There are numerous reasons why so many members of both the Jewish and non-Jewish communities in Maine feel a strong tie to Israel.

Some have dear family and friends in Israel. Others have traveled, worked or studied there. Still others have a profound feeling of solidarity with a country that has the only democratically elected government in the region and is home to people of diverse religious and cultural identities from around the world.

Assertions that the Israeli government should stand by as Hamas – an organization designated as a terrorist entity by the U.S. and the EU and intent on destroying the state of Israel – rains offensive rockets down on the entire country ignores that Israelis have the same right to live in peace as any other population on earth.

Two thousand rockets have fallen on Israel in the last two weeks.

Israel has, three times, accepted the terms of a cease-fire during this conflict; Hamas has refused each time. Hamas has stored weapons in schools operated by the United Nations.

We deeply regret the loss of life on both sides and hope the Palestinian people can influence Hamas to change its mission from one of destruction of Israel to a mission to lead the Palestinian people to peace and prosperity through a two-state solution.

Steve Brinn


Emily Chaleff

executive director

Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine