Operation Ezra


The Canadian Jewish News has an article on the massive efforts by Winnipeg’s Jewish community to sponsor Yazidi families for resettlement in Canada. Working under the name Operation Ezra, the initiative combines the efforts of Winnipeg’s Jewish congregations and groups, including the newly formed “Winnipeg United with Israel“, to save as many Yazidi families as possible.

To date, the initiative has raised over $180,000, enough to sponsor 35 individuals. The first two Yazidi families have been given approval by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to travel to Winnipeg, and should be arriving soon.

There is no doubt that the Yazidi community has been subjected to a genocide at the hands of the so-called self-styled “Islamic State”. But even those Yazidis who have managed to flee Daesh face discrimination and hostility even among other refugee populations. The only ethnic group in the Middle East not to have their own self-protection militias, the Yazidis have been mercilessly persecuted by other groups in the region. Yazidi women and girls captured by Daesh have been exploited as sex slaves, while Yazidi men were massacred on a genocidal scale.

Operation Ezra, which shares its name with the 1950s rescue of 130,000 Iraqi Jews to Israel via Cyprus, is the Winnipeg Jewish community’s response to this massive humanitarian catastrophe. The Arab countries in the region have once again failed utterly to step up and counter the barbaric atrocities committed by other fellow Arabs. An ocean and continent away, Canadian Jews have yet again demonstrated humanity, compassion and an tireless energy in saving lives torn apart by a conflict that Canadians could have very easily ignored. In the darkness created by the Middle East’s conflicts, the light of humanity created by groups such as those involved in Operation Ezra shines that much more brightly.

To read the original CJN article, click here.

To read the Operation Ezra website, click here.