Cliff May

Noam Bedein, who works for a regional news service, calls this a “Russian roulette reality.” He says that more than a dozen people have been killed, more than 1,500 have been seriously wounded, and just about everyone suffers to a greater or lesser extent from PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – except there’s nothing “post” about it: the stress never ends. Despite that, Bedein says, the BBC has dismissively referred to the rockets as “primitive firecrackers.”

True, many of the missiles are not sophisticated weapons. They are made out of pipes that Israel has supplied to Gaza for such purposes as the construction of sewers. When sewage supplies run short, Hamas blames Israel, saying that Palestinians are suffering from an embargo. Many of the rockets are propelled by explosives made from fertilizer. If Gazan farmers run out of fertilizer, that, too, is said to be because Israelis are denying Palestinians adequate supplies.

Housing prices in Sderot have declined steeply since 2005 which makes it difficult for poorer residents to consider moving. The city’s population has declined but many of those who have not left say that they will not be driven out – not of Sderot, and not of Israel.

“I survived a terrorist bombing in Buenos Aires,” says Itzak Horn, an immigrant from Argentina, referring to the 1994 car-bomb attack on a Jewish community center that killed 85 people and injured hundreds more. According to Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, Hezbollah carried out that bombing at the direction of Iran after the Argentinean government suspended the transfer of nuclear technology to the Tehran regime. Horn, a teacher who has lived in Sderot for five years, adds: “There is nowhere in the world that is safe nowadays. I am staying here.”

Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.