Powered by WebAds

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sderot: Desparate Times

As of 6:00 this morning, fifty-two Kassams had fallen on Sderot since Friday. That's an awful lot of ordinance. A lot of people on the right are saying "I told you so," for this is exactly what all of the worst case scenarios said would happen after the unilateral withdrawal from surrender of the Gaza Strip to terrorists. But a year ago, as we all recall, no one would listen.

Unlike the Jews of Gush Katif and Netzarim and Northern Gaza, who moved there knowing that they would be on the front lines and willing to live that way so long as their government was fighting for them, anyone who moved to places like Sderot and Ashkelon and Kibbutz Nahal Oz and Kibbutz Netiv HaAsara - to name just some of the places where Kassams have fallen - in the past nearly forty years, had no expectation of being on the front lines. Yesterday, Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal echoed Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, and asked that Beit Hanoun - the Northern Gaza Strip town from which Kassams are fired - be turned into a ghost town. But Moyal put it even more bluntly.

Moyal drove to Jerusalem to deliver the message in person to Ra'anan Dinur, the director-general of the Prime Minister's Office: If the IDF does not destroy the northern Gaza neighborhood of Beit Hanun, Sderot will become a ghost town.

Upset by the unprecedented number of Kassam rockets fired at his city over the weekend, Moyal told Dinur, "You have to choose" between Beit Hanun and Sderot. The lack of IDF response to the Kassams has only angered Sderot residents and made life even more intolerable. They didn't bargain for this.

When Dichter suggested last week that Beit Hanoun had to be destroyed, both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert - whose daughter, wife and sons care more about Arabs than about Jews - and Defense Minister Comrade Peretz - who is preventing the IDF from acting and whose wife told protestors outside her home yesterday that she understands their frustration - objected to Dichter's statement. At Sunday's cabinet meeting, Olmert said "This firing is very serious. It strikes at the fabric of life in communities in southern Israel and threatens people's lives." Reminds me of "we will know when and where to strike them." Olmert is a marshmallow (and a dhimmi).

In Sderot, the schools are closed because the buildings are not safe, but the parents, many of whom are on the government's Wisconsin plan to get people off the government dole, have to show up to work anyway. Would you want to leave your children at home alone knowing that Kassams could start falling at any time?

According to Mayor Moyal, the communities near Gaza have sustained more than 500 rocket attacks since Israel withdrew from Gaza in August 2005. He estimates that more than 3,000 rocket attacks have been launched against the area since April 2001. "We've stopped counting," he said.

Several Sderot residents have started a hunger strike outside Comrade Peretz's home. But what they may not realize is that so long as the people in areas like the swank Tazahala neighborhood of Tel Aviv don't feel what the people in Sderot feel, nothing will change. This country is afflicted with NIMBY Syndrome.

If I were advising the people of Sderot, I would tell them that so long as they stay outside Comrade Peretz's house and starve no one will notice or care. They could starve themselves to death and most of the country would not notice. If they really want to have an impact, they should start walking. But don't start walking to Jerusalem. There's nothing and no one who can help you there. Walk to Tel Aviv and start blocking the heavily traveled roads outside the Kirya (Defense Ministry headquarters). Block Kaplan street for a few days (the street that runs through the Kirya). Maybe then people will realize that they have to start to listen. We're all in this together.


At 3:57 AM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

I posted about this on my own blog. The situation is intolerable. I have been sick over it all day.

At 7:30 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


You have no idea how much I hope you are right. But my fear is that Hashem has had it with the way we have behaved in His Holy Palace, and that we are about to be thrown out of here into galut - or worse. Look at the Ramban at the end of Parshat Acharei Mot on 'va'Taki ha'aretz et yoshveha.' That's what I'm afraid is about to happen to us. And it would be well deserved.


Post a Comment

<< Home