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Friday, June 01, 2007

Sderot: Send in the clowns

I have commented many times that one of the reasons the government feels free to abandon Sderot to its fate is that Sderot is NotInMyBackYard. YNet is reporting that more than 100 reserve officers have signed a petition today telling the powers that be in North Tel Aviv "If you won't defend my backyard [Sderot], I won't defend yours [North Tel Aviv]." While it's a tactic that could work, it could also tear the country in half with soldiers refusing to defend parts of the country about which they don't care. We've already had that happen in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, but the reserve officers from those communities never refused to serve. And that's not to say that I think the reserve officers in Sderot are wrong: Something clearly has to be done to shake the rest of the country out of its complacency. It's a risk that must be taken:
"We, reserves soldiers and officers from Sderot, have been brought up on the values of Zionism, Judaism and the sacrifice for the state and its citizens. We used to believe that army service was a privilege and a duty for the State of Israel and its residents, and that this was the only way to ensure the existence of a safe home for the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora," they wrote in the letter.

"Last summer we were called up for the war in the north and responded to the call out of a sense of mutual commitment, national duty and a shared destiny with the residents of the north. We feel that this commitment is being violated in Sderot and the Gaza-area communities by the Israeli government," they added.

"The government does not offer a solution to the threat, but attempts to buy us with retreats and gifts… we refuse to have our children and the children of the region continue being the State of Israel's cannon fodder," they concluded.


Captain (res) Adi Azran, who is one of the letter's signatories, told Ynet, "We decided to take this action, which goes against one of my greatest principles – doing reserves duty – because we came to the realization that there was no leadership in Israel, and that the leaders are a bunch of clowns."

[Hat tip for Olmert picture with the clown, Israellycool. CiJ]

Azran said he was outraged by the long delay in addressing Sderot's plight. "For seven years the residents have been asked to stand in the frontline without fortification, and have been told: Don't run away from Sderot, hold on. This cannot go on. The Philadelphi Route can be closed within 40 days, and a military campaign is definitely part of a political process. The petition's significance lies in it presenting an alternative."

Another signatory, Lieutenant Colonel (res) Haim Kuznitz, said that he would have difficulty doing reserves duty when he gets called up. "The feeling is that we're being treated with disrespect. We listen to the ridiculous suggestions of the cabinet members and find it hard to believe. Minister Yishai has offered to wipe villages off the map, this is clearly an illegal order, and the IDF would not do such a thing. Minister Sheetrit offered firing Qassams back into Gaza. This is a disgrace, these are clowns."
The government's response so far: Send in the Clowns!


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