Opinions were strongly in support of Israel at the JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly this week.
Asked what he thinks of the current crisis in the Middle East, how it began, and how it will end, Mitch Fried of New Milford said that the kidnappings of Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser, and Gilad Shalit, "the two boys and the one boy, was the reason for them to go in. It’s because the previous premier gave away too much land. I do know one thing," he added. "If you put two pieces of land with two enemies, they can make a bridge across and shoot from both sides . It’s going to take a lot of work, but they must defeat the Hezbollah because they can’t afford to have that kind of aggressive group anywhere near them."
Bernard Abramson of Fort Lee said, "Hezbollah made a very big miscalculation in kidnapping the Israeli soldiers actually trying to use them as a trade for Israel to release a load of prisoners, which Israel has done in the past. For one or two prisoners they’ve released thousands of Hezbollah prisoners and they realized it was a very big mistake, because these prisoners came back to fight them again. Israel at this point realized its past mistakes and is going to get rid of Hezbollah once and for all."
Doris Katz of Cresskill said succinctly, "I’m not an Israeli, I don’t live in Israel, but whatever the Israeli people decide, I’m 100 percent for them."
Similarly, Emil Kurko of Fort Lee is "for the Israelis. I back them up 100 percent. I think they’re doing the whole world a favor," he added, "by getting rid of Hezbollah. I think that Israel will win and, as usual, the world will back them up because they see what terrorism does, not only to the United States but to the world."
Joe Zampieri of Franklin Lakes said he "made a comment to a friend in the American armed forces recently" to the effect that "the only thing that really stops a lot of war is people need to be educated. If people are growing up in a shack, they’re going to go shoot a gun. But how often do people with Ph.D.s shoot at each other? It doesn’t happen."
Mel Kopelman of Englewood said he believes "that President Bush is on the right track, doing the right thing, although people say he’s damned if he does or damned if he doesn’t. He’s for Israel and I support him."
Bill Ashkinaze of Cliffside Park noted that "people go to a baseball game and they sit way up in the bleachers and they argue with the umpire that he doesn’t what know what he’s doing. We here," he stressed, "don’t know what’s really going on in Israel."
All those interviewed would surely agree with Shirley Horowitz of Fort Lee that "we must tell the people of Israel that we’re behind them."