As Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Escalates, Concern Grows in South Florida

Carol Brick-Turin, who just returned from Israel, says the news coming from there is "very personal"

By Diana Gonzalez
|  Friday, Nov 16, 2012  |  Updated 7:06 PM EDT
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Carol Brick-Turin said the news coming from Israel is

Carol Brick-Turin said the news coming from Israel is "very personal." It is as well for Jacob Solomon of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation and Ali Abul Aziz at Middle East Bakery and Food. Naseem Mahdi of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, which has a tent at the Miami Book Fair International, also spoke about the conflict.

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South Florida is home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the U.S., and the escalating Israeli-Palestinian conflict has many people in the local community alarmed.

Carol Brick-Turin returned from Israel Tuesday night. She was there for the birth of her first grandchild, Maya.

“When my husband and I listen to the news in the morning, it's very personal,” she said.

On Friday a rocket fired from Gaza landed near Jerusalem. That's where Brick-Turin’s daughter, son-in-law and 11-day-old Maya live.

“Our daughter had on her list of priorities seeing the pediatrician, visiting the U.S. consulate and getting a gas mask tent for her newborn daughter. And when I spoke to her yesterday she was waiting for the delivery of the gas mask tent.”

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The Greater Miami Jewish Federation is part of a national network that just sent $5 million to Israel.

“My brother is there right now visiting cousins, and so I got an email from him today telling me that a nephew has just been called up to the Army as a reservist, so this is very, very personal for the Jewish community here in Miami,” said Jacob Solomon of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

It’s personal as well for Ali Abul Aziz at Middle East Bakery and Food on Coral Way, who was listening to Palestinian television via satellite. He is Palestinian and has family living in the West Bank.

“It hurt me, believe me I get hurt, but I couldn’t nothing,” the store owner said. “I couldn’t do nothing because I am here.”

The fear is that the volatile conflict will escalate into a war.

“We are family, but the blood is too thick,” Aziz said. “We hope they get together and they get peace for us – for our grandchildren.”

At the Miami Book Fair International, a Muslim organization is worried the conflict in Israel will further hurt the image of Islam.

“The majority of the Muslims are moderate people and they are peace-loving and law-abiding, and they want world peace and they don't want any war,” said Naseem Mahdi of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.

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