Omri Casspi’s Thoughts on the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Omri Casspi’s entire family is in Israel, and despite the recent cease-fire, he fears for their safety. Casspi, an Israeli, is very outspoken when it comes to the the bloody conflict between Israel and Palestine. Per the Sac Bee: “Nobody is really safe right now from Tel Aviv and south,’ Casspi said. ‘People don’t realize there are certain cities in southern Israel that have been under attack for the last 12 years. Now it’s just crazy because they’re throwing rockets all over the place. Their only purpose is to hit civilians and to kill.’ Yavne is located about 15 miles south of Tel Aviv and 40 miles north of the Gaza Strip, the origin of the missile launches. The Gaza Strip is only about 140 square miles (a little more than twice the size of Akron) and is nestled along the Mediterranean Sea between Israel and Egypt. Hamas, the Islamist group governing Gaza, is recognized by the United States as a terrorist group. While disputes over the land date back more than 60 years, Hamas was formed in 1987 with the goal of destroying Israel. From Casspi’s perspective, Israelis simply grew tired of living in fear of death and random missile launches and began fighting back. The damage has been great, with civilians and children killed on both sides. ‘It got to a certain point that the Israeli government and people said: ‘That’s enough. We can’t keep living like this. We can’t have a normal life when there is a missile every 10 days that might kill your kids,’ Casspi said. ‘It’s a tough situation. You’re dealing with a terrorist organization that doesn’t really care about its own people. They hate us more than they love their kids.’ […] Despite the distractions and fear for his family’s safety, Casspi is playing perhaps his best basketball since joining the Cavaliers. He struggled miserably last season, but is slowly piecing together quality minutes and is back in coach Byron Scott’s rotation. […] ‘This isn’t the first time. This is a way of life for us,’ Casspi said. ‘You grow up during wars and missiles and knowing you have to go to the army and serve. We all wish for peace, but it’s hard to have peace with people who really hate you. They don’t want you to live. They’d rather kill their kids and kill you, too. They’re crazy people.'”