Local News

NC Native Discusses Living In Israel

Posted December 28, 2001

— Israelis have lived with the threat of terrorism for years. People in Israel know each dinner at a restaurant or trip to the market could be their last. For one woman who grew up in North Carolina, but lives in Israel now, the risk is well worth it.

Suzanne Pomeranz was raised Southern Baptist in North Carolina. Her father was Jewish, and about 20 years ago, she started visiting Israel to discover the other half of her heritage.

This month, Pomeranz came to the United States to visit for the holidays, but feels guilty about leaving her other home.

"Everybody is still in the middle of strife," she said.

Pomeranz said the only way to describe the feeling in her adopted homeland of Israel is tension so thick you could cut it with a knife.

"I cross the street and I wonder if today, someone driving by will decide to aim at me," she said.

Pomeranz said you learn to cope with the violence, as she did the day a car bomb went off a block away from where she was.

"I think most people just try to have some sense of normal life, whatever that may be," she said.

Pomeranz blames Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, for much of the terrorism, pointing to the schools under his authority.

"They're being taught to hate. They're being taught to become martyrs. They sing songs in the schools about becoming martyrs," she said.

Still, Pomeranz cannot think of anywhere else she would rather live.

"It's been a mostly peaceful existence until lately. Lately, the incursions into Israel, the terrorist incidents, have gotten more vicious," she said.

Pomeranz works for the Jerusalem Foundation, a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of life for all city residents.

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