The Jewish communities of Ireland, together with the Christian Friends of Israel in Ireland group, handed over three new ambulances to Magen David Adom (MDA) in Haifa last week. The ambulances will be based in Safed, Kiryat Shmona and Zichron Ya'acov, and serve the surrounding communities.
During last summer's Second Lebanon War, Christian groups in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, together with the Jewish communities of Belfast, Cork and Dublin, raised some 150,000 pounds to purchase the vehicles.
The ambulances were blessed by Chief Rabbi of Ireland Jacob Pearlman during a ceremony attended by Ireland's ambassador to Israel Michael Forbes; UK Ambassador Tom Phillips; Deputy Haifa Mayor Zvika Dahari; Secretary of Christian Friends of Israel in Ireland Paddy Monaghan; President of the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland Estelle Menton; President of the Jewish community in Belfast Ronnie Appleton; representatives of Haifa's Catholic and Pentecostal communities; and MDA officials.
In their addresses, both Ambassador Forbes and Ambassador Phillips referred to the recent breakthrough agreement in Ireland and expressed the hope that lessons can be learned from the Irish peace process to enable a just settlement between Israel and its neighbors in the near future.
Menton noted how appropriate it was that at this historic time in Ireland, the Irish Jewish Community and Irish Christian Friends of Israel should have joined together to provide funds for the three ambulances. She quoted Winston Churchill that "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
Monaghan said that he believed that it was the Lord who was bringing the Jewish people back to their home land in fulfillment of His many promises to them in the Bible. Quoting Amos 9:14-15, he emphasized that the Lord says: "I will bring back my exiled peopleâ€¦ never to be uprooted from the land," and that no matter how loud the president of Iran, Hamas or Hizbullah shout, Israelis can take great comfort from this promise of God.