Rockland Jewish Leaders Hopeful After Ceasefire Announced Between Israel And Hamas

Agreement expected to end week of violence in Gaza, Secretary of State Clinton involved in negotiations


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that a ceasefire agreement has been reached between Israel and Hamas. The two sides were negotiating in Egypt to end the week of violence in Gaza.  

Local Jewish leaders reacted cautiously to the news. 

“I think it’s wonderful if it holds true,” said Steve Gold, co-chair of the Israel Emergency Campaign in Rockland, in reference to past ceasefire agreements that were broken. “There’s still the possibility that attacks will go on. It’s great there’s a ceasefire but the issues remain.”   

Gold noted while the major parties have agreed to a truce, there are other groups involved in the violence and their actions can determine whether it is successful or not.

“There are so many splinter groups that are looking for the destruction of Israel so the ceasefire doesn’t mean anything to them” he said. “Past experience has shown that it won’t last very long.”

However, the involvement of the United States in the negotiations should be significant. Gold said he was proud of its’ lead role and support of Israel. 

“I’m proud that we were able to broker this deal.  Maybe because the U.S. brokered it, it will have credibility,” he said.

Diane Sloyer, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Rockland County, expressed similar thoughts. 

“We are optimistic with regard to the proposed ceasefire and hope it will bring an end to Hamas’ incessant rocket attacks on innocent civilian targets in Israel,” she said.  “We will continue to support Israel’s right to defend herself.”

Rockland Board of Rabbis President Rabbi Paula Mack Drill has a very personal stake in hoping the ceasefire brings peace.  Her daughter is serving in the Israel Defense Forces as an infantry instructor.  She is stationed at a base in the south of Israel where the Hamas attacks have been concentrated and lives on a kibbutz near the Gaza border.

Rabbi Drill said she spoke with her daughter this morning before the announcement was made. She said she hopes for peace for Israelis in the south who have been living under the threat of constant bombardment.

“Whenever Israel is in trouble my heart is in my throat,” she said. 

Sloyer said financial support for Israel has been pouring in locally.  Since Monday, when the Stand With Israel Solidarity Rally was held in New City, the federation has raised more than $30,000.  She said the national Jewish Federation has pledged $5 million to Israel to relocate children, provide counseling for people with post traumatic stress from the bombing and send packages of supplies to residents living in bomb shelters.

The Emergency Relief Committee in Rockland continues its fundraising effort with Blue & White Cyber Friday at the Jewish Community Campus in West Nyack. The program features guest speaker Gil Lainer, counsel for Public Diplomacy from the Israeli Consulate. 

Bradley Jensen November 21, 2012 at 09:00 PM
To be fair, what about donations for the innocent Palestinians hurt and/or displaced? How can people contribute to that cause as well? Seems to me that this editorial on Patch is very unbalanced.
mike sullivan November 22, 2012 at 12:16 AM
how about taking care of americans in the USA
Mike Hirsch November 22, 2012 at 12:40 AM
You could probably contribute to the elected government of the innocent Palestinians (Hamas) if not for the fact that the US government has labeled them a terrorist organization. I guess you could donate to their version of the red cross, which I think is called the red crescent (or maybe it's the green crescent). I'm sure you can google it. If that fails, I you could always donate to a fund that the United Nations runs for humanitarian purposes. I know that they do alot in Gaza.
Mike Hirsch November 22, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Mike, as an American, I agree wholeheartedly with you. We should be nation building right here at home rather than wasting our time and money all over the world. As a Jew, I know that I feel much stronger as a person because of the existence of the State of Israel, our ancestral homeland. I assume that you are Irish. How do you think you'd feel if Ireland did not exist? I think our ancestry and our history are a source of strength and pride for all of us.
Pat Godfrey November 22, 2012 at 02:26 PM
The story here is not the innocent Palestinians. It is Hamas. They are shooting rockets into civilian populations, blowing up buses, dragging Israeli's though the streets of Gaza. Then holding rallies in celebration. Would we put up with such attacks? No, but we expect Israel to not retaliate. Hamas is always the aggressor and the press acts as if they are equal combatants. No they are not, Israel is just trying to defend their own people from being slaughtered.
Anthony Mele November 22, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Hillary Clinton showed up with a check book and endorsed about a billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood and $147 million to Hamas and paid for a lull while the transaction took place. Shooting has to stop to actually be a cease fire. The objective of the military operation was to cause HAMAS to deplete their inventory stockpile of rockets, launchers and fuel. Hillary shows up with a check that will be likely used to buy more. Also, extortion by terrorist is not sound foreign policy. Wars are not only fought with arms and munitions, but propaganda as well. Media manipulated images of women and children are aimed at the American population to influence emotions, shape public opinion, evoke sympathy and justify US policy to pay them off and it will all go away. It is a false and dangerous precedent. More men, women and children inside of Gaza are raped, murdered and tortured, and brainwashed by HAMAS and their Iranian task masters than every military engagement with the Israelis combined. House parties with young people listening to western music are raided and the participants shot, gossip, rumor and unfounded accusations are cause for detainment, torture, murder and being dragged through the street behind a vehicle to terrorize the people into subservience.
Anthony Mele November 22, 2012 at 03:23 PM
The psychological effect of the phenomenon called "Stockholm Syndrome" is arguably present in the conditioned response of generations of Gaza residents. Be cognizant of parroting propaganda aimed at manipulating our opinions and erode our support for the people on both sides of this fabricated conflict.
Anthony Mele November 22, 2012 at 03:40 PM
The best assured cease fire is achieved when the enemy is out of bullets. The most lasting truce is when your enemy no longer has the ability to attack you again. Peace is not the absence of war. Peace is attained when the enemy lost their will, their sustainability, and reason to wage war on you. The Arab-Israeli conflict is not a real estate dispute. It is fueled by an endless supply of seething hatred for the Jewish people's existence, programmed into the psyche of the next generation of 'salafist muslims', preferring to die killing a Jew, than live peaceably with a Jew. It is said, when a cannibal invites you to dinner, don't bring a sponge cake, bring a gun.


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