Gil Troy: Thoughts on the Carmel Fires and Ways to Help

As Israelis gathered around their television sets to watch the raging Carmel
forest fires, and join in the mourning of the 40 prison guards and trainees
who were immolated, the very best of the society was on display amid the
tragedy. The head of the city council of Usfiya — one of the towns in the
afflicted region — was interviewed on national TV. He spoke movingly, in a
lyrical Hebrew, about how, even once the fire ends, he and his fellow
citizens will look out on a carpet of black rather than the sea of green
that has long sustained them. His pain was all too human; his patriotism
evident, the fact that he is Druze was irrelevant – and some reports are
that many of the people killed on the bus were Druze. This is the real
Israel, the natural Israel, more multicultural, more harmonious, far more
functional and normal, than newspapers suggest. Similarly, many only
discovered that the head of the Haifa police was a woman when the tragic
news of her being in critical condition after being caught in the fire was
And, typically, Israelis are already demonstrating their generosity
and their communal commitments. Around one am my daughter called, reporting that at her school, the Israel Academy for Arts and Sciences, they had already started a “war room” and “hotline” connected to the organization
“Lev Echad” One Heart, to mobilize volunteers and raise money. A young
soldier on a short break visiting us for candle-lighting and dinner asked to
use our computer during dinner, we only found out later that he was surfing
to find out how he could volunteer to help.

The numbers to call for the Lev Echad hotline in israel are:  02-6755150
, 02-6755185,02-6755187 02-6755150 — to call Israel dial 011-972 (then drop the zero before the 0)

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