The recent surprise attack on Israel by militant group Hamas has left Shauli Talmor, a Montreal resident with deep ties to his home country, filled with concern and anxiety. As news and images of the conflict flood his social media feeds, Talmor finds it difficult to sleep, yearning to keep himself updated on the safety of his friends and family in Israel.
The violence, which began over the weekend, has taken a devastating toll, resulting in hundreds of casualties on both sides. Seeing innocent civilians, including children and the elderly, being seized by Hamas fighters and taken to Gaza has only heightened the pain and anguish for Talmor.
While tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians have always been tense, the attack on civilians is concerning and raises fears that such acts could become normalized in times of conflict. Kyle Matthews, the executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies, warns against sliding down this slippery slope and expresses concern about seeing protests in support of such actions in their own countries.
Despite the ongoing violence, supporters of Israel in Montreal have gathered to stand in solidarity with their home country. As they march from Dorchester Square to the Israeli Consulate in Westmount, chants of “Palestine will be free” echo through the streets. Rama Al Malah emphasizes that these demonstrations provide a platform to shed light on the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict and show support for Palestinians who have been oppressed for decades.
The attack from Hamas fighters has also stirred conversations about finding a long-term solution to the conflict. Fouad Sahyoun, a Montrealer of Palestinian descent, voices his grievances about the dire conditions in Gaza, referring to it as an “open-sky prison.” Talmor also acknowledges the need for a solution but condemns the attack on innocent civilians, questioning the honor in fighting against a two-year-old child.
As the situation escalates, concerns grow that the conflict will only worsen for both Israelis and Palestinians. Rabbi Lisa Grushcow urges for a quick resolution to minimize the loss of life and acknowledges the grief and anxiety felt within her congregation.
In these trying times, the Montreal community remains united in their support for Israel, hoping for an end to the violence and a renewed understanding of the heartbreak experienced by all involved.
Q: What sparked the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas?
A: The conflict was ignited when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel.
Q: How many casualties have there been so far?
A: Reports indicate that around 700 people have been killed in Israel and around 400 in Gaza.
Q: How are Montrealers showing their support for Israel?
A: Montrealers are gathering for demonstrations and marches in support of Israel, expressing solidarity with their home country.
Q: What is the desired outcome of these protests?
A: These protests aim to shed light on the wider Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to advocate for a long-term solution that prioritizes peace and security for all parties involved.