***UPDATED WITH VIDEO*** SCROLL DOWN***
Through the rocket scarred south, we made our way to Sderot, a fabled town known for its music and home to manyof Israel’s most popular musicians. A cultural enclave, this bucolic hamlet has suffered 3,500 rocket attacks in six years, and the Israeli government did nothing. They urged restraint. Urged restraint as the world community and Condi is urging now.
What a tactical mistake. It baited, coaxed and inevitably encouraged the barbarians. The more Israel moved the line in the sand, the bolder the enemy has become. As we see all
This lovely town has kindergartens with bomb shelters, elementary schools with steel gates, steel fences and an according to a study from the Hebrew University over 80% Sderotian kids a re suffering entire generation of children suffering in post trauma syndrome. Children are afraid to go out, return to the parents beds, unable to concentration, wetting their beds, losing a lot of pills to sleep, to behave……their drawings reflect death, rockets, dead people.
We visited with the very wise, even tempered, low key, two term Mayor Elli Moyal. I was so struck with his wisdom and his logic, he ought to run for Prime Minister. “Our jobs as citizens as civilians is to stay in this land. Not to move. Since 2001 until today, we have the same population in Sderot. No one left Sderot , this is the strength of these people.” (despite 3,500 attacks); Here is an excerpt of his remarks
“It’s a shame that 1/3 of our state is empty. I was Haifa, I was in Nahariah I was in Tiberias, I was …….nobody actually stayed there. Most of the people ran away to Tel Aviv. Said it then and I say it now.This war is against civilians not against the army. Now the civilians part. To show their strength.
Nasrallah is a vicious killer but he’s not stupid. He didn’t call a war against the Israeliarmy, he called a war against the people of Narhariah, the people of Haifa, the people of Tiberia. If the people ran away, well actually he achieved what he wanted and I said it clearly in that article yesterday. And I was the first one who said it, c’mon, we not about the run. We are a state in a war, we’ve got to stand our place. Ok take the kids out. Take the weak people out. But the rest must stay.
We stayed here for 6 years, we never left. This is the situation, if you ask me. Because it’s not a two state conflict. It is a war against terror. PURE
We don’t have a conflict with the Lebanon state. We don’t have a conflict with the Lebanese. We have a conflict with the terror organization. If you are asking me the nickname of Hezb’Allah is Bin Laden. It’s international terror. It’s not local terror taking place in the Middle East.” The same hands who did 9/11 are doing right now what they do in the North.
It’s international terror, organized by al qaeda, Iran, by Syria by those states that are supporting terror. And unfortunately we got that job to fight it straight – face to face.
We don’t have a conflict with Jordan. We don’t have a conflict with Egypt. We have a conflict with terror. This is the situation.
Now is the time of civilians to make their statement. To stay. We don’t have a choice. It’s not, it shouldn’t be a consideration to leave our cities. This is my opinion as a citizen here is Israel.
[…] We should stay. It’s gonna be tough. It’s gonna cost. But it’s not the solution to run away to leave Haifa. It’s a shame.
[..} We should act normally in a dangerous situation. But we should, we must act normally. That’s why I stayed here 6 years. That’s why no one has left Sderot. We never closed schools for one day in the last 6 years, we never stopped giving services, municipality services, welfare, sports, you name it, industry, commerce. It’s all open. It was tough. We buried people, small kids. It’s not easy. But we continued. We couldn’t give them that joy to see us running away.
Because that’s what they are looking for. They want to see us running from our country, from our cities. That’s the voice that should be heard all over Israel. Now is the part for the citizens the civilians of Israel to be strong to stay and keep normality in an abnormal situation. I understand, it’s a war. We can not allow ourselves to run. It’s a tiny, a small country anyhow. It is smaller than Rhode Island. Look at the map once . It’s a very small country. 6 million people live here. Half of it is a desert. We don’t have that choice to leave, to hide somewhere. They will find us in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv, in Haifa…. so we must stay.
Please listen to this man’s words. I implore you. It’s worth listening to many, many times.
(hat tip conversion JB)
Winging it to South Florida to see mama. Will load photos later.
UPDATE: Photos from the embattled town that could, Sderot.
The school behind bars............
UPDATE: Video of the children of Sderot