IMAGINE. . . (not the John Lennon song)

Posted: July 28, 2011 in Israel, Sderot


. . .you live in a lovely desert town like Carlsbad, New Mexico[1]. You are very near an international border. You live in a comfortable Mediterranean-style white, cement house with tile roof. Nearby is a large mall built around a building-supply and hardware store. The mall is complete with restaurants, specialty shops and down the small streets which adjoin it you see Arab restaurants and dry-good stores.

It’s a school day, but unlike Carlsbad your heart quickens and eventually pounds in your chest as you load the kids into the car. Suddenly the air-raid siren begins to wail, just as you had feared. It has happened a thousand times before. The infant begins to shriek; the kids’ faces are etched with terror: they remember what happened last time.

It is not Carlsbad, New Mexico, it is Sderot on Israel’s western Negev. You have 15 seconds! The older children know the drill. They wait for you to unlock the door to the house. At least this time you were not half-way to the school and trying desperately to re-direct the car to the nearest shelter. The baby is screaming more loudly now but the older ones just ‘run the drill’. Down the hall, open the home-bomb-shelter door. . . three, two. . . pull the door shut. . . a chest-collapsing explosion and the flesh-shredding rain of shrapnel (ball-bearings, nuts, bolts, scrap-metal).

In Carlsbad, the sun begins to get more intense as you drive the kids down the streets flowing with parents and school-children. There is the sound of kids shouting and the sight of them running down the streets past houses that had been there for 100 years.

The sound of the Mogen David Adom ambulances began to scream. The baby has exhausted itself crying and the wide-eyes of your boy and girl search your eyes for reason to calm. There isn’t any. Outside the bomb-shelter door you don’t know what you’ll find. Did it hit our house? It didn’t feel like it. Was it close enough that our windows shattered and there will be a clean-up job and danger from the glass and debris. Were any of our neighbours killed? Were any of them children?

Arriving at the school in Carlsbad, the kids erupt from the line of car doors after kissing Mom and joyfully join friends heading for the front door of the schoolhouse as the teacher presides over a roughly-orderly entry. The class-bell rings and the rivulets of youthful humanity flow into the classrooms and drain the hallway into silence.

Twisted rebar, dust and the smell of explosives greet those that emerge from the shelters. Today there is no large fire: just a pool of blood on the sidewalk and a splattering against the house wall. The grieving wail of a daughter over an elderly mother is drowned by the wail of a departing ambulance. This was to be the first of 3 rockets this day; daily-life shattered every few hours. Why? Because they’re Jews. They have no oil.

Sderot Police Station: vestiges of Qassam and Katyusha rockets

“Qassam’s are notoriously inaccurate. . .” the international press say. . .“only 13 Jews have been killed (the international press say…) but 10,000 rockets and mortars were not designed to miss. “They are just home-made devices” (the international press would say…) indeed, but if YOUR kids were being sniped at in the schoolyard by a psychopath with a home-made gun who was a poor marksman, would you be un-concerned? The world is indeed, unconcerned. Jewish blood has been cheap for 2500 years.

There are many American cities of 20,000 people near the Mexican border that could have been chosen and many might have been better for comparison. But the issue is that no other nation on earth would have endured what Israel has endured. But the international ‘knife’ is at its throat. Till Operation Cast Lead [2] was executed Sderot was abandoned by their national government, the international (so-called) community, the New York City Dictators Club, and most of their brothers and sisters in the Jewish Diaspora. They saw neighbours flee and neighbours stay. They saw their families and friends injured, killed, maimed or traumatized to the point where over a 60% of the population would be requiring PTSD treatment for the rest of their lives. In the meantime they saw European and North American development aide flow into the hands of a newly-democratically-elected terrorist authority in Gaza. Those who were tormenting them were being rewarded.

Rocket on display

In towns like Carlsbad the mothers worry about their husbands being laid off work. In Sderot, the mothers worry about their husband being blown to pieces in a rocket attack. In Carlsbad mothers worry about their children being victim of predators on the internet. In Sderot mothers worry about their children being shredded by ball-bearings from a Qassam. In Carlsbad mothers worry about their friends getting a divorce. In Sderot it is worry that their friend’s mangled body will be found on the street – blown to pieces. After Cast Lead, did the rockets stop? No!

No poignant two-hour documentaries or Hollywood films have been made to portray the terror, the grief, the lost limbs, the lost eyes, the traumatized children, the resulting poverty and the hopelessness for those who could not afford to leave. Most soul-crushing of all is the disgusting realization that in the Gazan communities, celebrations were being held and candy given to children to celebrate your death, pain and disfigurement.

Christian film makers and productions like With God on our Side or Little Town of Bethlehem find it difficult to identify with Jews. Beside, they would be persecuted, risk injury and death and lose much of their funding if they did. NOT GOOD BUSINESS!

So just as the conservative Israeli’s said: “Give up Gaza unilaterally and you will turn it into a terrorist training camp and rocket-launching pad.” But the American government and the NYC Dictator’s Club predicted peace and as with the 8 other empty promises of course, things got worse for the Jews.

Mall in Sderot

This pretty little Israeli town has been under siege since 2001 and heroes and heroines have been putting their lives on the line to save it. A few people cared. Arcadi Gaydamak [3], the Israeli Airline El Al, Mogen David Adom and numerous Jewish relief agencies did what they could but in reality. . . in the larger scheme of international affairs and especially at the NYC Dictators club, Sderot is of NO significance. They have no oil.



[2] Israeli Defense Force 2009 incursion into Gaza to stop the rocket attacks on the Negev and the hundreds of tunnels bringing a constant flow of arms into Gaza from Egypt.

[3] A Russian billionaire who gave the beleaguered children of Sderot a much-needed reprieve from the terror. Sderot has had waves of immigration that included Kurdish, Persian and most recently Russian-Jewish immigration.

  1. Barb Churcher says:

    Very poignant – you painted an excellent picture, Roger, of what these innocents have to go through on a daily basis. And we spoiled Canadians/Americans complain about the weather!!!!
    Barb Churcher

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