Some In Local Jewish Community Say Hope Will Spring From Israeli Struggle - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/18/05-Tyler

Some In Local Jewish Community Say Hope Will Spring From Israeli Struggle

All day, many in East Texas have been watching the sometimes violent struggle between Israelis and their countrymen. It's over small pieces of land.

The Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank are being cleared of Israeli settlers and given to Palestinians. In some cases, those Jewish settlers have lived there for decades, but are now being forcibly removed. Protestors and soldiers clashed Thursday with some injuries.

The kind of struggle among Israelis hasn't been seen before, and for two East Texans, it's heartbreaking.

"The perception that it is a full scale civil war is a little out of line with what's going on over there," says Rabbi Neal Katz of Congregation Beth El.

It looks incredibly fierce on television. Rabbi Katz and Dr. Gary Gross returned a few weeks ago from a visit to where today there are so many tears.

"It's sort of like having to have a leg amputated to save your body. I don't think it's quite that dramatic," says Gross.

Rabbi Katz adds: "My experience when i was over in Israel was that the Israelis were reluctantly accepting the fact that it was going to happen."

Israel is such a small country that Gross says peace is essential to the survival of the Jewish state.

Gross: "The fact of the matter is if there is not peace in the Middle East now, there will not be a Jewish state in Israel,"

Katz:"My feeling is that this is a very small number of Jews who are taking an opportunity to make a statement,"

Rabbi Katz says that is, in a way, healthy for the Israeli democracy. While peace and even trust could go a long way to helping foster peace in other countries, where America is involved.

"It's the kind of peace we'd like to have with other Arab countries as well. I do believe there really is precedent for this type of relationship." he says.

Many tough decisions still lie ahead they say to make sure the homeland of the Jewish people survives.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. morganpalmer@kltv.com

 

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