Thirty Canadian Christians have chosen to immigrate to Israel and settle in a small community near the Green Line and not far from the West Bank town of Jenin, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
"These people left a paradise in Toronto in order to live with us, and it is really heartwarming," said Yonah Ephraim, secretary of Moshav Magen Shaul where the Canadians live.
The touching story began a number of years ago, when representatives of 30 families Canadian Israel supporters approached Major-General (res.) Uri Saguy and told him they wish to immigrate to Israel.
According to Gilboa Regional Council Head Danny Atar, "representatives of the group arrived in Israel, toured a number of places, and when they arrived at the Gilboa they were moved by the place."
"The next stage was to convince them to settle here, at Moshav Magen Shaul," he said.
The group immigrated to Israel more than a year ago, leaving behind large houses, jobs and comfortable lives, and replaced it all with
houses at the moshav, which is very close to Jenin.
Arnold Kurtz, one of the community members, explained that they were raised to love Israel and love of Jews. When group members arrived in Israel, he said, they did not want to settle in the center of the country, but looked for a place where there were no jobs and they would be able to build a factory for the Jewish residents.
'Israel's flak jacket'
Community members later established the Gilboa Instruments Industry factory for plastic mould processing at a cost of tens of millions of shekels. The successful factory exports its products to the space and aviation industry across the world.
"Today there is no spaceship launched to space that does not include this factory's equipment," Atar said proudly.
"Its products are marketed to Boeing, Airbus, NASA and Eaton Aerospace," he added.
Apart from the factory, the new residents have also rebuilt the Moshav's swimming pool and established a professional school inside the factory in order to train future factory employees.
"Qassams?" Kurtz asked with a smile. "We are not afraid of anything."
"These are enthusiastic Zionists, and I am proud that they tied their fate with our fate," Atar said.
"Their presence in the Gilboa during harsh days of security tension reinforces all of us. I see them as the State of Israel's flak jacket and they have even joined the moshav's defense squad," he concluded.