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Manatee County commissioners pledge support to Israel

In World
May 15, 2024

BRADENTON, Fla.As Manatee County commissioners read a proclamation supporting Israel, Yuval Sima Tov joined the group.

“It was a really hard time to talk about it and to feel the pain, because we lost two of my best friends,” he said.

Tov and his friends fled the Supernova Music Festival on October 7, trying to get away from Hamas attackers, but they encountered them on the road.

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“There were eight motorcycles and two trucks waiting for us on the road just shooting at us in the car,” he recalled.

Tov’s photos show a blood-stained backseat where one of his best friends died. Tov was shot in the back, but did everything he could to get away.

“We decided after that day to be good, to be better than we actually good,” he said.

Tov joined the Jewish Federation of Sarasota Manatee as Manatee County commissioners pledged their support to Israel.

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“We present this symbol of our unrelenting support for the people of Israel,” said commissioner Kevin Van Ostenbridge.

“We stand here today praying for you, praying for the nation of Israel that this will all be resolute and Israel will stand tall always, and I can tell you this board will stand with you always,” said Commission Chair Mike Rahn.

The support is a moment of uplifting for the federation.

“It’s very important that we not get lost in confusion, but we remember what happened and how this started and what’s at stake here,” said Shepard Englander, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Sarasota Manatee.

It’s a sign of support they will never forget.

“In a time when it seems like the world has forgotten on October 7 and has blamed the people who were attacked and their supporters. To hear leaders of our community remembering how we got here and the suffering that Jews in Israel and around the world have felt every day since then is a ray of hope in an otherwise dark, dark time,” said Englander.

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