Israeli Americans in central Texas are deeply affected by the ongoing conflict in Israel, as it hits close to home for them. Moran Tairy, who has family stranded in Israel, expressed his fear for their safety. He said, “I do fear for my family and friends.” The sentiment was echoed by Dori Roberts, who added, “This has to end.”
Roberts revealed that his family is among the 150 Israeli citizens being held hostage by Hamas. He recognized some of his missing family members in a TikTok video of hostages taken by Hamas. Shockingly, his aunt, cousin, and his cousin’s two young daughters, aged 2 and 4, were among those held captive. Roberts hopes that sharing his story will bring attention to their plight and lead to their safe release. He emphasized, “They have to release those captors hostage immediately, no negotiation, and just send them back home safe to their families and their loved ones.”
Meanwhile, Moran Tairy, who has been living in Austin for two decades, shared the terrifying experience his parents went through. As they were returning from their visit to Austin, they found themselves in the midst of the attacks. Tairy explained, “It’s a 30-minute drive, and they stopped twice on the road, on the side of the road, lay on the floor and put their hands down, because there were rockets coming.” He revealed that his family is now confined to a safe room, living in constant fear and anxiety.
Tragically, the conflict has already claimed the lives of innocent Israeli-Americans. Moshe and Sharon, who reside in Austin, lost their extended family members in the attacks. Zur Saidi, a 26-year-old musician engaged to be married, was killed along with three childhood friends at a music festival targeted by Hamas. At least 260 others lost their lives in the same attack. Moshe expressed his anguish, stating, “This is pure evil. They were defenseless people who were, you know, dancing, having fun… They were executed. They were shot point blank.” Additionally, Hillel Zalmnovich, another family member, was killed by Hamas while riding his bike.
The devastation continued as Sharon received the heartbreaking news that Talia’s brother, his wife, and children had also been killed. Sharon tearfully recounted, “Five body bags. Now, the same family here and here.” She further described the horrific scene, saying, “This soldier who found them, found them lying. The father was trying to protect them. He was holding his hands, trying to protect them.” Words fail to capture the profound grief and loss experienced by these families.
With no resolution in sight and the violence persisting, all these families remain deeply concerned for the safety of their loved ones still in harm’s way. The impact of the conflict reverberates across continents, leaving Israeli Americans in central Texas in a state of distress and anguish.