Opinions on conflict vary among local Jews

Ryan Carter

BURBANK -- Whether it be in a local service or discussion group, local

Jews are talking about the escalating conflict and violence in the Middle

East. Many support Israel's actions, but divergent views have gone into

the dialogue.

"They are killing each other with weapons we supply," said Burbank

Temple Emanu El Rabbi Paula Reimers, also the president of the Burbank

Ministerial Assn. "I don't support anybody who wants to encourage suicide

bombings, but on the other hand I don't believe this invasion was the way

to solve that problem."

So far, the nearly 19-month Palestinian uprising and the three-week

Israeli military incursion in the West Bank has brought suicide bombings

in Israel and destruction to towns and villages in Palestinian

territories.

"People are disturbed that people are walking into populated places

and blowing up children, women and old men who don't have a part of this

argument," said Ira Goldstein, president at Temple Beth Emet, a Burbank

synagogue with roots in reform Judaism.

Beth Emet Rabbi Mark Sobel was scheduled to lead a discussion Friday

at the temple, touching on the conflict and the concept of loving one's

neighbors, he said.

"The rabbis asked why God created only one family first, and that

reason was to teach us that no human being in the future could say 'my

family or my nation, is better than another,' " Reimers said.

Some have no hope, but others do, Goldstein said.

"There are those who believe the situation can't ever be resolved. But

we have to have hope, for the good of humanity."

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