Before pressing Israel, world must address continued rocket attacks

By Findalis

From the Sderot Media Center

by Jacob Shrybman

A few days ago I was relaxing in my first-floor apartment in Sderot when there was a loud knock on my door. The government contractor tasked with building private bomb shelters attached to each unit in the building came to check my apartment. All across the city, private bomb shelters are popping up like spring flowers and are being utilized as the Color Red alarms continue to sound.

As Netanyahu gears up for his monumental visit to discuss the Middle East peace process with US President Barack Obama, are international leaders aware that terrorist rocket fire against Israeli civilians has not stopped?

As southern Israel prepares for the next barrage of rockets, the international media and leaders hype this visit to be of vital importance to a peace agreement. On May 4th The New York Times ran an article titled “Addressing US, Hamas Says it Grounded Rockets,” noting that only six rockets were fired at Israel in April. On May 5th Ynetnews ran an article titled “Dramatic Drop in Qassam Fire,” reporting that only 8 rockets were fired in April.

However, with a simple phone call to the Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson, the only in-the-field source, I was given the official military count of 23 rockets and 3 mortar shells for the month of April, significantly more than what was reported in the media. The world is being led to believe that the rockets have stopped when in fact there have been over 200 rockets since the ceasefire began on January 18th.

Working in Sderot for the Sderot Media Center, I knew that there were more than eight rockets last month. I began to track down the statistics and their sources. The reporter at Ynetnews cited the Shin Bet as its source.

So why is there is such a discrepancy between what I and the army see on the ground and report day-to-day, and what some Israeli officials and the news media are reporting to the world? Are Israeli and international politicians suggesting that Operation Cast Lead completely thwarted the threat from Hamas and Iran in the Gaza Strip?

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the so-called moderate Fatah, which proudly paint their rockets yellow to distinguish them from Hamas’ red and green, announced in the last week of April that he would never recognize Israel as a Jewish State. With such a definitive proclamation against a peaceful solution, with whom are Israeli and international leaders pushing the Jewish State to come to an agreement?

The rockets fired at Israeli citizens from the Gaza Strip by the Iranian-funded terrorist organization Hamas have not stopped. International leaders and the news media need to stop presenting statistics that foment this fallacy in the effort to force an agreement that will not bring shalom or salaam, but rather, be a mere piece of paper. All one needs to do is come to my first floor apartment in Sderot to be awakened to this continued reality of rockets.

Only a few rockets, as if that makes it better. Perhaps the editors of the New York Times, Huffington Post or Daily Kos wouldn’t mind a few rockets being fired into their homes on a daily basis. How long would it be before they raised their voices in protest against such action? A day? A week? A month? A year? 5 years? 8 years? Especially if the local authorities did nothing to stop the rocket attacks. Then they would understand the fustration that the citizens of Sderot feel.

by Anav Silverman

A Qassam rocket fired from Gaza slammed between two Sderot homes around 5:30 pm on Tuesday, May 19. The Tzeva Adom, Color Red siren blared twice in the city sending residents fleeing to area bomb shelters. After the second Color Red siren, an unusually loud explosion sounded throughout the city.

The sound of the rocket explosion shocked no one more than Ilan Dahan. Ilan was sleeping when the Qassam rocket crashed into his backyard right outside his bedroom.

Shula Dahan, owner of damaged home, on the phone.
Photo: Noam Bedein

“I slept right through the Color Red siren,” said Ilan. Ilan, dazed and shocked, guides us to his bedroom. His bed is full of broken glass, from a window right above the bed, which had shattered all over his back. “I felt the glass implode all over me,” he said.

“It’s a miracle that all I got was this small scratch,” Ilan told Sderot Media Center. A piece of broken glass struck Ilan’s back, leaving behind a red mark.

Both Ilan’s parents were home when the rocket struck. His father raced into Ilan’s bedroom after the rocket struck, picked his son up and carried him outside to safety. “At that point, I didn’t even realize that the rocket hit right outside our home,” said Ilan, who is 18 and getting ready to enter the army.

View the video here.

Shula, Ilan’s mother, looks at her son tearfully. “I never expected this to happen to us during a ceasefire,” she said. The family was sitting outside in the front of the home to cool off from the heat of the evening when the siren sounded.

“We didn’t react quickly enough to the siren,” said Shula. “If we had reacted, we would have raced to the back of the home where our new shelter is located. Most likely one of us would have been injured because the rocket exploded right outside the shelter.”

The back of the Dahan’s home suffered severe damage from the rocket blast. Broken glass and debris litters the floor, while holes from rocket shrapnel rocket mark the ceiling and walls. Outside, the Dahan’s shelter is also covered with shrapnel marks.

Align CenterSderot home damaged in Qassam attack on Tuesday, May 19.
Photo: Noam Bedein

The rocket explosion also damaged the home next to the Dahans.

Family members from both sides suffered shock, as did neighbors further along the street. Several people were treated for trauma on the scene.

The rocket attack comes around the same time that the Sderot Mental Health Center is shutting down. Dr. Adrianne Katz, the head of Sderot Mental Health told Sderot Media Center that the mental health center is closing due to budget cuts. The Sderot Mental Health Center has provided therapy treatments to thousands of Sderot trauma victims and has 5, 500 patients on file.

The Gaza rocket attacks on Sderot come after the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama in the White House on Monday.

During a White House press conference after the meeting, President Obama stated, that “there is a recognition that the Palestinians are going to have to do a better job providing the kinds of security assurances that Israelis would need to achieve a two-state solution, [and] gain additional legitimacy and credibility with their own people, and delivering services.”

Obama also added “that the situation in Sderot was unacceptable, and that he’d seen the situation there himself.”

Indeed, when Obama visited Sderot last year, he stated in a Sderot press conference “I will work from the moment that I return to America, to tell the story of Sderot and to make sure that the good people who live here are enjoying a future of peace and security and hope.”

He also stated that, “The first job of any nation state is to protect its citizens. If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I’m going to do everything in my power to stop that. And I would expect Israelis to do the same thing.”

Tuesday marked the fifth month since the Hamas-Israel ceasefire in mid-January. During that time, over 210 rockets have been fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza at Israel.

Security officer digging for the Qassam with Sderot mayor, David Bouskilla upfront.
Photo: Noam Bedein

Promises from then candidate Obama. Promises to secure the Jewish vote. But in reality Obama is anything but sympathetic to the plight of the people of Sderot and Israel. He is more concerned with his image and prestige in the Muslim world than any thing else. It is accepted in the Muslim world that there is only one solution to the problem, the total destruction of Israel, Western civilization, and the death to each Jew worldwide. That is the true goal of the OIC, Arab League, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and Hizbollah.

Yet President Obama ignores these facts and is committed to the fiction of a 2-State Solution. To achieve this aim President Obama has been pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu into making more concessions to the Arabs. Including giving away control of the most holiest sites in Judaism, The Temple Mount and The Kotel:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in Jerusalem Thursday night that the Israeli flag will continue to fly over the Western Wall (Kotel). The first prime minister in years to appear at the venerable yeshiva on Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), he ignored U.S. President Barack Obama’s apparent trial balloon that he wants to see the United Nations flag fly over the Old City holy sites.

This is a proposal that will never be accepted by the Jewish Nation! Either President Obama is a dim-witted idiot or he is stupidly naive. You choose.

Don’t be silent on this. Do something. Write a letter to your local paper, call Congress in protest, call the President in disgust, or sign up for SMS Alerts. And please find it in your heart to donate to the Sderot Media Center. Without them, the people of Sderot would have no voice. Just click on the logo at the top or bottom of this post.

And remember to keep the people of Sderot and Israel in your prayers.

Advertisements

Sderot to Congress: Don’t Finance Terror!

By Findalis


From the Sderot Media Center

Rockets still fall upon Sderot and Southern Israel. Even with a “cease-fire”, Hamas will not stop firing rockets.

By Anav Silverman

This week Kibbutz Kfar Aza mourned the death of Jimmy Kedoshim, a husband and father of three, who was killed last year in a Palestinian mortar attack on May 9, 2008. The mortar, fired from northern Gaza, struck Kedoshim, 48, in the backyard of his home. Kedoshim’s death was the first caused by mortar fire since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

A day after Kedoshim’s memorial service, the Kfar Aza community was reminded once again that Palestinian rockets still threaten the region. On Sunday, May 10, 2009 a Palestinian Qassam rocket slammed across Kibbutz Kfar Aza, this time landing in an open area in the Regional Council of Sdot Negev and Sha’ar HaNegev. No injuries or damages were reported.
Kedoshim was a well known and beloved figure in the Kfar Aza community.

“The death of Jimmy Kedoshim was devastating for the entire Kfar Aza community,” Karen, a Kfar Aza mother told Sderot Media Center last year. Jimmy, a professional sky diver, raised his three children on the Kfar Aza kibbutz with his wife Anna.

*YNET News contributed to this report.

The media cries that these are homemade rockets, they do little damage and cause very few injuries and deaths. I have a proposition for the members of the media then. Someone will go over to your house with a gun and fire randomly into your home. They will do this for the next 8 years. The media will not cover the event, the police will not stop it. No bullet fired will be aimed. What will YOU do? After all they are just bullets of a small caliber, they do little damage and cause minimum injuries.

You see how your argument is faulty?

by Anav Silverman

Back in March, Sderot Media Center director, Noam Bedein held a special briefing with US Congressmen and their advisors on Capitol Hill, where he highlighted the rocket situation in Sderot and southern Israel in a meeting initiated by the EMET organization President, Sarah Stern.

A day previously, on Monday March 2, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had pledged $900 million at a conference in Egypt set to raise billions of dollars for Gaza reconstruction after Operation Cast Lead.

Following the meeting between Bedein and the Congressmen on Capitol Hill, Democratic Representative Shelley Berkley (D-Nev) sent a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which demanded that the aid to Gaza be delayed as long as the rocket fire continues and Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian terrorists three years ago, remains captive by Hamas.

Joining Berkley in her efforts to place conditions on the $300 million in US aid for Gaza, is Representative Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.). Three weeks ago, Reps. Elliot and Berkley drafted a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Appropriations Committe; Congressmen David Obey and Jerry Lewis respectively. Reps. Eliot and Berkley stated that “we are concerned that – in the aftermath of Hamas’ unprovoked attacks on Israel – sending hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza without conditions will send precisely the wrong message at the wrong time”

In addition, the Congressmen also added that “ it is essential that we not simply write a “blank check” for the Gaza-based Palestinians to continue” its missile attacks on Israel.

“We must instead send a message that the United States will help with the needs of the Palestinians if–and only if–they meet the conditions of the international community to recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and commit to all agreements that they have signed with Israel. Not only has Hamas failed to meet any of these conditions, it has not stopped raining rockets on Israeli territory and still holds captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It is essential that we condition our funding for Gaza on Hamas’ complying with these basic demands.

Read the full letter below.

April 28, 2009

The Honorable David R. Obey, Chairman

The Honorable Jerry Lewis, Ranking Member

Committee on Appropriations

H-218, The Capitol

Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Obey and Ranking Member Lewis:

We write to you today regarding the President’s request for supplemental funding in fiscal year 2009. It has come to our attention that within President Obama’s request is $900 million in funding for the West Bank and Gaza. We are concerned that – in the aftermath of Hamas’ unprovoked attacks on Israel – sending hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza without conditions will send precisely the wrong message at the wrong time.

In late 2008, Hamas intensified its missile attacks on Israel, using Gaza as a launching pad to terrorize the population of Sderot and other communities in southern Israel. Even after Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005, the unprovoked assault by unguided rockets of terror continued. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) finally retaliated against these attacks, after showing incredible restraint for many years, destroying a great deal of Hamas’ infrastructure within Gaza. While the IDF attempted to minimize civilian casualties, there was damage to many areas in Gaza. The blame for this, however, rests firmly on Hamas’ shoulders, as they began the unprovoked shelling on Israeli cities and were warned repeatedly that the continued shelling would bring a strong response from Israel. Further, Hamas conducted its combat operations from heavily-populated civilian areas and, thus, was responsible for the protection of the civilians in the area. Indeed, this use of unarmed men, women, and children as human shields was shocking and disgraceful.

It is, therefore, essential that we not simply write a “blank check” for the Gaza-based Palestinians to continue acting this way. We must instead send a message that the United States will help with the needs of the Palestinians if – and only if – they meet the conditions of the international community to recognize Israel, renounce terrorism, and commit to all agreements they have signed with Israel. Not only has Hamas failed to meet any of these conditions, it has not stopped raining rockets on Israeli territory and still holds captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It is essential that we condition our funding for Gaza on Hamas’ complying with these basic demands. Without such links, Palestinians will see the U.S. as providing aid while Hamas continues to terrorize the Israeli people, with no consequences from the U.S. government.

We urge you to condition our funding on reciprocal actions from Hamas. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Shelley Berkley

Member of Congress

Eliot Engel

Member of Congress

*The JTA News Service contributed to this report.

The United States has pledged $1.1 billion to Gaza. This is effectively giving $1.1 billion to Hamas. For the only funds that are going to Gaza are going to Hamas. Do you believe for one moment that any of the allocated funding will go to rebuild homes, schools, etc…? If you do I got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. It is an antique, but in very good condition (real cheap too).

This has got to end. There should be no funds sent until:

  1. Hamas recongizes Israel not only has a right to exist but is a Jewish nation.
  2. The return of Gilad Schalit safe and unharmed.
  3. The immediate ceasation of all attacks on Israel.

After those 3 points are met, then the $1.1 billion in aid should be sent.

It seems that the Obama administration is hell bent on the destruction of the Jewish Nation. Call or write your Representative today! Don’t allow your tax dollars to be sent to a terrorist organization. Make your voice heard!

100 Days, 199 Rockets

by Findalis

From the Sderot Media Center:

by Jacob Shrybman

The weekly Jewish Sabbath intended for rest and rejuvenation was nothing of the sort this Friday and Saturday as more rockets and mortars struck southern Israel. One qassam and two mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel prompting the Israeli Air Force to target 5 smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Hamas controlled territory. The Israeli Defense Forces said that this targeting of tunnels was a clear message that there would be a response to every rocket fire.

In the 105 days since the end of the 21 day Operation Cast Lead on January 18th there has been 199 missiles fired at Israeli civilians. More specifically there have been 128 qassam rockets, 66 mortar shells, and 5 grad missiles. These most recent attacks only add to the well over 10,000 missiles that have been fired at Israeli civilians since January 2001.

Archive Photo

Head of Shaar Hanegev Regional Council Alon Shuster commented on the weekend’s rocket fire, “We have no reason to assume that the rocket fire will stop. We did not come to any agreement with or defeat our enemies. The rocket fire is a strategic threat that will follow us in the coming years.”

In a cease-fire both sides must stop all attacks. The Israelis stopped Operation Cast Lead as a favor to Barack Obama, yet they have gotten nothing in return. How much longer does Israel have to endure before they finally finish the job that they started last December?

by Anav Silverman

Much of the international community and even Israelis living outside the western Negev periphery, are under the impression that rocket fire against Sderot and southern Israel has completely ceased. Israeli news websites and radio stations have carried reports asserting that the number of rockets fired against Israelis in the south has reached all time lows.

While it is true that rocket fire has significantly decreased, Sderot and western Negev residents are still reeling from the impact of the war. The director of the Sderot Mental Health Center, Dr. Adrianna Katz told Sderot Media Center yesterday that area residents are streaming into her clinic, seeking therapy for developing ‘post-war’ trauma symptoms.

Dr. Adriana Katz

“Many new Sderot patients are coming in for help, even though they have lived with the rocket terror for eight years now,” says Dr. Katz. “PTSD symptoms among area residents emerge during periods of ‘quiet’ like now. Many seeking therapy had tried unsuccessfully on their own to suppress these symptoms of trauma during the past rocket escalations.”

PTSD or post-traumatic-stress-disorder is an anxiety disorder which develops after exposure to a terrifying event ordeal which physical harm occurred or was threatened. People suffering from PTSD have a severe an ongoing emotional reaction to extreme psychological trauma. Symptoms include flashbacks and nightmares, difficulty falling asleep, numbness and detachment-all of which impair social and familial relationships as well as performance at work.

Victims of PTSD often avoid stimuli associated with their trauma. In Sderot, it is often impossible for residents to escape the reality that has brought on the trauma symptoms because of the fragile quiet. Dr. Katz explained that recovering patients who hear the Color Red siren just once-the alarm that sends civilians fleeing to shelters– will go back to experiencing PTSD symptoms.

Indeed, since the ceasefire in mid-January, the Color Red siren has been set off almost weekly in Sderot.

“During the war, my staff discovered a new type of anxiety that developed among Sderot residents, which we termed ‘optimistic anxiety,’“ said Dr. Katz. “Although residents were fearful of the rocket fire, they also experienced for the first time in years– a sense of optimism that the operation would completely end the rocket terror.”

“However, Sderot residents do not believe that the operation brought about a complete nor lasting change as it was finished halfway. In fact, because the rocket attacks have spread as far as Netivot, Ashdod, and Be’er Sheba, Sderot residents feel even less secure,” Dr. Katz related.

“Many families left Sderot during the war and traveled to nearby cities which they believed were safe from rocket attacks, only to find out they were not. This fact, which was revealed during the war, has spurred on further anxiety among patients.”

Over 5, 500 patient files have opened in the Sderot Mental Health, who has a staff of four counselors, since Palestinian rocket fire on the city began in 2002. Out of those files, 2,500 are active, with many patients seeking treatment for the long term, said Dr. Katz. She did not have an exact number on how many new patients have come in for treatment since the war.

Dr. Katz believes that there are many more PTSD victims in Sderot who are not seeking help. Most residents who do come to Dr. Katz are referred to by a doctor or medical expert, while few arrive by their own initiative.

Dr. Katz offers a small smile when I ask her if she has any hope for a lasting peace in the region. “Not at this moment,” she says as she gets ready to greet her next patient.

PTSD is the most common mental disorder in Sderot. It affects men and women, young and old alike. Any where else in the world, levels of PTSD in a city’s population would be considered epidemic with the Main Stream Media jumping over themselves to carry the story. Yet the media is silent about this. The media in the US is silent until Israel tries to stop the rockets, and then they condemn Israel. But you do not have to be silent. You have a voice. Make yourself heard! Contact your local paper, television station, CNN, Fox News, NBC, etc… Let them know that you don’t accept that the perpetrators of these acts are NOT the victims! The true victims are the people of Sderot. Especially the children. Little ones who suffer from PTSD and have no voice in America.

And if you are able, please donate a few dollars to the Sderot Media Center. Just click on the logo at the top or bottom of this article. It will take you to their donation site.

The Children of Sderot have no voice. Will you be that voice for them?

Lets Play Pretend

View at YouTube

UNRWA, Rockets and DePaul University

by Findalis


From the Sderot Media Center

3 stories, 3 different tales.

UNRWA, where is the money going?

by Anav Silverman

In recent years, billions of dollars have poured into Gaza from hundreds of countries and international organizations. How much of that money has actually reached Palestinian civilians, effectively improving their quality of life and economy, has yet to be completely determined thanks to vague audits and on-line information.

Only recently, with a relatively silent international press, have there been questions from top political leaders, primarily from US, about the way in which the donor money will be transferred into Gaza.

At an Egyptian donor’s conference organized by Norway and Egypt in early March, more than 75 international donors and organizations met to announce their financial support of the reconstruction in Gaza. Over $5.2 billion were pledged at the conference, surprising the Palestinian Authority who originally called for $2.8 billion needed to build-up Gaza.

In light of the US pledge of $900 million, the second largest following Saudi Arabia‘s $1 billion at the conference, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton stated that no US funds earmarked for Gaza would end up in the “wrong hands.”

By wrong hands, Clinton meant Hamas, the militant Islamist Palestinian party in complete control of the Gaza Strip. Over $300 million dollars of the US pledge money will be going to Gaza reconstruction, while the rest of the $600 million has been earmarked to Palestinian Authority‘s Mahmoud Abbas.

However, there is another set of “wrong hands” in this scenario through which the transfer of funds may very well pass through, hands that are not considered a neutral player in the Arab-Israeli conflict. US State department spokesman, Gordon Duguid stated that Gaza support would be provided through USAID, in coordination with UN agencies that will most likely include UNRWA.

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief Works Agency, established in 1949 to aid Palestinian refugees, has shown dangerous partiality to Hamas terrorists.

In 2004, former UNRWA commissioner-General Peter Hansen revealed to the Canadian Broadcasting Company that UNRWA may very well employ Hamas members. “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don’t see that as crime,” Hansen infamously stated. He further added, that “We do not do political vetting and exclude people from one persuasion as against another.”

UNRWA has employed several high profile terrorists which include top Islamic Jihad rocket maker, Awad Al-Qiq who was killed in an Israeli air strike last May 2008. Al-Qiq was the headmaster and science instructor at an UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza. Another terrorist, Hamas’s interior minister and head of the Executive Force, Said Siyam, was a teacher for over two decades in UNRWA schools.

Fox News recently reported that UNRWA does not ask its employees whether they are members of, or affiliated with, a terrorist organization such as Hamas or Islamic Jihad. UNRWA also offers no formal screening to ensure that its employees are not affiliated with terrorist organizations.

During Operation Cast Lead, UNRWA officials accused Israel of firing into an UNRWA school, killing dozens of Palestinian civilians seeking refuge. Israel maintained that Palestinian rocket launchers locate next to the school had fired mortars on IDF soldiers, which prompted the army’s response. Later, UN official Maxwell Gaylord, reversed the UN’s stance stating that the shelling and fatalities had actually taken place outside of the school. But the media damage to Israel had already been done.

Mortar Bombs Shot from UN School in Gaza 29 Oct. 2007

View at YouTube

Continue reading here.

Have you ever wondered where all the money is ending up? Billions of dollars and Euros. Some
of it from US taxpayers. The United Nations is to be supporting peace not war.

by Anav Silverman

Over 180 Palestinian rockets have been fired at Israel since the unilateral ceasefire began on January 18, according to the IDF Spokeperson’s Unit. The latest Qassam rocket attack targeted Ashkelon on Tuesday, March 24 after a 10 day lull. A Qassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit the Ashkelon are on Tuesday afternoon. No injuries or damage were reported.

Between March 17-24, three Palestinian mortar shells were fired at IDF forces operating along the border security fence. Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for the mortar shells fired on March 22.

The last rocket attacks on Israel took place a week ago, on March 14, when Palestinian rockets slammed into the western Negev. The last rocket attack on Sderot took place on March 5, when a Qassam slammed into an open area in Sderot.

Although Hamas recently condemned the Qassam rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, the rocket attacks have continued throughout March. Hamas stated that although it has fired thousands of rockets in the past, its military wing was not behind recent attacks. The militant Islamic group in control of Gaza also stated that it was actively investigating who was responsible for the rocket fire.

On the day on which Israeli PM Ehud Olmert declared the ceasefire effective, January 18, Palestinian terror networks fired a total of 19 rockets at Israeli civilians in the south. Three of the rockets were fired after Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other Palestinian networks declared a truce on the afternoon of January 18.

A week into the ceasefire, one IDF soldier was killed and three wounded in a roadside bombing on January 27.

Qassams, mortar shells, and Grad rockets have continued slam into Israel sporadically since the truce, with Sderot and western Negev residents entering bomb shelters between one to two times a week.

On February 1, the first grad-Katyusha was fired at Israel since Operation Cast Lead, following two more Grad rockets fired at southern Israel on February 13 and February 21 respectively.

On February 28, nine rockets including two newly advanced Grad-type rockets slammed into Ashkelon. In what was the worst attack since the ceasefire, a Grad rocket slammed into an Ashkelon school, causing heavy damages. The Grad rocket tore through the school, after the air raid siren sounded in the morning, with shrapnel destroying several classrooms. Seven people living nearby the school suffered from stress-related trauma.

The Ashkelon municipality was forced to shut down the school for sometime until repairs could be made. The Grad rocket that hit the school had a range of about 14 km or 8.6 miles, and was designed to cause massive damage.

*Ha’aretz.com, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and YNet News contributed to this report.

For the people of Southern Israel, there is no cease-fire, no truce. Yet the liberals moonbats cry that Israel must honor the cease-fire, the truce. Why aren’t they screaming for Hamas to do the same?

Attacking Sderot at DePaul University

by Jacob Shrybman

One week ago I shared the human side of the conflict in southern Israel and told my personal stories from Sderot in a presentation at Depaul University in Chicago sponsored by StandWithUs, Hillel, and the university’s Political Science department. As a representative of Sderot Media Center, I traveled from Israel to explain the daily reality of rocket fire that has been plaguing the country for the past eight years. Still one week after I told personal stories of having 15 seconds to run for my life, because of the overshadowing anti-Semitic harassment and disruption caused by pro-Hamas student and non-student organizations my message of understanding and empathy for the people of southern Israel has not yet permeated peoples’ minds.

Tolerating Intolerance – Trailer

View at YouTube

I wasn’t 30 hours off the plane from Israel before I was greeted with more direct anti-Semitism than qassam rockets fired at Sderot. Several anti-Israel posters draped the entrance to the building in which I was to tell my personal stories. I began my presentation with a small audience of around 20 people and as my presentation went on the room began filling with people not merely against Israel’s political policies and action but people in clear support of the terrorist organization Hamas.

When I welcomed the custom of a question and answer period following my presentation the very right of free speech that I welcomed to the audience of now over 100 people was thrown in my face and denied to me. To start the question and answer period, an audience member verbally attacked me, stated his support for the firing of rockets into Israel, and ended his anti-Semitic rhetoric filled rant with a question irrelevant to anything in my presentation. I then pointed out to the audience the same fact I want to point out in this article, that this person was not simply criticizing Israel but was clearly expressing his support for the terrorist organization Hamas. Before I could finish answering the question that was underneath all the threatening hate filled propaganda in this audience member’s statement I was interrupted and silenced by the overwhelming Hamas supporters. Next another audience member rose up in the front of the room and screamed out calling me a “dirty whore” in Arabic and proceeded to grab his crotch and scream “Here’s your qassam!” in Arabic.

Continue reading here.

I am not surprised at the reaction from DePaul University. It is an established fact that the majority of US Collages and Universities openly support anti-Semitism and this rhetoric. In fact a student who is Jewish will get lower grades by the majority of their professors if it is brought to the professor’ s attention that the student is a Jew. It is chic to be an anti-Semite now on 99% of the campuses today.

Documentation of this has become a goal of Gary Fouse of Fousequawk.

I ask you, my reader to remember the people of Sderot and Southern Israel in your prayers. I am going to ask you to consider carefully what school you are planning to attend (or your child) and whether that school allows hate speech such as is seen in the video above and others that can be found on the internet. Do you want your child indoctrinated into Nazi rhetoric? Do you want your hard earned dollars supporting Nazi ideology disguised as sympathy for Palastinians? If you are an allumni of such a school and a supporter of Israel, why are you sending the school money to continue these activities?

And like I always do, I will ask you to donate to the Sderot Media Center. Just click on the logo at the top or bottom of this post. It will take you right to the donation page.

Now is not the time for people to be silence.

Evil flourishes when good men do nothing!

Why Are We Giving Money To Terrorists Secretary Clinton?

by Findalis


From the Sderot Media Center

March 11,2009

U.S. congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-Nev), a member of the Middle East Subcommittee of the US House Foreign Affairs Commttee, has sent a letter to US Secretary of State Clinton in which she demands that the American government condition $900 million in Gaza aid for Palestinians on ending Gazan rocket fire on Israel and release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged that $900 million during a conference in Egypt last week, which sought to raise money for rebuilding Gaza after Israel’s three-week incursion into Gaza, which was
aimed at halting Gaza rocket fire on southern communities.

Shalit has been held as a hostage by the Gaza regime Gaza since a cross-border raid in June 2006.

Rep. Berkley’s letter to Secretary followed a meeting on Capitol Hill last Tuesday with the Sderot Media Center, who briefed Congrress about what life is like in rocket-battered Sderot The Sderot Media Center brought Congress s series of first hand audiovisual reports of the 120 rocket attacks that have been launched from Gaza since Israel ceased its military incursion into Gaza on Jan. 18, two days before President Obama was inaugurated.

After the briefing with the Sderot Media Center, Rep. Shelley Berkley dispatched a strong letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which demanded that the aid be delayed as long as the Gaza rocket fire continues and so long as Shalit remains captive.

Video of Sderot Media Center presentation on Cap. Hill: (takes a few minutes to download)

View video here.

Here is the text of the letter.

March 5, 2009

The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Madam Secretary:

I write to you today regarding the situation in the Middle East. In the wake of Hamas’ attacks on Israel, and Israel’s defensive operations, I understand the U.S. government has pledged to grant $900 million for the rebuilding of Gaza and for assisting the Palestinian Authority. I am concerned that this money will end up helping Hamas and hurting the very Palestinian people we intend to help.

For years, the U.S. has infused money into the Palestinian Authority (PA), with very little to show for it. Their leaders are no more ready to govern today than they were before we began our funding. After years of mismanagement, their basic institutions are in shambles and they have shown very little ability to govern in the West Bank without the presence of the Israeli Defense Forces. Instead of helping average Palestinians, our money has lined the pockets of the Arafats and other corrupt Palestinian leaders.

I also understand our funding will not be conditioned on any reciprocal actions by Hamas or the PA. Despite Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas still refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, has not stopped raining rockets on Israeli territory and still holds captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It is essential that we condition our funding on Hamas’ reciprocating with these basic demands. Without such links, Palestinians will see the U.S. as providing aid while Hamas continues to terrorize the Israeli people, with no consequences from the U.S. government.

I am also concerned that much of the funding will be directed through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Unfortunately, UNRWA has proven itself to be a biased agency, with very little oversight. During the most recent violence in Gaza, UNRWA issued numerous statements attacking Israel for their self-defense actions, while failing to criticize Hamas for launching missiles at innocent Israeli citizens. Much of UNWRA’s money and services end up in the hands of people who are wealthy enough not to need the assistance, or worse, with members of terrorist organizations. UNRWA officials have even admitted that they cannot guarantee their money does not go to Hamas. I believe helping UNRWA does not further the cause of peace.

With $900 million of our taxes now going to Hamas (forget about what Hillary said, it will end up in the hands of Hamas), I am now wondering why do I bother to pay taxes any way. And what will Hams do with this money? Will they spend it on infrastructure? New homes for the people of Gaza? Schools, Hospitals, Police and Fire Departments? NO! They will either squirrel most of it in Swiss Banks and/or buy more and deadlier rockets to molest Israel with.

It is time for Western Nations to step up to the plate and support Israel for once. It is time to force Hamas to:

  1. Return Gilad Schalit immediately!
  2. Stop all rocket attacks on Israel.

Supports of Hamas and other terrorist groups demand that Israel open the border crossings. But why should Israel? What will Israel get in return?

In 2005, Israel gave up Gaza. And what was given to Israel in return? Peace? Harmony? Friendship? NO! A barage of rockets and terror.

No nation upon the planet would have put up with a daily attack for 1 week let alone 8 years. But Israel is forced by the International Community to.

It is time for us to take action. We can no longer be silent on this. We have to stand up for wht is right. You, my reader, can do something. You can write your Congressman, your Senator, the President, you local newspaper. You can receive Code Red Alerts to show solidarity with the people of Sderot. You can pray for the people of Sderot. And if you are able, you can donate to the Sderot Media Center. Just click on the logo at the top or bottom of the post and follow the instructions from there.

But don’t just do nothing!

Sometimes Purim Means More

by Findalis

Cartoon from Jewlarious. Click to enlarge.

The joy of the Purim Holiday means that even the threat of rockets fired daily from Gaza is not sacred. In fact, Purim becomes more joyous in their face.

Take this story of Purim fun from Sderot.

Purim is a favorite holiday among Jewish children, teenagers and even adults. It is a holiday where we dress up in costumes, eat sweets and make merry. We do all this to remember the salvation that the Jews of Iran experienced thousands of years ago, when they were saved from a nation-wide death sentence.

Since then, every Jewish home celebrates this holiday by giving gifts to the poor, reading the Book of Esther which tells the story of Purim and holding a celebratory feast with family and guests to commemorate the miracle.

The girls of the Sderot Media theater group, “Youth of the Kassam Way” celebrated Purim in their respective Sderot high schools on Sunday. SMC staff paid a special visit to the schools to join in the celebrations. The girls, who were all very excited for the holiday, were dressed up in sparkling and ravishing costumes. Many of the girls were dressed up as fairytale characters. Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, queens and fairies were seen walking around. Some also dressed up as different animals such as bees or butterflies, and of course there were many clowns. The teachers also dressed up, adding to the festivities and excitement. We will not forget to mention the feast we had with the girls, with the tables full of different delicious foods.

View the video by Jacob Shrybman here.

Sadly, as usual, the everyday routine of the people of Sderot began with a morning barrage of rockets. In the course of the weekend, five Qassam rockets struck the Western Negev area, and two rockets fell in the Ashkelon region. Today four rockets were fired at the Eshkol region. There were no injuries or damage.

Purim is a holiday characterized by a monumental miracle–an entire nation survived a harsh death sentence designed to obliterate every last man, woman and child. According to the Book of Esther, Haman, a royal vizier to King Ahasuerus set a decree to kill all the Jews in the Persian kingdom. His plans were foiled by Esther, the Jewish Queen and wife to the Persian King Ahasuerus. We remember this miracle with much gratitude.

So too, here in Sderot, we hope for the end of the rockets, so that we can return to normal life and celebrate the Festival of Purim in happiness, joy, and peace.

I pray that the people of Sderot can celebrate the next Purim in peace and joy. I pray that next Purim the only worries that any child of Sderot will have is what costume to wear. I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and the other holy places.

I know you, my reader have prayed this prayer too. I know many of you have signed up for the Code Red Alerts, if you haven’t you can sign up here. And like always I ask that if you can spare the extra cash to donate to the Sderot Media Center. Just click on the grogger at the bottom of the post and follow the instructions from there. They do great work in Sderot for the people of Sderot.

Have A Happy And Joyous Purim!

Golda Meir and Keith Ellison

by Findalis

From the Sderot Media Center.

A strange mixture of a headline. A former Prime Minister of Israel and an avowed Muslim Congressman.

First the Congressman:

US Congressmen Brian Baird and Keith Ellison Visit Gaza and Sderot

by Anav Silverman

Following a day tour in Gaza, members of Congress, Brian Baird (D-Washington) and Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) spent an hour in Sderot touring the city with Sderot Media Center director, Noam Bedein and staff on Friday, February 20.

In Sderot, the Congressmen met with the Amar family whose home was destroyed in a Palestinian rocket attack in December 2007. Both US President Obama and Senator John McCain had visited the Amars during their tour of Sderot last year.

Congressman Ellison in Sderot

The Congressmen asked many questions during the visit and showed interest in understanding the full impact of rocket fire on Israeli civilians– including children– living in Sderot.

Dr. Adrianna Katz of the Sderot Mental Health Center spoke with the Congressmen at the Sderot Police Station, where hundreds of exploded rockets have been stored away. Representative Baird, a licensed clinical psychologist, was particularly interested in the psychological impact of the rocket fire. Dr. Katz explained that there is a ‘Qassam generation’ of Sderot children who have been born into the rocket fire.

“These kids, who experienced rocket attacks since 2001, know no other reality other than exploding rockets and ‘Tzeva Adom’ (Color Red) alert sirens. Their sense of peace and security has been shattered,” said Dr. Katz.

View the video of Ellison’s visit here.

“The rocket fire has impacted the economic situation, family relationships– all aspects of life here in Sderot. People live in constant fear and terror that a rocket may strike at any moment. Over 5,000 residents have been forced to leave and relocate elsewhere.”

“Israelis living in Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva and Ashdod are now experiencing that same terror for the first time, ” added Dr. Katz.

Accompanying the Congressmen on their visit, were Dr. Nick Palarino and Dr. Catherine Salsman.

Holding a Hamas-fired rocket at the Sderot Police Station, US Representative Ellison, the first Muslim elected to US Congress, commented on its heaviness. “A rocket explosion can impact up to 300 feet,” explained SMC director, Noam Bedein. “The models become more sophisticated and pack more explosives with each passing year.”

Bedein also pointed out that the Grad-model Katyusha rockets come directly from Iran. “Iran supplies Hamas with the rockets that target major Israeli cities. The rockets were smuggled through the tunnels dug between the Egyptian-Gaza border or by ship, during the last ceasefire.” During the war, the Grad rockets were able to target one million Israelis who still remain under Palestinian missile threat.

Both US representatives asked Dr. Katz her view on potential peace with the Palestinians. “Is the hatred towards the Palestinians deep-seeded on the Israeli side? asked Congressman Baird. “There is no hatred for the Palestinian people,” replied Dr. Katz. “Israelis here know that there is an underlying difference between the Hamas government and the average Palestinian citizen.

The two US representatives filmed the tour on their camera phones to share with relevant persons back in the US.

Congressman Ellison, who represents Minnesota, and Congressman Baird, who represents Washington state, had visited Gaza the day previously. It was the first time that anyone from the US government had entered the Gaza Strip since Hamas took power. Their visit to Gaza, according to Representative Brian Baird’s website, was not officially sanctioned by Obama Administration. However, US President Obama has stated in the past that he intends to improve ties with the Muslim world.

Indeed in a joint press release available on Congressman Baird‘s official government website, Congressmen Ellison and Baird spoke primarily of their visit to Gaza and their impressions of the situation there.

And now the Prime Minister:

by Jacob Shrybman

Moments after another “Tzeva Adom” warning siren rang out in Sderot I walked around the Sderot Media Center office wondering why it is that the Jewish nation must continually justify their actions for survival. No matter the measure taken to protect its people from rockets, missiles, bombs, guns, or heavier attack Israel comes under a barrage of condemnations and negative political pressure. It is nearing the 61st year since its establishment, so when will the Jewish state no longer have to defend its existence?

If the reason for these condemnations is because of numbers of casualties from Israel’s vital operations then where was the uproar when Arafat claimed that 10,000-20,000 were massacred in eleven days by the Jordanian army in September of 1970? These numbers, as well as other world conflict casualty statistics, overshadow the inflated number of 1,300 people that Hamas claims were killed by Israel during the three-week Operation Cast Lead.

A playground tube in Sderot.

Nonetheless, I resent the fact that the Jewish people and Israel need to constantly prove to the world that we have a right to defend ourselves and that we are not blood-thirsty monsters like often portrayed. More so I resent the fact that in order to bolster my case for Israel’s legitimacy I have to research and compare numbers of people killed by other nations versus numbers killed by the Jewish nation. Could the world truly think that Israel likes having to send its country’s youth into an extremely hostile urban combat setting where around every corner could be a booby-trapped explosive or kidnapping trap? Could the world truly think Israel’s self-centered politicians like suspending their election campaigns to handle the emergencies that come along with a military operation?

The world must understand that Israel cannot have 1 million of its citizens under the daily immediate threat of rockets.

Last week while guiding an afternoon tour of Sderot for American students Sderot resident and mother Shula Sasson showed the group of 18 year-olds how her family’s mattresses were leaning against the wall behind their couch in the first floor living room because her family hasn’t slept or lived on the second floor of their house for years because it is simply too far from their sheltered room.

When one of the students asked Shula if she was optimistic about the since there is currently a ceasefire with Hamas, she calmly but sternly replied, “Do not believe it (ceasefire).” She then emphasized to the students that their visit to Sderot was more important than a meaningless ceasefire so they can convey the situation to their schools and communities. Shula wished the students goodbye saying, “You will be the ones to save us. Not a ceasefire.

Over the past eight years, since the rocket fire began in January 2001, Israel has attempted various methods to bring an end to these terrorist attacks in order to put off a major military operation. Even when Israel is forced to carry out the difficult task of thwarting terrorists embedded in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, it goes to unprecedented lengths to prevent loss of civilian life. It is unheard of other militaries around the world to call and text message civilians warning them of the imminent military attack.

But yet the Tzeva Adoms continue and I am sitting in Sderot agitated and on edge; in the only region in the world where civilians are consistently targeted by rockets, less than a mile a way to a territory controlled by a terrorist organization committed to the destruction of the Jewish State. So, I resent the fact that I have to defend Israel’s legitimacy for existence when it is forced to target terrorists that the world knows are using families’ home and hiding behind human shields.

As former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said after the Six Day War, “When peace comes we can forgive the Arabs for killing our children but we cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill theirs.

Two different stories, one dealing with the anger that Israelis feel in having to justify their existence. The other about a couple of US Congressmen. They looked and listened to the stories of Sderot, but the words fell upon deaf ears.

Normally at this point I would ask you my reader to donate to the Sderot Media Center, sign up for the Code Red Alerts, and of course pray for the people of Sderot. This time I don’t urge you to do that. Instead, send the people of Sderot a message of support. It is free, takes only a few minutes of your time and is easy to do:

by Sderot Media Center

In light of the war on southern Israel, Sderot Media Center has now opened a special page for Sderot supporters. Please share your thoughts, comments, and words of support for Sderot residents. Thereafter, your comments will be published in local Sderot newspapers and will be shared with the Sderot community.

Please mention your name and location!

Thank you.

To send a message click here.