Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Ted Belman

Tonight, Toronto Jews and Christian Zionists rallied for Sderot and what a rally it was. Over 2000 people were in attendance including many high school and university students. They filled to capacity a huge hotel room.

For many of us, Sderot represents a news story about the daily rocket attacks and the question of when and how is Israel going to stop them.No longer, at least for those in attendance. We were hooked up with the Community Hall in Sderot. Though it was three in the morning there many residents of all ages with emphases on the youth, in attendance and we all participated in a two way hook up.

A video was shown depicting the attempts of the residents including children to live a normal life and the reality of the constant threat of incoming rockets was made clear. Apparently they receive about 15 seconds warning and have to immediately run to the nearest shelter. As a result everyone, children included, know where every shelter is located and how many seconds it will take to get to the nearest one. Today fifteen rockets landed in Sderot and one boy was severely injured. Over 200 rockets landed this year, over 1000 last year and over 7000 in the last seven years. Can you imagine trying to live a normal life under these conditions. Yet the people of Sderot do and for the most part won’t leave. In fact some idealistic families move there to make a statement. “If not me, who?” one woman with six children said.

Canada’s National Post ran a major article on the people of Sderot under the title ‘We are going to stay forever’. They interviewed Alon Davidi, the head of Committee for a Secure Sderot, who is featured in this VIDEO. In the next few weeks he will be travelling to many cities to deliver his message.

There were a number of 16 year olds interviewed who had lived half their lives under this barrage and they all talked about what it takes to live a normal life. They are there to stay. It is their lot in life, just as it was the lot of the early settlers in the settlements pre ‘48 to hold the line against the attacking Arabs, and the lot of the soldiers at the Bar Lev line in Sinai to hold back the Egyptian attack in the Yom Kippur War, and the lot of citizens in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Netanya to suffer suicide bombers, and the lot of the soldiers to attack the fortified positions of Hezbollah in the Second Lebanon War. And it is our lot to support them financially, politically and in every public forum.

Israelis understand that they must hold the line and never retreat. The country depends on each and everyone one to do its part.

Alan Dershowitz was the keynote speaker and he delivered an emotional address in which he voiced our duty to them and voiced his criticism of the international community including all the Human Rights Organizations and the UN for criticizing Israel’s legitimate self defense.

He particularly laid into Canada’s own Louise Arbour for her criticism of Israel.

Dershowitz honoured the Toronto community for always showing the way to Jewish communities throughout the world by coming to the aid of Israel in such exemplary fashion. He said he was going to rally all the cities of America to follow Toronto’s example.

Sderot Media Center has videos and articles about what is going on and I urge you to visit.

No comments: