Valley Arabs, Israelis see different solutions to age-old conflict


As another day of shelling in Gaza killed four children Wednesday in ongoing conflict between the Israeli military and Hamas, leaders of the Valley’s Jewish and Palestinian communities were divided on an acceptable solution to the larger, decades-old conflict.

Hanna Kassis, 28, a Palestinian-American who represents the Arab-American Community Center of Youngstown, said that many members of the Palestinian community, both in the Valley and in Palestine, no longer care about official recognition of a Palestinian state and instead seek better treatment from the Israeli government.

“Regardless of what it’s called, regardless of what the flag looks like, regardless of what religion the people are, regardless of where they’re from or what they believe in, we don’t care,” Kassis said. “All we want is humanity and for civil rights to prevail.”

Kassis said that many Palestinians of his generation are coming around to the idea of a one-state solution, in which Palestinians would be integrated into Israeli society.

But Bonnie Burdman, spokeswoman for the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, disagreed, seeing a two-state solution as the only acceptable outcome.

Read more about the local views on this conflict and local Jewish-Arab relations in Thursday's Vindicator or on

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