This news story first appeared on November 21, 2012. For more information click here.
DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Even though Israel is thousands of miles away, 200 people gathered at the Jewish Community Center in Dallas to show how close they are to the people of that country.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas organized the rally.
Rabbi Andrew Paley of Temple Shalom told the crowd, “Our being here today is a loud and powerful commitment to not only the land and people of Israel, but to the values of freedom, of hope, and of peace.”
He and those of Palestinian decent say they are hopeful a newly announced cease fire will stand.
The terrorist group Hamas recently escalated its rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel.
In response, Israel struck back.
Khalid Hamideh, a former spokesman for the Islamic Association of North Texas, believes a lasting peace will come when Israel leaves the West Bank.
He says, “Obviously we have to solve the root problem in all this which is the occupation, the Israeli occupied lands. It just has to be solved.”
Israeli Consul General to the Southwestern U-S, Meir Shlomo flew from Houston to address the rally and disagrees.
“It’s not about territory. We’re out of the Gaza strip. There’s no Israeli soldier or civilian in Gaza strip altogether, what did we get in return? 852 rockets since the beginning of this year.”
So will the cease fire lead to a lasting peace?
SMU Tower Center Fellow Jeffrey Engel doubts it. “There’s a way to think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as on-going. Every truce is merely an intermission between the next conflict.”
Many at the Dallas rally believe as long as Hamas continues to try to destroy Israel, there will never be a lasting peace.
But people locally we spoke with on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict agree there needs to be a peaceful two state solution for Israel and Palestine.