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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘SDEROT’

Gaza Belt Says ‘No’ to Ceasefire

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

SDEROT – As the Security Cabinet continues to deliberate a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza, residents of the missile-battered south say a ceasefire now would only prolong their trauma.

Three weeks into Operation Protective Edge, central Sderot has too-easily into a familiar wartime footing. Although Tuesday morning was “quiet,” with no Code Red sirens between 10 am and noon, there were few pedestrians in the downtown shopping district. Many shops were closed, and virtually all the ones that had deigned to open were empty. At one downtown falafel stand, five middle-aged men sat around an empty table on the sidewalk, talking while trying not to watch the TV news, which was alternating between ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza and military funerals around the country.

But depute the economic trauma the war has caused to towns like Sderot around southern Israel, the men were united in their belief that it is too early to end the offensive against Hamas. It’s a theme that has animated conversation here during each military flare up in recent years.

“If you end the war now, Hamas wins,” said Yoram Alfassi, the owner of the falafel joint told this reporter in 2008. “We’ve been living with this reality for years, it’s enough already. There have been bad times and worse, but it’s been ongoing for years. If we don’t finish them off now, you can bet there will be another round of fighting, and that Hamas will be stronger the next time around.”

In hindsight, Aflassi’s words were prophetic. Although he no longer owns the falafel stand, the men sitting there Tuesday say the IDF made a mistake then, and in 2012, by accepting a ceasefire instead of dealing a “death blow” to the terrorist organization. Even worse, the men agreed that the discovery of an entire network of cross-border tunnels was far worse than they’d imagined. It was a sentiment echoed at communities around the region.

“Everybody knew there were tunnels under the border, but nobody thought it was this bad,” said Orly Schecter, a resident of Kibbutz Mefalsim, halfway between Sderot and the Gaza border. At the end of the day, the rockets are scary, but unless they score a direct hit, the Qassams don’t usually hurt people. The tunnels are a game-changer,” she said.

Asked how she would define an Israeli “victory” in the current operation, Schechter said simply, “when they cant’ fire rockets and can’t dig tunnels anymore. That’s how you’ll know we’ve won. If we stop any earlier than that, it will be only a matter of time until the rockets are flying at us again.

“It’s a crazy thing to say – we’ve been living for the past three weeks with constant noise – not only rocket sirens, but also the hum of drones overhead monitoring the goings-on in Gaza, and especially the explosions of our artillery and tanks firing into the Strip. We can hear them from many kilometres away, but some of the tanks fire right outside the kibbutz. It’s loud enough that it makes the entire kibbutz shake.

“But it’s really important to understand that we are strong, and that we have the strength to withstand these attacks until the IDF finishes the job. Our people who need some time away from it all have left the kibbutz, either for three-to-four day jaunts or for longer. Most people take a few days, then come back. We’re thankful that so many people and groups, like other kibbutzim, have come onboard to help us out by hosting us, opening tourist sites to us for free and more.

“But ultimately, this cannot go on indefinitely, and Hamas has proven that it will not honor any deal of ceasefire with Israel in the long term. We have to finish them off once-and-for-all. Otherwise, all this was for nothing,” she said.

US Jews Step Up for Israeli Kids

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Jewish communities from around the world have stepped up to support children from southern Israel who have lived their entire lives under the threat of missile attacks from Hamas freedom fighters in Gaza.

(To quote the late comedian George Carlin: If firefighters fight fire, and crime fighters fight crime… what do freedom fighters fight? But I digress).

According to Israel Radio, the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod have donated NIS 12 million to fund summer activities in central Israel and in Jerusalem for 50,000 children from the missile-battered south.

Hey You in Washington! This is What Life in Israel is Like.

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Even people who are closely following the news about the current conflict in Gaza and Israel tend to focus on the rockets, the bombs and the casualties, but few focus on what it is like to race to a bomb shelter, and fewer still consider what it is like inside those shelters, for the lucky ones we make it to one.

Artists 4 Israel, a collective of creative geniuses who approach issues differently than do you or I, saw that gap and have done something quite inventive to fill it. They built a Bomb Shelter Museum, and then they took it on the road.

For those lucky enough never to hear the “Tzeva Adom” (Code Red) alert and have to race to the nearest shelter, the Bomb Shelter Museum provides the opportunity to approximate that situation.

Craig Dershowitz is one of the founders of Artists 4 Israel. He explained to The Jewish Press that the BSM is a multi-media, fully immersive experience that simulates living through a rocket attack in Sderot or Ashkelon or, sadly, pretty much throughout Israel.

The idea occurred to A4I when they visited Sderot during Operation Cast Lead to paint murals on the bomb shelters there. One of the artists was really shaken by the shelters.

Dershowitz explains: “He had always considered the shelters to be safe havens and, after visiting them, he realize that they were traumatizing and fearful places. He wanted the world to experience it. So Artists 4 Israel joined with an installation artist and a lighting artist.”

The artists collaborated and, through a “mind-blowing artistic process,” the Bomb Shelter Museum was born.

The experience starts with the Tzeva Adom going off. People rush into the BSM. Once inside, they watch videos of rocket attacks and hear the screaming and crying all around them. The Bomb Shelter shakes, and smells fill the space. It is a serious dose of the barebones, stark, painful reality.

Maybe it’s the tight space, maybe it’s the loud sounds, or perhaps the darkness combined with the videos and the engagement of various senses, but the combination creates an experience that profoundly affects nearly everyone who goes through it.

“Most people,” Dershowitz explains, “leave the shelter physically affected – some cry, others are ashen, others are weirdly exhilarated. Not with joy, but because they have had an emotional and visceral connection to a truth they had never before considered.”

Lionel Leventhal is the chairman of the board of Artists 4 Israel. Leventhal said one of the animating principles behind Artists 4 Israel, and in particular behind the Bomb Shelter Museum, is that “children should never be collateral damage of a political disagreement.”

Tomorrow, July 22, the Bomb Shelter Museum is stopping in Washington, D.C.

“The people who make decisions in this country should understand the reality of living through a Hamas rocket attack against Israel,” Dershowitz explains.

The BSM will be at Upper Senate Park, 200 New Jersey Avenue, NW, from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m.

If you think your congressional representatives should get a taste of reality before they pontificate about what Israel needs to do, let them know that the Bomb Shelter Museum is in D.C. You should suggest they visit the BSM, so that they know what reality is like for so many Israelis.

Don’t know who your representatives are? Go to GovTrack.US. Tell them to visit the Bomb Shelter Museum before they presume to cast a vote or make a statement about the Middle East. Or contact your congressional representatives through Twitter, and use #Getintheshelter and @artists4Israel to make sure they are paying attention to this issue.

Qassam Rocket Hits House in Sderot, No Injuries

Monday, July 21st, 2014

A house was hit in Sderot Monday morning in a Qassam rocket barrage by Hamas terrorists. Four Sderot residents were treated for shock and anxiety.

The explosion ignited a fire in the yard of the home, where three girls who were home at the time were hiding in a ‘safe room’ inside the house and remained unharmed as a result. Firefighters raced to the scene to extinguish the blaze, preventing the fire from spreading to other homes.

A heavy rocket barrage was fired at the entire Gaza Belt area, including Sderot and the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council district over a two-hour period from 8am to 10am.

The barrage may have been launched to cover two terrorist cells battling IDF soldiers after emerging from two tunnels between kibbutzim located on the Gaza border. All the terrorists were eliminated by the Israeli forces.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told journalists Monday morning that “if necessary, we will call up more reservists to deal with the issue of the tunnels.”

Leftists Visit Sderot to Protest War Against Hamas [video]

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

On Friday, a busload of left-wingers visited the missile-battered town of Sderot to protest against the war to stop Hamas attacks on Israel.

Their bus carried slogans such as “Put violence behind us” and “No more war, no more bloodshed”.

Noticeably angry Sderot residents told them to take their bus to Gaza and protest there.

Needless to say, the leftists did not get off the bus, and did not run an anti-war protest in Sderot.

CNN Reporter Deletes Tweet After Calling Nearby Israelis ‘Scum’

Friday, July 18th, 2014

CNN international correspondent Diana Magnay hurriedly deleted a tweet she sent out referring to Israelis as ‘scum.’ But she did not delete it before 247 others retweeted it, and 49 favorited it. And then the retweets were retweeted, and now it’s all over the globe.

So why did Magnay refer to some Israelis as ‘scum’?

She is covering the Gaza-Israel conflict, and is in Sderot, which is on the border with Gaza. Her tweet explains it all:

CNN's Diana Magnay deleted this tweet after sending it. Too late.

CNN’s Diana Magnay deleted this tweet after sending it. Too late.

A cursory look through Magnay’s twitter feed does not reveal her ever referring to Palestinian Arabs as “scum,” when they hand out candy when Israelis or Americans are killed.  She even covered the trial of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik and, although she didn’t seem to like him much, never referred to him with negative terms.

Magnay has not yet responded to a request for comment.

 

 

PM Netanytahu Tells Us How He Will Defeat Hamas (in 2009) [video]

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

In this 2009 video, Bibi Netanyahu tells us how to defeat Hamas in Gaza.

Bibi knew back then what needed to be done.

So why isn’t PM Netanyahu listening to his younger self?

Maybe someone can send this video his way.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/pm-netanytahu-tells-us-how-to-defeat-hamas-in-2009-video/2014/07/16/

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