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Omri Casspi Speaks About the Israel-Gaza Conflict

Israeli-Born NBA Forward having a strong season despite off-court distractions

By: David Shear
Published: November 26th, 2012 in News » World
Omri Casspi

Omri Casspi, the first Israeli-born NBA player, now plying his trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, also happens to be a former soldier in the Israel Defense Forces. So, when it came to the topic of the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict, the Cav’s forward, whose family still lives in Israel, has some understandably strong and passionate views on the subject.

“Nobody is really safe right now from Tel Aviv and south,” said the 6’ 9” small forward in an interview with the Sacramento Bee. ‘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.’

And, like many of his fellow Israelis, Casspi believes that the Israeli government simply ran out of patience, merely hoping that the rocket attacks would stop, and decided that it was time to strike back.

“That’s enough. We can’t keep living like this,” said Casspi who, despite being physically removed from the situation in southern Israel, is still emotionally invested in it. “We can’t have a normal life when there is a missile every 10 days that might kill your kids,’ 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.”

“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.”

With a cease-fire now in place, Casspi can continue to focus on what has been a good season for the young NBA player, who has played well enough to see himself back in a regular rotation, providing effective minutes for the struggling ball club.

Related articles: Omri Casspi, NBA, Basketball, Israel, Gaza, Hamas
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