Two video clips caught my attention last week which reminded me of the constant suffering of the people of Sderot. Whilst Gaza is always in the news, the hardship of those who have lived in Sderot – right next to the Gaza Strip – for the past five years is wantonly ignored. I am ashamed to say that before watching these clips, I had put the suffering of the people of Sderot to the back of my mind.
The similarities between them and the people of Gaza also came back to me – while the people in Gaza are enslaved by their own leaders; the people of Sderot are enslaved by those same leaders.
For five years the people of Sderot have faced a daily barrage of rockets and mortars. Schools have closed down, psychological as well as physical damage has been done and worst of all I am reminded of what the Mayor of Sderot once said at a JNF event that I attended earlier in the year: ‘children have had their childhood taken away’. Whilst we in the west can take our children outside to the playgrounds, take them to school and let them play football the children of Sderot can only dream of this.
With these pressurised conditions it is no wonder that a large number of people have left Sderot. What is shocking is that the media feels it acceptable to ignore this tragedy. To me this smacks of double standards – is the suffering of Israeli citizens somehow less worthy news than Palestinian suffering? The people of Sderot do not deserve this – the town is Israel proper and is not part of the occupied territories. Israel pulled out of Gaza five years ago expecting peace, yet as the people of Sderot would testify, the reality has been quite the opposite.
The bomb shelter capital of the world (Archive)
For all intents and purposes, the people living in Sderot are innocent civilians. Innocent civilians living their lives in bomb shelters, while rockets fly above their heads. Some of these rockets are coming from the Iranian regime. Iran is determined to encourage conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Considering this one can see the danger that a nuclear-armed Iranian regime would supply ever more dangerous weapons to Hamas. The suffering of Sderot also highlights how Hamas is only interested in serving Islamist ideology, a Hamas government cares little for ordinary Gazans.
Two clips courtesy of the Sderot Media Centre really make clear the suffering of the people living in Sderot:
1. This shows the vast amount of money that the Israeli government is pouring into protecting its citizens. If Hamas was interested in peace (as the culturally relativists of the West seem to believe) they would do the same – that is, protect their people.
2. The chaos which ensues when a rocket hits a children’s centre
After seeing this one can understand the need for Israel to intervene in Gaza. Stopping the constant rocket fire is the duty of a free and democratic state. One can see by their actions how Hamas is a terrorist group who pursue an ideology for which human life means nothing. Perhaps next time you hear the news describing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, think of the people of Sderot; and then perhaps Israel’s claims of self-defence will not be painted as false by a disbelieving media.