Israeli Conflict has Implications for Local Jewish Leaders

Since the kidnapping and murders of three Israeli boys earlier this summer, violence has continued to escalate in both Israel and Gaza. The global community has been paying close attention to the Israeli ground offensive in Gaza. It's also having an effect on the local Jewish community right here in Siouxland. Beth Shalom Congregation has been located in Sioux City for 20-years and just last month Rabbi Greene visited the Jewish State.

"It's our homeland. It's our peoplehood. We're very much connected to Israel. We send groups every year, not just from this congregation, but also from Morningside College. Other Siouxland groups have gone to Israel, too. We're very much connected to Israel as well much of Sioux City is connected to it," said Rabbi Greene.

After visiting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday in Tel Aviv, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is back in Cairo trying to negotiate a 7-day cease fire.

However, no such agreement has been reached following Israel's rejection of the agreement earlier today.

"We don't yet have that final framework, but I'll tell you this. None of us here are stopping,"said Secretary Kerry.

With no end in sight, Jews around the world and in Siouxland are deeply saddened.

"Well, I think the most troubling thing is, not just for Jewish people but Christians also, is that so many people have been wounded and lost their lives," said Rabbi Greene.

Israelis and Palestinians have waged 4-separate wars since the year 2000 alone.

Outside of destroying the Hamas militants' tunnel system; it remains unclear if much can be accomplished through the insertion.

"There has to be a political solution. Israel wants a political solution. 85-percent of Israelis want a two-state solution. Even the most conservative Israelis want a two-state solution. We want an Israeli state and a Palestinian state living together in peace," the Rabbi said.

Until that ideal scenario is realized, all we can do is hope and pray.