PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hundreds of people gathered at Congregation Neveh Shalom in Portland Monday night to show solidarity and support for Israel and Jews around the world in the wake of the deadly surprise attack by Hamas.
Oregon US Sen. Ron Wyden and other representatives reiterated their and the US support of Israel and each other.
“Let’s commit, here in Portland, we will prevail,” Wyden said. “Terrorists will never win.”
Those at the rally who spoke with KOIN 6 News said they feel the attacks in Israel personally — and not just because of their faith. Many have family and friends in Israel, and it has shaken many of them.
“This has been a nightmare over the last 3 days,” said Bob Horenstein with the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland.
The federation brought the community together on Monday to process what’s happening.
“Like all Jewish communities across the country, we have family ties, we have friends. And they’re all being impacted. Israel is all our family,” Horenstein said.
Wyden said there is an “unshakable commitment” in this country. “The USA stands with Israel,” he said.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland is raising money to help people impacted by this growing conflict. There is a donation button on their website.
Horenstein noted this attack by Hamas is the worst mass casualty event in Israel’s history.
“Israel has been at war since its existence,” he told KOIN 6 News. “And this — we never thought we’d see anything like this.”
The attacks combined with the rising antisemitism in the US and the Pacific Northwest is overwhelming, he said.
“You begin to wonder is there anywhere where you can be safe? I know that there is and I know that Israel will survive and persevere. And so will we.”