and the flag of the Israel Defence Forces. 

 

STEARMAN AIRCRAFT

NORTH AMERICAN HARVARD TRAINING AIRCRAFT

The Harvard was the standard fighter training aircraft for Allied Forces in WWII. As a result of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada, abandoned yellow Harvards could be seen on many a rural Canadian farm property in the decades immediately after the war. 

HARVARD HIGH SPEED TURN

AH-64 ATTACK HELICOPTER

C-130 PREPARES FOR AN AIR DROP

C-130 AIR DROP

UP, UP AND AWAY!

An F-15 roars into the sky.

F-15 IN HIGH SPEED PASS

ACROBATIC TEAM

KC-135 REFUELING F-16s

F-35

To the enthusiastic response of the audience an F-35 stealth fighter roars above the crowd in a grand finale. Israel claims to be the first nation to have flown the F-35 in anger. Most probably took part in the destruction of an Iranian weapons dump in south Lebanon a couple of weeks ago. 

 

POSTSCRIPT:

The Times of Israel published the following image of an F-35 flying with complete indifference and impunity  over Beirut a couple of days ago.

A Russian Sukhoi jet from Syria flew into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights  today and was shot down by a Patriot missile.

 

 

 

 

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ISRAEL AIR FORCE GRADUATION CEREMONY

One of the highlights of my trip was the visit to the Israel Air Force Centre for the graduation ceremony for new pilots of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Air Force. In a country of compulsory National Service, this is a day of national celebration and televised throughout the nation. The Israel Air Force Centre is located in the Negev desert, near the biblical city of Beersheba.

HEAVY SECURITY AT THE ENTRANCE

P-51 MUSTANG

P-51 Mustang, one of the iconic aircraft of WWII, on permanent display at the Centre’s entrance.

FRENCH VAUTOUR BOMBER

 

SIKORSKY HELICOPTER

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu arrives from his offices in Jerusalem.

ARRIVAL OF HONOUR GUARD

 

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU ADDRESSES THE GRADUATING CLASS

 

DRUZE

Although dwarfed by other, larger communities, the Druze community played an important role in shaping the history of the Levant, and continues to play a large political role there. As a religious Arab minority in every country they live in, they have frequently experienced persecution, except in Lebanon and Israel where Druze judges, parliamentarians, diplomats, and doctors occupy the highest echelons of society. Male members of the Druze community, complete with their traditional over-sized mustaches, are here to witness the graduation of one of their own into the ranks of the Israeli Air Force. 

GIRL POWER

A young flight cadet graduates top of her class and receives her cherished wings directly from the Defence Minister.  (Note: I have blacked out the faces of the pilots for reasons of  security).

PROUD FAMILY MEMBERS

The audience of several thousand is made up largely of boisterous and enthusiastic family members who come prepared  with signs and posters to cheer on their heroes as each is called forward individually  to receive their wings. Above, a tearful family member, overcome by the moment,  nearly collapses in a paroxysm  of pride and emotion. As Netanyahu said in his address” We’re not just pining wings on you today,  but also on your families who have brought you to this point of your lives, the cream of Israeli society”. 

 

INSTRUCTOR FLYPAST

Former instructors give a final salute to their young charges in a crowd pleasing fly past of the aircraft types on which they have qualified. 

 

HAT TOSS

Official ceremonies over, the  newly minted pilots race forward to participate in the traditional hat toss.

 

PM SECURITY DETAIL

PM’s security detail waits patiently for  departure as Bibi Netanyahu is mobbed by the new graduates for photo ops. 

A MOTHER’S LOVE

Show is over and the graduates flock to the grandstand where they are almost literally swallowed up in the adulation of their adoring friends and families.

 

POSTSCRIPT: Our guide, a gnarly veteran of the 6 day war and fellow University of Toronto graduate, was in tears throughout this prestigious and moving ceremony. How he got us into this event remains a mystery but I remain eternally grateful for the opportunity and am left with heart felt thanks and gratitude.

 

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SDEROT

Welcome to Sderot,  a western Negev city and former development town in the Southern District of Israel. In 2016 it had a population of 24,016. The city centre of Sderot is about 2 kilometres  from the Gaza border. Residents of Sderot live under a 15 second warning of the threat of incoming Katyusha rockets which have landed by the hundreds over the last several weeks. 

ALON DAVIDI, MAYOR OF SDEROT

A somewhat bemused and quizzical Alon Davidi, mayor of Sderot,  wondered what our group was doing in what he described as a war zone but was nevertheless grateful for the support. 

APARTMENT ROCKET SHELTER

Each house or apartment in Sderot is required by law to have a hardened shelter.

BURNT CROP LANDS

Incendiary balloons and fire kites have been launched from Gaza to set thousands of acres of  Israeli crops alight.

 SDEROT BUS SECURITY SHELTER

BUS SECURITY SHELTER

IRON DOME ANTI-ROCKET MISSILE BATTERY

Iron Dome  is an Israeli mobile all-weather air defence system.  The system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometres  to 70 kilometres  away and whose trajectory would take them to a populated area

IRON DOME ANTI-ROCKET MISSILE POD

Business end of the Iron Dome system.

HARDENED INDOOR PLAYGROUND

The playground was funded by the Jewish National Fund.

CLIMBING WALL

The climbing wall inside the JNF playground is of limited height so that a child at the top can make it down and into a shelter in less than 15 seconds. 

POSTSCRIPT: Since our visit, an Israeli soldier has been assassinated by a Gaza sniper and the IDF have carried out reprisal raids on Hamas targets in the Strip.

 

 

 

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JERUSALEM HOLOCAUST MUSEUM

Yad Vashem, Israel’s largest Holocaust memorial is set on the slopes of the Mount of Remembrance on the edge of Jerusalem 

CATTLE CAR

Photography with the museum is forbidden so I concentrated on the open air exhibits. What caught my attention the most was the iconic “Cattle Car”  railway wagon perched precipitously at the very end of the line.  A symbolic and emotional moment.

END OF THE LINE

The entire world class museum was made possible through the generous support of Canadians Gerry Schwartz and Heather Reisman.  A must see if you’re visiting Jerusalem.

 

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GUNS N’ MOSES

GUNS N MOSES …….. or my fabulous trip to Israel!!

More photos to follow in the days to come.

Many thanks to all the visitors that I received in my garden on the weekend as part of the Glebe Art in our Gardens Tour. Happy to report that a couple of my panel images have found delightful new owners. Many thanks to Martha Bowers and all the other tour organizers.

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GLEBE ART TOUR 2018

I will be participating in this year’s Glebe Art Tour, July 7 & 8, 10 am – 4 pm. 

I am flattered that one of the promotional brochures features my “Fireworks over Parliameant Hill” as an inset (see above).

I’m also pleased to be “numero uno” on the tour map. 

Mark the date down in your calendars. I’ll be displaying artwork on metals, canvas and paper as well as a number of photobooks of regional interest. All great gift ideas.  Looking forward to seeing you in my garden.

More information on the tour in general is available here.

 

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LINDSAY SHEPHERD

I recently attended the presentation of an award to Lindsay Shepherd by the Peace, Order and Good Government (POGG) Society of Ottawa. Lindsay was subjected to a star chamber trial by the diversity and inclusion thugs at Wilfrid Laurier University for the sin of rebroadcasting a TVO Agenda program featuring Dr. Jordan Peterson, the world’s best selling author. Unfortunately for them, Lindsay secretly taped the entire shameful process and exposed her tormentor’s to world oppobrium. You go girl!!

 

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BERNARD LEWIS

Sorry to hear the passing of Dr. Bernard Lewis just a few weeks shy of his 102 birthday. Lewis was the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Lewis’ expertise was in the history of Islam and the interaction between Islam and the West. Here’s a picture I took of him several years ago during a cruise we shared  off the west coast of Mexico. Great dinner companion!

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His life is perhaps best summed up in the following quote:

Bernard Lewis, the West’s preeminent scholar of Islam, worked for British intelligence through the grimmest hours of the Second World War. ‘In 1940, we knew who we were, we knew who the enemy was, we knew the dangers and the issues,’ he told The Wall Street Journal. ‘In our island, we knew we would prevail, that the Americans would be drawn into the fight. It is different today. We don’t know who we are, we don’t know the issues, and we still do not understand the nature of the enemy.’

Bernard Lewis.           Ave Atque Vale!

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FRIENDS OF THE ROSELAWN

Friends of the Roselawn is a charity organization involved with the repair and restoration of a heritage property, the Roselawn, in Port Colborne, Ontario.  The Roselawn is the venue for summer stock theatre and other cultural activities in the local area throughout the year.

I donated a copy of the image seen below to this year’s Art Auction in support of the Roselawn. The piece was snapped up by Sister  Jacquie O’Keefe and now has pride of place in  Jericho House, an inter-denominational  retreat which was the venue for the Auction during the ongoing restorations at the Roselawn.

Congrats to Jericho House and their contribution to the success of this year’s event.

CANAL DAYS, WEST STREET, PORT COLBORNE

 

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THE MAPLE LEAF FOREVER!

COMFORT MAPLE, PELHAM, ONTARIO

The Comfort Maple is Canada’s oldest and finest example of a climax forest Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum). The tree has been estimated by the Ontario Forestry Association to be between four and five hundred  years old.  The above image showing the tree in full fall glory will be used by the Davey corporation in their 2019 promotional calendar. Davey has been Canada’s professional tree service since 1930.

The Comfort family donated the tree to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority in 1961. Back in the 19th century, members of my family were patients of Dr. Comfort’s practice in the local area. The tree is but a stone’s throw from their final resting place in the North Pelham cemetery.

“LONG LIVE THE COMFORT MAPLE”

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