Last Monday, Sderot Media Center director Noam Bedein presented about the devastating situation in Sderot. Noam presented his firsthand account of the danger that the people of Sderot live under as a result of constant Hamas-launched rocket attacks from within the bordering Gaza territory. Noam did not come to deny the legitimacy of other perspectives (which he didn’t), but to educate about his perspective as a civilian living in Sderot.
Sderot Media Center director Noam Bedein
While the distorted statistics used in the most recent Firing Line regarding this presentation may be compelling to some, they are absolutely unrelated to the narrative Noam presented. Noam came to present the facts regarding an aspect of Israeli life that is rarely discussed in the media. When the people of Sderot hear the emergency siren, they have 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter to safely avoid incoming rocket fire. Children are taught in school to run into bomb shelters and sing at the top of their lungs to cover the noise of exploding rockets around them. More than 12,000 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip since 2001, 439 of which exploded in Sderot. Furthermore, Palestinian rockets shot from Gaza have wounded more than 1,000 people in Israel since 2001, and between 70 to 94 percent of children and about 30 percent of adults in Sderot are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The fact that there have been few casualties as a result of this constant rocket attack attests to the Israeli government’s competence and willingness to invest time and resources into ensuring that its own citizens are safe. Furthermore, even being under Hamas rocket fire has not kept Israel from protecting Palestinians. In fact, the IDF made more than 165,000 calls to Gaza residents warning them of rocket strikes and distributed 2.5 million leaflets instructing Gaza civilians to stay away from terrorists and weapons storage sites, while Hamas gives inhabitants of Sderot only 15 seconds to get to safety. Sderot IS a victim of the conflict and Noam came to share its story.
Rachel Kutler, Plan II sophomore
Texans for Israel Pro-Israel Advocacy Chair and
Campus Fellow for CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America)