[Watch previous FOX 8 News coverage in the player above.]
Military and moral support will be joined by a special expression of solidarity next week, right here in Cleveland. On Friday afternoon, FOX 8 News spoke with Tsach Saar, acting consul general of Israel in New York.
He explained how the Israeli Consulate continues to inform and connect people in Israel to loved ones in Ohio and other states. Saar also explained a way the Cleveland Cavaliers are helping to show solidarity on Monday, through a meaningful game in Cleveland.
The Israeli basketball team Maccabi Ra’Anana played the Brooklyn Nets in an exhibition game in New York Thursday night. The game was planned months ago, but with the atrocities happening in the Middle East, it has become a symbol of U.S. support and cooperation.
“Playing the Israeli anthem and raising the Israeli flag, and some of the players — they have black ribbons,” said Saar.
He said the same team will play an exhibition game against the Cavaliers on Monday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
“It was really heart-warming, and I assume it’s gonna be the same in Cleveland,” Saar said.
He said Israelis need all the support they can get after Saturday’s surprise attack from the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, based in Palestine.
Hundreds were killed, thousands were injured and more than 100 were taken hostage, including Israelis, Americans and citizens from other countries.
Israel is in the process of retaliation, and preparing for a ground war.
“It is really something that is unprecedented and I believe that there’s no alternative but to respond in an unprecedented way,” he said.
Saar oversees the diplomatic activity of Israel’s New York consulate, building relationships with elected officials and community leaders in several states, including Ohio.
He said for privacy reasons, he cannot say exactly how many Ohio families are affected by the atrocities in Israel, but said that number changes every day anyway.
“There are many Americans, families that are now affected by this barbaric attack, and we are in touch with some of the families. Some of the information is not even disclosed to us,” said the acting consul general.
At the same time Saar was speaking with FOX 8, dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators held a rally downtown in Cleveland’s Public Square, to denounce Israel’s deadly military retaliation.
“I would say it’s a drop in the bucket, if you compare it to the ocean of support that Israel received in the United States,” Saar said.
Saar was originally scheduled to visit Cleveland on Monday, to speak to city leaders and attend the basketball game.
He said it is more likely he will have to meet over Zoom and visit Cleveland another time.
Saar serves as consul general for Israelis in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Ohio.