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Thursday, September 06, 2007

British Parliamentarians get up close and personal with a Kassam

Israel's 'defense ministry' brought fifteen hollowed-out concrete blocks into Sderot today to serve as 'shelters' for those who are 'out in the open' when the Code Red warning goes off. Meanwhile, life went on as usual today with three more Kassams being shot into Sderot, one of which landed in a high school's schoolyard and another of which hit and damaged a house. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Yesterday, a group of British MP's and members of the House of Lords (some pictured at top left - note the pile of spent rockets, which look like so many pairs of old shoes, in the background) got to see a Kassam from up close:
A delegation of British Labor MPs and members of the House of Lords toured the rocket-stricken town of Sderot on Wednesday, as part of a visit to Israel organized by the Labor Friends of Israel.

Baroness Janet Royall, who is a British government spokeswoman, told Ynetnews she found the visit "deeply shocking."

"I understand much better the people here who must live under these difficulties," Royall said, adding that she was struck by "their anxieties and the way in which their lives cannot be normal."

"It must be very difficult to live under such tension. We saw the Qassam rockets, that was extraordinary, the number of rockets. And then talking to the head teacher in the school, I found that useful and interesting, and it made me much more aware of the day to day realities of people's lives," she said.

Royall, who is visiting Israel for the first time, denied that the UK media largely ignored Sderot. "When I was in Israel, I turned on Sky News and it was one of the top stories," she said, adding that she thought the town was receiving increasing media coverage in Britain. "What this visit will mean is that I'm much better informed when I respond to questions," Royall said.


Labor MP Barbara Keeley said visiting schools in Sderot formed a main focus of the visit. "We wanted particularly to visit the schools. We understand Sderot is under attack by Qassam rockets much of the time. This became much more urgent following the rocket attack on a kindergarten on Monday," she said.

"We do have debates on the Israel Palestine situation in parliament and we've been asked questions. This will form part of what people like me and others can say. We now have first-hand knowledge of what it's like to live under rocket attacks," Keeley added.
Maybe they can also have a talk with the management at al-Beeb, which is, after all, a government corporation.


At 1:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a shame that the esteemed visitors from the UK weren't treated to a really up-close-and-personal inspection.

Might've made 'em appreciate a bit more what the Blitz was all about - and how today's enemy is simply a carryover from the old.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Ron said...

I left this comment at YNet, at an opinion article about Sderot and the qassam problem:

The idea that terror can be defeated by demonstrations of solidarity is silly. Can you imagine the leaders of Hamas saying, "oh, look, the Israeli parlement is meeting in Sderot. We better stop shooting at them." Or "oh look, people are flocking to Sderot, we give up"? It's completely obvious that the way to stop the attacks is to attack back, and fiercely. The Gazans have much to lose, electricity and water, for starters. Why any Gazan is allowed within 4 km of the border is beyond me. But then again, I don't live in Israel. I live safely in New York, about 2 miles from Ground Zero.

If missiles were being fired at the US from Canada, you can be quite certain the US Army would have invaded immediately and utterly eliminated any danger. Israel seems to be the only country which seems to be happy permitting itself to be attacked. I have no idea why but it seems that the double standard Israelis constantly decry is rampant in the world views of them is also shared by many Israelis.

The problem in Gaza could be eliminated in a week.



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