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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Response to Sderot article

Published: March 14, 2008
Section: Opinions

Oftentimes, when I read anti-Israel articles, I strongly disagree with many of the sentiments raised by the author. However, I believe that I can find some common ground with the author of the article of “Enough about Sderot Already.”

I agree. I am also tired of hearing about Sderot. I feel sick when I read day after day about the terrorists who fire an average of 3.2 Qassam rockets a day at innocent men, women, and children. When the siren goes off, blaring “tzeva adom,” people run for their lives into cramped bomb shelters. The rockets are fired at all hours of the day, when the children are in school, when families are at home eating dinner, and when elderly people are walking to the grocery store. The residents of Sderot are completely traumatized from the daily stress they endure, and suffer from severe anxiety and other issues. There is all this talk about the allegedly occupied territories, but it is important to realize that Sderot is not occupied. It is part of Israel proper; it is not a disputed territory. If the issue here is the so called “occupation,” why do the Palestinian terrorists continue to attack within Israel proper? One only needs to read the Palestinian textbooks, or watch Palestinian mainstream TV, or read the Hamas charter, to understand that it is because their main goal is to rid Israel of all Jews.

I also agree with the author that in many ways the situation in Sderot is a perfect microcosm of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. In the summer of 2005, Israel withdrew from the Gaza strip and from a large area in Northern Samaria, and the Palestinians response to that was to fire over 4,000 rockets at innocent Israeli civilians. Israel compromised with the Palestinians in an effort to make peace, but the Palestinians have not proven themselves to be a true partner for peace in any sense. This is similar to what happened after Camp David II. The Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered Yasser Arafat 91-97% of the disputed territories, military control of Eastern Jerusalem, and Administrative control of the Temple Mount. However, Arafat walked away from the negotiations without making a counter-offer and launched a war of terror, killing many innocent Israeli civilians in brutal terrorist attacks.

Since September 2000, there have been over 15,000 terrorist attacks in Israel. Palestinian terrorists have the stated goal to kill and maim as many innocent civilians as possible. No other nation in the word is surrounded by as many sworn enemies bent on its destruction. Israel has a responsibility to protect her citizens. Israel’s killing of terrorists is necessary in order to protect the lives of its citizens, who are the target of future attacks. I agree with the author that it is unfortunate and upsetting that innocent Palestinian civilians die. Unfortunately though, Palestinian terrorist often hide amongst civilians, including children. When the terrorists stop using unarmed human beings as their personal shields, there will be significantly less casualties, but unfortunately, that is the present reality the IDF faces in fulfilling their responsibility to protect Israel’s citizens.

If the Palestinians stop indoctrinating their people with hate and promoting terrorism in the media, textbooks, and daily conversation, things could be different. Perhaps if Hamas, which now controls the Gaza strip, took responsibility for their people and used some of the billions of dollars they have received in humanitarian aid to improve living conditions for their people, the situation would not be as bad there. Maybe if the Palestinian government responded to some of Israel’s efforts, and became a true partner for peace, we wouldn’t have to read about the deaths of innocent civilians. Until the Palestinians become a true partner for peace, and Hamas acts like a proper governing body, and the media, teachers, and leaders stop glorifying a culture of hatred and violence towards the Jews though, I guess we will continue to say, “Enough about Sderot already.”