Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Protecting S'derot

The news over the past few days and weeks has been all about Sderot. The question all the anchormen are asking the government is "How many classrooms are bombproof?, How many schools are 'protected'?" And there has been tremendous media hype about whether the government is living up to its promises in this area.

Now, after Kasaam rockets have fallen too close to a kindergarten, the parents' council of the Sderot schools have put all their kids on strike until the government finds a better solution.

Yesterday on the radio I heard a wonderfully eloquent mother from Sderot explain why all this topic of protection and bomb-proofing is just a decoy, a fake issue for politicians to hang their hat, but not addressing the real problem.

She said something to the spirit of the following.

"Can everyone please stop talking about how many classes are protected, and the whole issue of protection. It is nonsense; a hoax, a distraction, a ruse. After all, the streets are not protected. How should my child get to school. The school yard is not protected. Can kids be stuck indoors from 7:30 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.? And the supermarket isn't protected. How are we to do our shopping?

The most elementary responsibility of a government is to grant security to its citizens and residents. We have been seven years, seven years, under fire. Protection is a sham. They have to stop the rockets! We have Tzahal with all its power and might. What can Tzahal do successfully? Take settlers out of their homes? The government have to offer a solution beyond bomb-proofing classrooms. They have to take the war over to the other side.

Why should we live in fear? Why should we be terrified at any second that a bomb may fall? They should be living in fear rather than ourselves. Let our government make the people of Beit Hanun (in Gaza) fear every moment that a bomb may fall on them!"

She has a good point! This lady spoke gently but passionately, in a controlled manner. I know that we lived "under fire" on our roads for a year of the intifada. It took an enormous emotional toll on many. I cannot fathom how the residents of Sderot are managing. And were the government listening? Maybe! Just yesterday Defense Minister Barak started suggesting that for every Kassam rocket , we turn off the water and electricity to Gaza for a few hours. Maybe that would help? One of my friends suggested that for every Kassam that they fire. We should fire a Kassam, or 5 kassams. They are less deadly than modern weapons, but precisely the noise they make and the fact that they are so randomly aimed, makes them a civilian threat rather than a military weapon. Maybe rather than using computer guided missiles, we need low-tech kasaams. Give them some of their own treatment.

Every day as we say the psalm LeDavid Hashem Ori Veyishi, these lines, tak emy mind to Sderot:
תהלים פרק כז

(ה) כִּי יִצְפְּנֵנִי בְּסֻכֹּה בְּיוֹם רָעָה
יַסְתִּרֵנִי בְּסֵתֶר אָהֳלוֹ בְּצוּר יְרוֹמְמֵנִי:
(ו) וְעַתָּה יָרוּם רֹאשִׁי עַל אֹיְבַי סְבִיבוֹתַי

May God protect the people of Sderot in his shelter. And all I can say to them is that this Psalm should come true as God will raise you over and above the threatening acts of our enemies. In the meantime, be strong and have courage:

יד) קַוֵּה אֶל ה' חֲזַק וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ וְקַוֵּה אֶל ה

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi Rav Alex!
i'm not israeli, so it's not my place to tell you guys how to run your state.
but of course i'm gonna tell you anyway...
"They should be living in fear rather than ourselves."
what's that about?! granted, the kassams aren't going to stop falling until tzahal goes in there. but you're suggesting that we shoot indiscriminately, just like the terrorists.
we're not just like any other state, we're aiming to be 'or l'goyim', and every palestinian child killed in crossfire, or as part of collateral damage, puts us one step further from this aim.
anyway have a safe and sweet year.