Albany attorney forced to take cover on visit to war-torn Israel

JERUSALEM – Albany Attorney Hank Greenberg considers his current trip to Israel this a “moral obligation,” even if bombs are exploding all around him, and even though air raid sirens have forced him and 25 others on a Jewish Federation of North America mission out of their tour bus and lying face first on the ground.

A moral obligation to bear witness to atrocities

Albany Attorney Hank Greenberg is touring Israel this week determined to bear witness to atrocities and share his stories with Americans when he returns home.

Greenberg’s trip to war torn Israel this week comes a year and a half after visiting Poland where four million Ukrainians began fleeing across the border in February, 2022. In Israel he is witnessing an exodus of 200,000 Israeli refugees being displaced within their own country.

“What’s different is that the people that I met and spoke with, including the families of people who have been taken hostage, the level of trauma is greater,” Greenberg said, “They have actually experienced the war first hand.”

Greenberg’s general observations are that Israelis are traumatized and they are still being terrorized. In addition, the country’s economy is shut down. Jerusalem, he says, is a ghost town.

He is determined to share with the world what daily life has become in Israel in the aftermath of the October 7th attack by Hamas terrorists.

“It’s a great question (to ask) how long this is sustainable,” he states, “Most wars that Israel has encountered throughout its history have been relatively short duration, but they will prevail for as long as necessary.”

Greenberg says what he has witnessed in just the past 36 hours has had a profound impact on him.

“For this generation, particularly the American Jewish community, this is their moment,” he suggests, “Their grandparents’ moment was the War of Independence in ’48. My parents’ moment was the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Now this is our moment. Israel is in a time of need.”

Greenberg plans to return to the Capital Region on Friday.