Local Jewish leaders call for peace as Israel-Hamas war rages on

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Hours ago, President Joe Biden addressed the nation about the Israel-Hamas war, saying the top priority is helping Americans held hostage by Hamas. He again stated the United States’ support for Israel.

Biden said America must denounce antisemitism and Islamophobia. He announced he is asking Congress for new funding to support Israel, and also Ukraine in its fight against Russia. Biden said he wants to avoid sending American troops into either of those conflicts.

People in the Jewish community in Albuquerque say everyone with ties to the Israeli region is suffering.

“For us, it’s very shocking and very upsetting that a terrorist organization has committed such unspeakable atrocities against innocent civilians,” said Sara Koplik, director of the University of New Mexico Hillel House, the Jewish student center on campus.

Many places, including synagogues in Albuquerque, have increased security. Some locations are not allowing people inside right now, and some groups are holding events, but not making the details public.

Many thanked police for their efforts during this time. An Albuquerque police spokesperson says APD still has increased patrols around Jewish and Muslim places of worship, but they’re not aware of any specific threats.