‘We’re not going to surrender:’ Needham resident arrives in Israel to serve with his 4 daughters

BOSTON — A former Israeli Air Force officer, who resides in Massachusetts, has returned to his home country to serve alongside his four daughters.

Boaz Arbel spoke with Boston 25 News after arriving on a direct ten hour flight dedicated to people called for service and those returning for funerals.

The 53-year-old Boston technology executive has reenlisted into military service and will be serving as a coordination officer between the air force and ground forces.

He left his wife behind in Needham but joined their four daughters, ages 21-26.

All four made the decision to serve in the Israel Defense Forces after graduating from Boston area high schools.

“For me, it’s coming back to four daughters who are all serving right now,” said Arbel. “We are not going to surrender.”

Arbel talked about his journey to Israel from a bomb shelter at his parent’s home in Herzliya, less than ten miles north of Tel Aviv.

“You can imagine it was a very tense flight,” he said. “It felt as if we’re going to fight together.”

The call to duty is being felt by several companies with Massachusetts ties that have offices in Israel.

That includes Aqua Security, a cloud security company headquartered in Burlington.

The company has 500 employees total, and about 200 are located in Israel.

“Employees are being called to reserves. Many employees are also volunteering to serve,” said Chief Customer Officer Sharon Eilon.

Eilon, who’s originally from Israel, said the company’s Israel-based employees are now working from home until further notice.

“Almost everyone is impacted somehow. We will have to give attention to employees and their families,” he said. “These are horrific crimes.”

According to the New England-Israel Business Council, there are over 300 Israeli-founded companies in Massachusetts.

The CEO of Transmit Security, which has a Boston office, acknowledged the direct impact of the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas.

“Everyone at Transmit Security knows someone who has been murdered or taken hostage in Gaza,” said Mickey Boodaei.

General Catalyst, a venture capital firm founded in Cambridge that works more than a dozen companies in Israel, released the following statement:

“General Catalyst has allocated an initial $250,000 to support humanitarian efforts on the ground. We encourage others in the international venture community to stand with us in our resolve to support Israel, and join us in pledging funds for continuing humanitarian efforts.”

Combined Jewish Philanthropies, based in Boston, has already raised $1.14 million dollars in donations to send to Israel.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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