Debt Relief Law Offices of Tampa Bay

Tampa Bankruptcy Attorney 727-849-3328

A Trip To Israel

Posted on Jul 23, 2014

Host: Good Afternoon. Hello welcome, Debt Relief Program with Ziona Kopelovich. We do this every couple of weeks just talk about you know folks looking for some sort of debt relief, and sometimes it results in having to go through the bankruptcy system. You know every one and a while Ziona the topicality is much more important than the debt relief and that sort of thing especially when you have so many ties back overseas into Israel.

Ziona: That’s right, that’s right so I was born in Israel and I have family in Israel. In fact I was there I last September or October I went on a trip, so it’s very consuming to follow the events back home.

Host: And just in the past couple of minutes since she walked in. We just been talking in detail about the things that are going on there and we can’t as Americans, we understand what’s going on but we have we have no idea the detail, and it is like you said even as we speak right now.

Ziona: As we speak there is fierce fighting going on in the Gaza Strip in [???] which is suburb of the city of Gaza in fighting over the tunnels deep tunnels. Dug underneath homes, underneath buildings, underneath hospitals, underneath the whole structure is built two stories down and as I told you the first story is for the Hamas regular soldiers and weaponry and the deeper level is where they are commanders sit. They’re even better protected than the civilian population sitting on top exposed, it’s unfair.

Host: It’s unfathomable to us to sit here and think about you know that kind of idea where you exposure your population your civilians to this while you hide yourself you know 40 50 feet underground and the depth and the extremes of these titles as you can drive large trucks through these tunnels.

Ziona: Train tracks are there, they have train tracks. And you don’t really see the fighters, you know the Hamas fighters out in the streets. They hide in the tunnels, they come out the doors and try to get back into the tunnels. And in fact many time that’s how the tunnels are being discovered when they come out. And then they have holes through which they shoot the missile stored [with the] civilian population. Three quarters of the countries under threat of being bombed daily and one hundred and sixty some missiles falling a day in one country. One hundred and sixty you know. How do you expect a country to put up with that?

Host: Well you have to you have to defend the right to defend themselves. And it’s just I think that we fail, I talk about this all the time is that we cannot conceptualize the history of conflict that has gone on there. We are talking about nations consumed with eliminating, getting rid of eliminating these people. And it’s just like us saying well one you one day you know what we don’t want Canada to exist anymore.

Ziona: And you start bombarding Canada.

Host: And we start sending bombs to Canada.  And we’re talking about a space between Gaza and Israel and someone pointed out last week it’s kind of like Springhill bombing Brookesville.

Ziona: Right exactly exactly. And we just don’t like the people from Brooksville.

Host: All of a sudden Springhill is decided we want Brooksville completely eliminated. Not just off the map we want them to never ever exist anymore.

Ziona: And Right we think it’s really horrible if Brooksville shoots back.

Host: And in the meantime one of the things that you point out to is that it’s not and I know this the

fact because I’ve had friends work the intelligence field that they say that the

they will strap explosives to donkeys and send them out or they’ll send children out with

Ziona: Right? Children and it’s just mind blowing.

Host: And it’s just makes you sad and makes you sick to your stomach that that’s going on and we feel completely, and I mean we feel kind of helpless with them. But I can’t imagine right now that you know with what you’re thinking and I know your thoughts are probably at home and if I were you I would of called and said you know what I’m going home today and I’m not going to talk about this.

Ziona: And it’s not that. It is apparent that some of the airlines have canceled flights to Israel yesterday. And I think I heard on Israeli TV that American Airline is going to resume tomorrow, going to resume the flights.

Host: Well I saw on what is it [????}?

Ziona: [???] is flying yes, [???] is flying, I think there is this two or three other Israeli airlines that are still flying. Absolutely and a lot of people are transferring from them.

Host: And yeah Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said today, and he said I’m going to do it and fly today because I’m going to show you by canceling the flights you’re giving Hamas a victory.

Ziona: Also a nice thing that [???] airplanes do and I’m not being paid by [???] they have antimissile capabilities, protection capability so that they can divert the missile coming toward them, toward the plane. While the pilot doesn’t even know it’s happening I mean the system is automated and takes care of an incoming attack.

Host: Isn’t it [????] Airport in Tel Aviv. That place. People talk about security blanket at International or even someplace like Boston or Atlanta though somewhere like that. It’s nothing compared to when you’re flying out of [???].

Ziona: When you fly in and they stop you at the gates and they look today make eye contact with you and they say hello. You answer they hear they hear your answer and these people are so well trained. So just at the first hello you know they know who they’re dealing with. And around the airport I’m sure that there’s a battery of you know the Iron Dome.

Host: I know that the airport in the country and that Iron Dome technology is just unbelievable, and I believe it’s only what one missile is gotten through from Hamas and into Israel

Ziona: Successful it’s like 95% to 99% so I don’t know why the American military’s not using to protect our soldiers in Afghanistan. Because the technology exists.

Host: What is it a mobile is the iron Dome mobile or is it all over the place?

Ziona: They have several battery. They added you know I don’t talk about what I don’t know I mean I know it’s out there, but I really feel funny talking about numbers. They have added several. Yes, you know I believe it is a mobile but they several batteries around the country and they’re building them in Israel. Since the beginning of the war they added several too. And I have to say thank you to the Americans because Americans financed it. The planning and all that came from Israel, Israeli technology, but they the financing actually came from the US so thank you thank you America.

Host: Well once in a while we get stuff right.

And you know that’s why I am amazed that the American military is not using it. Well maybe they are and I’m just not aware of it.

Host: I don’t know, but Ziona is military service still compulsory in Israel? Everybody serves?

Ziona: Oh yes, you know we say compulsory but people are lining up lining up to serve. We have found, you know I read a lot that you know the publications, newspapers, TV, and all that you can get online. Which is very easy, but on how one of the high commanders and I don’t know that the terminology in English but a high commander was injured. Apparently he is a [???] that’s an indigenous people that lived in the area. So he was injured not heavily injured and was sent to get medical treatment and stayed in the hospital for maybe five days and he’s on the way back, and he’s going back. The dedication not just him but the soldiers and people are just in general the Israelis they hear there is a war. They go to the airport and they go back home, they go home.

Host: You mentioned something very fascinating to you from America who were just killed.

Ziona: It was just chilling two young Americans who decided to immigrate to Israel I don’t know the last names, one is Max and the other is Sean. They went, they volunteered to enlist in the army in the military. They went with their group to the conflict in Gaza and both of them died. Not in the same incident, a different event but they are part of the damage to the Israeli military. One of them was an admirer of a soccer team in [???], the city of [???]. Some pictures have been published of him and he is wearing a scarf, wearing the colors so the fans of that group of this soccer team recognized it and they said you know started on Facebook. We cannot let one of our own go on his last way by himself because he is here alone in the country. So they ask people to show up to the funeral, that was in [???] two days ago. 20,000 people showed up, 20,000 people drove from all over the country this young man’s funeral. Yesterday in Jerusalem, that was Shawn’s. Max was buried yesterday in Jerusalem. This time 30,000 people show, I mean 30,000 the whole city was shut down with people coming from all over the country in cars. People from the neighborhoods walking, so the feeling of the closeness between the military and the people and the recognition of the people of that sacrifice of these two young guys. You know they didn’t have to come, they didn’t have to it. So that the dedication and the love is mutual. It’s mind-boggling.

Host: it truly is. I think that we really tend not to, I don’t know if it’s just unfathomable to us if we just don’t we don’t understand we don’t care to know about it. But it’s so deep and it’s so rich and just the heritage. Let me ask you this, when you when you go home. Where do you go in Israel?

Ziona: Last time I went there, actually that’s a little bit unusual as I stay with family but a year earlier I received a phone call sitting in my office worrying about my clients in bankruptcy. And I get a phone call and I see that it’s from Israel, and this woman calls and says “Hi, do you remember me?” No, can you give me a hint. Well “Okay this is [???]?” I asked for a little bit more. So she started telling me how we knew each other, and I sort of knew that the last name [??] [??]. Yeah I remember that. She sent me some pictures, and oh my god this is my girlfriend! So I went and stayed with her and she lives not too far from my hometown which is [???] in the center of the country. A little bit north of Tel-Aviv. So I went and stayed with her, and then you know my family was just around the corner. I also traveled with girlfriends from the US, which we when traveling the country which is a lot of the time we stayed in hotels but it’s unusual for me to go to Israel and stay in a hotel. Because I normally go and stay with family.

Ziona: No matter what your leaning political religious or otherwise I’ve always contended everybody should make a trip to Jerusalem at some point.

Ziona: It is absolutely stunning, it is gorgeous, it is emotionally giving you rejuvenation it’s just beautiful. If you know there are no words to describe it, you have to go to see.

Host: Your face, you should just see your face it’s lit up and illuminated and that tells a lot!

Ziona: It’s an amazing place. And you see people from all over the place, all of the world. And you know that Israel as a country, you know people come from all over you have an amazing enriching mixture of cultures and cultures and people and different traditions. Not just in terms of Jews from different countries that is what Israel is made out of. But you do get there is a community of Christians. A lot, fairly large and you know Muslim as well and we just try to get along. I mean we try to get along.

Host: But obviously I’m sure there is tension in somewhere like Jerusalem, but by in large on

when things aren’t so in the situation we’re now I am told that you yes you have different parts of the city that are different neighborhoods but by and large it’s a very easy and comfortable city to go into.

Ziona: It is a Western country and it has so much art and the buildings are beautiful. I mean they have to shut down the center of Jerusalem and make it into a pedestrian mall, because people made it into a pedestrian mall. So they gave up and said okay well no cars can go here because people are walking here… So it’s just beautiful to see you know it’s like at the closest I can think of is South Beach. Okay? In Miami. Where you have people walking, you actually see people as a whole country where people are walking. They see each other, and the talk in the sitting coffee houses, and they drink coffee, and eat great fresh food, and it is just a country filled of young people. A lot of young, young people.

Host: By the way I think you are the only person to make the correlation between Jerusalem and the South Beach.

Ziona: Well it’s alive. 11 o’clock at night or 12 o’clock at night people are sitting at coffee house. While sitting and talking. People walking in the street, you have to sort of like navigate your way between people not to lose your friends because of so many people out there just living the joy of life. So this is what Israel is like. Which is beautiful. Science in Israel is amazing, the arts are just amazing. It’s like you go to I don’t know how to explain it. Israel per capita has more museums than any other country. Yes. Museums galore and the beaches that we have.

Host: And I wanted to ask you if I were to go and I were and to make that trip. Which is one of the things left I need to do in life. I would want to see the historic standpoint, I want to see Tel Aviv but I want to see [???] I want to see all of it.

Ziona: They have tours not just during the big cities but in the historical sights. This year because two of my girlfriends that I went with, I went with three girlfriends. Two of them were are Christians, so we did the Christian tour of Israel. And that was very interesting something of never done before.

Host: See to me if I would do it, the organized tours and such. I would want to go with a local, I want someone to show me that this is my Israel. That’s what I want to see.

Ziona: So you get you have different kinds of tours, tours galore. And it’s not necessarily huge bus but it’s a minivan that has maybe 12 seats, you know a fairly small group and they speak all languages, definitely English.

Host: I’ve had several friends of mine take off and go over there, and all three of them said the same figure was very difficult for them to come back. You know that one of them is Jewish and other two are Christian. It’s just such an amazing place on this planet and it survives the way it does. I always question people who question why it’s important for us to support.

Ziona: Well we are the canary to the Western world. We are the canary, the canary in the mine. You know, in the mind of others you know often people say why do they hate you? Why do they hate Israel? I think that they had identify us with the Western world. Like that the spearhead of the Western world and they just don’t like us. Well some of them, I don’t mean to say “they” it is very broad. A broad brush that I am painting it with and obviously it’s more complicated than that.

Host: I think that there are two supporters there. You look at the Egyptian and Israeli Camp David Accord, that’s been there for decades now.

Ziona: You know cleaned up the Islamic Jihad, you know the Hamas and Islamic Jihad are basically the same thing. We couldn’t do it to can do it or doing Gaza today if not for the support of the Egyptians. And everybody is talking about the Israeli blockade but you know the Egyptians are part of it too. So the Egyptians don’t want the Palestinians in Gaza to bring in all that destruction.

Host: And Hamas doesn’t want to talk to Egypt and that’s really proven to be difficult in part of Egypt is trying to broker a cease-fire that situation that is going on.

Ziona: Egypt is not in a hurry from what I understand. And I mean they try, and Hamas said no. So Egyptians said okay let’s try it your way now. Going to get bombed again.

Host: And the absolute tragedy of this whole thing is you see on TV of those who were are getting the casualties, the fatalities, happening there are not the soldiers. Some yes, but majority of the Palestinians are civilians but it’s because. It is wrong for me to really comment on without knowing everything about it you know? But you just go by what you see on the surface and say are you trying to create some sort of sympathy by throwing your women and children out there in front of the weapons while you hide underground?

Ziona: Yes it’s two fold. One is the strategic propaganda value and other actual like blanketing yourself you know, it’s another layer of insulation between you to protect yourself. It serves both purposes.

Host: There are so many things about this that we are just.

Ziona: Can I tell you something? I haven’t told you before, I mean my close friends know that but you know something about myself I don’t advertise. I married an Arab, okay so I’m Israeli American and he is a Lebanese Arab. So if I sound like I am anti whatever, I mean I try to bring peace in a very personal way. It means a lot to me, it does.

Host: That says something, I think that just Kopalovich is a mouthful. I’ll tel you though, it’s fascinating and to me it’s something that I could like a question just for days and days we just don’t have the opportunity to talk to people who are still connected there. And every day when you see one of the stories and every day when you get one of those alerts on your phone you have to think my God, please not my family. You don’t want you don’t want your family’s home to be that 1% that gets passed the dome but I feel terrible because we have to do anything other than this. But I feel like this is been very heavy on your heart, and I know that that I want to know.

Ziona: It’s my pleasure. You know it’s my pleasure to talk about it.

Host: It’s a little cultural enlightenment.

Ziona:  it is. Next time you talk about bankruptcy, we will talk about if you get divorce and you have domestic support obligations or property settlements. What happens at those in bankruptcy.

Host: Let me tell you because I have some friends going through some stuff right now who one of them need to call you really quickly. Okay, I tell you I thank you so much and again this is I know this is a lot of very personal and I know that means a lot to you and I think I can speak for a lot of folks in saying that they wish for you only the absolute best for you and your family.

Ziona: I appreciate that, thank you.

Host: It is absolutely our pleasure and we should at least mention okay if anyone has any questions regarding they contact you how?

Ziona: Well they can call me, I can give out a few phone numbers. I’ll do it quick, 727-849-3328  and352-678-2265. And we are really close to you Rachel Boulevard in Springhill and we are actually out of the offices of Carlson and Meisner. Which is a wonderful law firm that deals with PI cases, car accidents, disabilities of that nature.

Host: Alright, thank you dear.

Ziona: You’re welcome.