Austin parents worry for daughter’s safety in Israel

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The fighting between Gaza and Israel may be halfway around the world but there are plenty of Austin families with their attention focused squarely on the escalating tension there.

Diane Radin and her husband have lived in their cozy Westover Hills home for more than 30 years, but their only daughter Sarah became very devoted to Israel and moved there 14 years ago to join cousins in that country.

Sarah went on to marry an American Jew who had also relocated and they now have five children.

“We talk at least once a week,” Diane said. “I asked if sirens are going off in their neighborhood and she said they did take shelter once last week. Their building is older and each apartment does not have a safe room so everyone went down to a secure room under the stairwell.”

That missile landed near a neighboring town. Sarah lives on the outskirts of Haifa, a city of 250,000 well north of the troubled Gaza. According to Diane, Sarah and her kids, ages 1 to 12, look upon these scares as somewhat normal now, sort of like an American fire drill. And they have no intention of moving back to the United States.

“I would love if they did but I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Diane said. “They feel this is their place, this is their home. They are part of the country and if it weren’t for people like them there would not be a homeland for the Jewish people.”

An answer perhaps to the question, why do people stay in Israel, surrounded by the threats to their daily lives.

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