On Tuesday night, opposing rallies concerning the Israel-Hamas conflict were held in Teaneck. Protesters, divided by police barricades, passionately waved flags, chanted slogans, and even sang patriotic songs outside a town council meeting.
In the aftermath of the terror attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, the council made a unanimous decision to pass a resolution that has stirred up controversy. The resolution expresses support for the state of Israel while also denouncing Hamas.
When asked about his opinion on the resolution, Teaneck resident Omar Sharif expressed his opposition, stating that he finds it “highly problematic.” He believes that the resolution fails to acknowledge the brutal oppression that Palestinians have faced at the hands of Israelis, which ultimately led to the creation of Hamas. Sharif also added that the resolution is inaccurate and myopic in its approach.
Yigal Gross, a Teaneck resident, expressed his opinion on the matter stating that the deliberate and publicized killing of innocent individuals, regardless of their gender or age, is not a complex issue. He finds it surprising that condemning such acts is sometimes viewed as being Islamophobic or anti-Palestinian.
Amidst the increasing human cost of the war, families in New Jersey are mourning the loss of their loved ones and expressing their anger and hopelessness over the devastation caused. Najwa Alsadi, a resident of Totowa, shared her niece Gadeer’s heartbreaking experience of calling from Gaza. Gadeer was in tears as she described the harrowing situation and the feeling of being constantly unsafe, especially after the hospital was attacked. The loss of innocent lives, including children, patients, and doctors, has left the families shattered and mourning the senseless violence.
Amidst the escalating tensions between Israel and Hamas, a million Palestinians have been warned to evacuate to southern Gaza as Israel reportedly prepares for a ground invasion to eliminate the militant group. The airstrikes have already claimed the lives of five members of a family in North Haledon, leaving resident Suzanne Elfarra devastated. She questioned the Israeli military’s strategy and expressed concern about the civilian casualties, asking whether the destruction of Hamas networks would result in the destruction of the entire Gaza population. “Can you justify the collateral damage, and sleep peacefully at night?” she asked.
During our Zoom interview, Igor Kimenfeld recounted his recent trip to Israel in search of his missing father, Danil. As we spoke, the sound of rockets exploding in the distance could be heard. Kimenfeld’s father had gone fishing on October 7th and is believed to have been killed in a Hamas attack. When asked about his thoughts on Hamas, Kimenfeld held nothing back, stating that “Hamas are just murderers, just bloody murderers,” and that anyone who supports them is as bad as they are in his eyes. He expressed no mercy for the group and their disregard for human life.
Michal Halev, who was filled with grief, shared photos on Facebook of her son Laor Abramov, a 20-year-old from New Jersey who was tragically killed during the Hamas attack on a rave music event on October 7th.
Halev pleaded with the world to put an end to all wars and killings, especially of innocent people and babies. He emphasized that he does not seek any form of revenge in his name.
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