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"It's very troubling" SWFL response to Israel and Iran tension

Posted at 12:10 PM, Apr 17, 2024

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The increase in attacks in the Middle East is being felt around the globe.

FOX 4 met a woman and a man who find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict, but they share the same concern for the humans caught in the middle, and the same view that we should all be paying attention to this right now.

Reza Esmaeeli is an Iranian American student in Florida, while Carrie Simms helps lead the Solidarity with Israel Coalition.

"I know some people criticize the Governor of Florida and criticize the Biden administration for how they react to these things. I think this is more important than the political playground here because it's all about the lives of people," Esmaeeli said.

Simms worries the next target after Israel, is America.

"This should concern Americans," she said.

Missiles and drones sent from Iran to Israel over the past weekend, Simms says, is a warning sign for how things could escalate.

"The overall feeling is that of anxiety and fear," she said.

Esmaeeli says that's the same for the Iranian community.

"They [Hamas] will try to harm anyone that is not like with their point of view," Esmaeeli says, "I want to make a distinction here. When I say Iran, I mean my country my people all the good people I know, and when I say this regime, its a group of hardliners that have occupied my country, and they've used force and killed thousands and thousands of people.

Thousands of miles away, he does what he can to cope with the uncertainty.

"It's very troubling when you know something might happen to your family and if you go there you might not be able to come back here," Esmaelli said.

While it's not easy navigating a conflict with thousands of years of history, in America, there are ways to have a voice without violence.

"On April 25, from 3:30 to 5:30PM, Solidarity with Israel is organizing a rally at the corner of Pine Ridge Road and Airport Road. There will be people coming out from all walks of faith," Simms said.

"It's very troubling" SWFL response to Israel and Iran tension