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Jewish faith leaders and Arab community members share their thoughts on ongoing crisis in the Middle East

Pillars of smoke rise into the air following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City
Adel Hana
Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023.

It's been nearly three weeks since Hamas launched a terror attack on southern Israel. During that brutal attack, an estimated 1,400 Israelis were killed as they danced at a peace festival or slept in their homes in kibbutzim. Approximately 200 people were taken hostage. Their conditions are unknown. Among the murdered and among those taken into Gaza were men, women, children, babies and the elderly.

Since that attack, Israel has retaliated with continuous bombardments of Gaza in a bid to destroy Hamas. It is estimated that more than 6,000 Palestinians have been killed. Many of them children as approximately 40% of the population in Gaza are under 15 years old.

With bombing intensifying in Gaza as Israel readies itself for a ground invasion, the United Nations has called for a humanitarian pause. They have warned that the situation in Gaza is moving towards a "humanitarian catastrophe" as fuel, aid and food are running out.

Communities of Jewish people and those of Arab descent call Northeast Ohio home and those events in the Middle East are being felt keenly here.

Thursday on the “Sound of Ideas” we will discuss the events in the Middle East with members of both communities, and how the conflict is impacting individuals and families in the region.

- Vladimir Lapin, Cantor, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple Beachwood
- Meelak Rashid, Palestinian-American Community Activist
- Bec Richman, Rabbi and Artist
- Ramez Islambouli, Professor Of Islamic and Arabic Studies, Case Western Reserve University; President, MACE Islamic Center in Richmond Heights.
- Marc Simon, Associate Professor of Political Science, Coordinator for Peace and Conflict Studies, Bowling Green State University

Watch the show episode in the player below.

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.