North Alabama Jewish Community Reacts To Israel Crisis

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Members of north Alabama’s Jewish community are keeping a very close eye on the crisis in Israel, as the nation teetered on the brink of war Friday.

Local Jewish leaders are praying for a miracle in Israel, which has faced relentless rocket fire from terrorist group Hamas for several weeks now. The crisis escalated significantly earlier this week, when an Israeli missile strike killed Hamas’ top military chief in retaliation for the previous rocket attacks in southern Israel. Some are wondering if the conflict could morph into an even more dangerous regional war with Israel’s other neighbors.

“All the local people are very much concerned about this,” said Jewish Federation of North Alabama spokesman Max Rosenthal. “Almost all of us have relatives or friends that live there, and we want to see them protected…I don’t think Israel has any choice. They’ve got to protect the people.”

Rosenthal has been unable to make contact with his friends in Israel since the conflict with Hamas exploded earlier this week. He and many others at the Etz Chayim synagogue in South Huntsville have been continuously praying that the conflict would end quickly.

“If in the United States rockets were coming from Mexico to Texas, or from Canada into North Dakota, we wouldn’t be standing here discussing what we would be doing,” said Rosenthal. “If Egypt decides it wants to get involved, that’s a particular problem. If Hezbollah in Lebanon decides they want to have a diversion, that’s a particular problem…Let’s all pray that this can be resolved without a lot of death on either side.”