Dear Neighbor,

Like so many of you, I have watched with horror and despair the events unfolding in Israel over the last few days. I have felt fear for the wellbeing of friends and loved ones, and grief at learning terrible news. I have felt anger at the deep inhumanity of these attacks, and helplessness at the intractability of this seemingly never-ending conflict. And I have felt frustration at the knee-jerk reactions and reflexive side-taking in evidence on social media and on the streets of our city.

I know that among the people reading this message there will be a wide variety of views on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. But all people of goodwill should be able to agree that human life is precious, that any loss of life is a tragedy, and that all of us must double and triple our efforts to work for peace everywhere, and the justice that leads to that peace.

Hamas’ attack on Israel was absolutely despicable – carefully planned to murder, terrify, and kidnap civilians, including children. Hamas members are not freedom fighters or liberators; it is a terrorist organization with the avowed aim of destroying Israel and Israelis. There can be no ounce of justification or excuse for their actions: the largest single act of violence targeting Jews since the Holocaust. And with those hateful actions Hamas has also knowingly incurred retaliation from the Israeli military that will undoubtedly lead to untold suffering for the civilians in Gaza whom they claim to represent.

I firmly support Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself. I also hold up the humanity of people on all sides of the ongoing conflict that provided the false pretext for Hamas’ attack. The kind of heinous violence perpetrated by Hamas can produce nothing positive for anyone in the region, and only serves to fuel another generation of hate and prolong the struggle for lasting peace.

There is a human tragedy unfolding, and we should take the side of humanity. For those of us not directly involved, I believe the best thing to do is ask “how can I help.” Sometimes that help can take the form of just demonstrating solidarity, support, or understanding. Sometimes it can involve donating money, sharing information, or other concrete actions. And while we are turning our minds to our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, we must also contribute to de-escalation and the disempowerment of hate right here at home, both anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, as well as all other forms of prejudice and oppression.

Below are some resources that I hope will be helpful.

Best,

 

Liz Krueger

State Senator

 

Immediate Help for Family Members

From the US Embassy in Israel:

U.S. citizens seeking to be in touch with the U.S. Embassy in Israel, please click this link: cacms.state.gov/s/crisis-intake or call +1-833-890-9595 and +1-606-641-0131.

For latest security alert, see: Security Alert #5: U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

 

From the Israeli Consulate General in New York:

The Israeli Consulate General in New York has established a hotline for those trying to connect with family in Israel. The hotline numbers and emails are:

  • 917-756-8387
  • 212-499-5321
  • 347-726-1490
  • 347-673-9774
  • Consular.services@newyork.mfa.gov.il
  • Ny-cons-em@newyork.mfa.gov.il

 

U.S. State Department Travel Advisory:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/israel-west-bank-and-gaza-travel-advisory.html

 

Donations and Support

Donations can be made to:

United Hatzalah: 

https://israelrescue.org/campaign/israel-at-war/

 

Magen David Adom

Donate

 

Sheba Medical Center

https://give.afsmc.org/give/525518/#!/donation/checkout

 

UJA Federation of NY

https://www.ujafedny.org/israel-emergency-fund

 

International Committee of the Red Cross

https://www.icrc.org/en/donate/ilot

 

Save the Children

https://www.savethechildren.org/us/where-we-work/west-bank-gaza#statement

 

Doctors Without Borders

https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/what-we-do/where-we-work/palestinian-territories

 

Anera

Anera

 

From J Street:

Ways to Support Those Impacted by the Ongoing Crisis: https://jstreet.org/ways-to-support-those-impacted-by-the-ongoing-crisis/

 

Medical Volunteers

Nefesh B’Nefesh, in collaboration with the Israeli Ministry of Health and the Israeli Medical Association, is creating a database of international physicians willing to volunteer in Israel during this challenging time. Go to https://www.nbn.org.il/dr_volunteer/ for more info.

 

Israeli Organizations Working for Peace

New Israel Fund: 

https://www.nif.org/about/

 

The Abraham Initiatives: 

https://abrahaminitiatives.org/

 

Standing Together: 

https://www.standing-together.org/en

 

Combatants for Peace: 

https://cfpeace.org/