This Canadian lone IDF soldier describes life fighting on Israel’s wartime front

Nir Maman
Nir Maman has spent four months serving with the IDF as a reserve soldier, first in the West Bank, and now in Gaza. (Photo courtesy of Nir Maman)

It’s been more than 150 days since Hamas captured Israeli hostages on Oct. 7 and took them into Gaza. Hamas leaders claim they don’t know where all the hostages are, or even if they are all still alive. But Nir Maman, a counter terrorism expert who lives in Toronto, has his theories—including his take on why the Israel Defense Forces haven’t been able to rescue them yet.

Maman, 47, is one of the older volunteers who’ve flocked to the Jewish State to help his native country respond to the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust. But despite his age, Maman offers a special set of skills: the married father of five is also an elite counter-terrorism expert who trains police and military in North America and Israel on how to rescue hostages and conduct urban warfare.

For the last four months, Maman has been deployed with an IDF light infantry reserve battalion in Hebron, in the West Bank. He’s been manning checkpoints, hunting for terrorist cells and conducting raids.

He was on leave back home in Canada last week, for just 11 days, until it was cut short by a surprise summons to return to the front lines—this time, in Gaza. He spoke to The CJN Daily during his furlough about what the war has been like and whether Israel will ever rescue remaining hostages.

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.