Sderot Protest? What Protest?
As Sderot continues to be bombed with Kassam rockets it has become clearer to me that the government really does not care. Is it because Sderot is not Tel Aviv or is it because they are not fighting loud enough?
Whatever the case may be, Sderot parents decided to take the matter into their own hands and hold a protest at the Knesset today. The protest was scheduled for noon and I made sure to be there. While it seems like most Israelis are apathetic to Sderot, the government and just about anything else, I chose to believe in the fight.
The government is concerned about their paychecks, deals on the side and supposed public image, but I am concerned with Israeli citizens being bombarded with rockets and no change in site. Not only did I contact a Sderot resident in the hopes of getting to know this struggling community during their fight; I came with a video camera to make sure that I could not only believe in their cause but promote it.
As an American I know your fight needs a voice and the voice needs to be heard. As a citizen of the world I know that the media is the best way to make your statement loud and clear. And media means good visuals that are “sexy” enough to make it into the news.
I arrived a half hour early and made my way towards the Knesset. By noon I started to get a little worried that I was in the wrong area. I began to ask around and my disappointment became a joke. Each security guard I spoke to either said, “what protest,” or “check over there,” “I think it was cancelled,” “where did you hear about a protest,” and so on.
My chuckles soon became beads of sweat dripping down my forehead as I made my way around the Knesset, Court building and Ministries. At this point it became clear to me that no one knew about the protest and nobody cared.
I called my contact from Sderot about ten more times. I knew his phone was working because it rang and sometimes it was even busy. So where was he? He told me they would be there when I reconfirmed this morning so were the troops battling against their homes, schools and city under attack?
Maybe you know, because I gave up after walking around for an hour and half. I put my camera equipment away wanting to run away from this country. Once again as a new immigrant I am disappointed in Israelis.
Where were the Sderot citizens today and where was the media coverage about their fight? I am convinced I made the whole thing up. Perhaps I wanted a protest so badly that I dreamed it. I imagined that people cared about Sderot and that there were buses of angry citizens waiting to be heard. They wanted to break down the walls the government has built around justice and force Prime Minister Olmert to hear our roar.
Nothing will change unless we want it to. Forget about the government writing a peace plan of words signed by insignificant people that eventually will lose power and be remembered as nobodies. Lets focus on our own power. We can make the difference we can lead the fight. We don’t need Defense Minister Ehud Barak to tell us that Sderot is being bombed, because we see that it is. We need more than a protest. We need to take action.
I say it is our turn and we want more than our voices heard. What does it sound like when we shoot Kassams?