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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Email from Sderot

I've spoken many times about how what's going on in Sderot is tolerated by the government because Sderot is NotInMyBackYard, and how if it were Tel Aviv being hit by Kassams it would not be tolerated for a single day. Still, because I live in the (current) relative safety of Jerusalem, I can't really give you a first-hand sense for how embittered Sderot's residents really feel.

American filmmaker Laura Bialis is currently living in Sderot. Rick Richman at Current Jewish Issues has an email that she wrote to her father in the US describing what this past Shabbat in Sderot was like. Here's part of what she wrote:

Some of my friends here are so mad -- they want to shoot kassams at Tel Aviv. They almost never complain about the Palestinians . . . only about the government. It’s like being in New Orleans -- nobody gives a shit about the people here.

And if all of the people in this town got up and left, the state of Israel would be at the real beginning of its demise. Yesterday a kid lost his leg . . . and my friend saw it.

Everybody in town was furious. I convinced my friend to drive out of here for a few hours because he was so upset. But when we went to get out of town, the main highway out of town was blocked because there was a riot -- people were burning tires and stopping the roads.


And the rest of Israel doesn't care.

Read the whole thing.


At 3:06 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

To some extent - its the old Ashkenazi-Sephardi divide. Most of the Ashkenazis don't live in the development towns and the Ashkenazi elite that runs Israel doesn't live in one so Sderot is written off as one of those towns that Jews from the Middle East live in.

If it was Tel Aviv or its yuppy suburbs, the response to the Kassams, instead of the dithering treatment Sderot gets from the government, it would swift and decisive. In other words, the people who haven't experienced the rocketing yet think it will never happen to them and they see no reason to expend themselves for a backwater town full of hicks like Sderot.

Because they are more affluent and the reality of the Middle East hasn't hit home - yet.


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