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Bay Area residents keeping close eye on escalating tensions in the Middle East

Escalated tensions in the Middle East likely being felt by people in the Bay Area as well
Escalated tensions in the Middle East likely being felt by people in the Bay Area as well 03:03

Tensions are growing again in the Middle East after Iran launched drone attacks targeted at Israel, and people in the Bay Area said they're also feeling the impact. 

San Jose State University Political Science Professor Karthika Sasikumar said she was surprised Iran gave Israel so much warning by using slow-moving drones.

"When I thought about it in more strategic terms, it became clear that these were intended to send a signal to Iran's own domestic population, and also to fulfill a promise that the Iranian leaders had made to their people and they weren't really intended to inflict military damage," Sasikumar said.

Sasikumar said these waves of strikes appear to be in retaliation for of the bombing of the Iranian Embassy in Syria. She believes their choice for retaliation could have been more aggressive.

"The fact that they choose this one is in some ways a hopeful sign," Sasikumar said. "But it doesn't mean that the danger is passed because the option remains for Iran to escalate further if it chooses to, and it also depends on how Israel reacts and how the rest of the world reacts to today's incidents."

People across the world and the Bay Area are hoping for de-escalation efforts, including Tyler Gregory with the Jewish Community Relations Council.

"So I think they're smart enough to know not to turn this into World War 3," Gregory said. "That's what all of us are hoping and praying for."

Lara Kiswani with the Arab Resource and Organizing Center said she also wants to see the violence end. In addition, she wants the U.S. to offer less support to Israel.

"I wanna remind the audience that there is a large Arab, Palestinian, Muslim, South West Asian Iranian community here in the Bay area, who have family and loved ones in the same countries and places," Kiswani said. "The United States is arming in the same countries where these wars are taking place, and what it means for those people, including myself, who have family and loved ones who are now at the receiving end of US backed wars is that they're going to lose more people, and that they're going to have to live with the trauma of this. And it's going to break families apart."

As we head into election season, Sasikumar said President Biden is likely feeling an unprecedented amount of pressure to properly handle this conflict.

"So this issue is, of course, an international relations issue, but it has important and ramifications for his campaign," Sasikumar said. "Because within his core constituencies young people Muslim Americans, Arab, Americans, people of color Biden has to keep all of them satisfied, while at the same time fulfilling his obligations to Israel."

Sasikumar said many people in the Bay Area are likely being impacted by the conflict, and suggested keeping that in consideration and being kind to one another.

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