War creates tension within Jewish community

Jewish community in Eindhoven(PC:Studio040)

The war in the Middle East is having a major impact on the Jewish community in Eindhoven. There is fear and uncertainty, among people who grew up here but also among expats who often have a direct link to Israel.

Because of the war between Israel and Hamas, some people in Eindhoven are also diametrically opposed to each other. Among other things, Jewish people are afraid to openly show their identity. “If you hang an Israeli flag you risk your life. I won’t go to the centre with my husband now,” said Rina Steinberg, the wife of the rabbi in Eindhoven.

According to the community, which has a small synagogue of its own in the Gestel district, the trick, with tensions in the Middle East, is not to let things get heated here too. “We don’t want to escalate. Don’t bring those issues to Eindhoven. We have to try to pull together,” stressed Max Loewenstein, spokesman on behalf of the community, as he did a fortnight ago.

Hope for peace

Although a solution seems further away than ever, the community remains hopeful that peace will one day come to the area. Loewenstein: “Both sides, the Israeli side and the Palestinian side, have to agree to a solution. Whatever that looks like. Then let’s hope for peace that lasts for centuries.”

“What I hope is that Israel can defeat Hamas. And then that Palestinians and Jews can live well together,” Steinberg adds.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Shanti Ramani

Edited by: Greta

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