pretty cool, eh?Israelis are going to be engaged in Military exercises on two continents. First 150 air and ground airforce personel will be involved in a six-week international combat exercise taking place in Cold Lake, Alberta. Note to Israel Airforce staff – the weather for the next 10 days in Cold Lake will be as high as 78 °F and as low as 43 °F so make sure to pack warm jammies for night time. And forget about dashing out for a quick shwarma or hummous. There aint none of that in Cold Lake. Better pack some food with you.

The exercises will take place at 4 Wings Canadian Airforce base. “4 Wing has some of the best and most sought after amenities in the world, including an almost unrestricted 1.17 million hectare air weapons range equipped with state-of-the-art threats and targets.” Fun, fun, fun! Maple Flag, the six-week international air combat exercise hosted at 4 Wings will include Air Force equipment and personel from 11 countries and NATO. What’s interesting is that Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will be sending “observers.” Maybe they can get together with the Israelis to have some fresh mint (nana) for tea and some hummous shipped in from Montreal or Toronto or something. Yup. We’ll get on that right away.

Also this week is Operation Sorbet Royal 2005, a NATO Military Exercise taking place off the coast of Italy. The operation involves 14 nations and about 2,000 forces who will spend the next three weeks hunting for four submarines resting on the ocean floor to test search and rescue procedures. Israel is set to supply a salvage ship. And hopefully some good hummous.

About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • I wonder what the advantages of taking part in the Canadian exercise are to justify the cost of sending over so much equipment and personnel.

  • I think you’ll find that the cosmopolitan cities of Edmonton, Calgary and even Vancouver are closer to Cold Lake than Montreal or Toronto for hommous shipping 🙂 Also, to Josh — if you read the Maple Flag web site, you’ll see that the idea of these exercises is to give personnel combat experience … the more hours of combat experience a fighter pilot has, the more likely his/her survivability. Human lives always justify costs in my book. Shalom.

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    It hurts me and angers me that Israel would disregard and disrespect First Nations people in this area. By flying over their land and practicing their war games, it will certainly offend many people. Indigenous Nations are already some of the most heavly used military practicing grounds in the world. How would you feel being one of these people, and having a foreign country practicing bombing nearby. Not to mention some of your sacred land and water polluted. It disgusts me that people support this – and find it in the least bit amusing.


    more information HERE and HERE

  • Daniel, you mean that Israel finally gets invited by somebody to train with them, and you think they brushed up on this controversy? I’m sure they were just happy to have some sort of diplomatic interaction with a fine democracy like Canada. I have a feeling the Israeli Air Force may not benefit that much from the exercise itself, if you know what I mean.

    Wow, whatever Israel does, it sure seems easy to find somebody that gets pissed off. Talk to the Canadians and save your anger for them, not the Israelis. Or do you think it would be appropriate for the Israelis to tell the Canadians how to run their country?

  • themiddle,

    you disregard the issue in your immediate excuses and leniancy on Israel. The issue of militarism on indigenous lands – and Israel’s participation in this particular case – is abhorent. If it were France, US, or any other country practicing there, I would be just as mad. But it hurts me personally in this case, because it is a country of my brothers and sisters. And making the excuse that Israel didn’t brush up on the area – or was just to excited to think about it – is pretty lame. Moral, ethical, and religious values are not to be compromised just because you get invited to the war party.

  • Daniel, just out of curiosity, can you provide some links to counter-arguments regarding this matter?

    I’m assuming not all of Canada is in agreement with your position on this issue and since I’m certainly not informed about it (and I’m fairly positive the Israelis have no clue), I’d like to learn more.

    I would think the Canadians “brushed up” before deciding to use this area for their “war games” and came to a conclusion different than yours. Why would Israel know better than the Canadian government?

  • Mark,
    I understand the need to give pilots combat training, but Israeli pilots, even the younger ones, are familiar with entering foreign airspace, dodging anti-air radar missiles and shells and getting their adrenaline running, while other western pilots don’t even have that oppurtunity.

    The cost of sending the the entire group (150 kids?) so far so that some pilots could gain some combat training, while exposing foreign air forces to our unique tactics seems a bit high to me. The rest of the army is cutting back on expenses (last month a paratrooper unit accepted 50 sharpshooter sights from an American philantropist), but the air force has no problem with spending millions on this exercise.

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