On Thursday night, I was walking through the streets of Sderot, on my way to present my short movie at the Sderot “Cinemateque”, about my travels in Far East.
As I walked through the center of town, I saw an entire store that had just been shattered by a Palestinian rocket. Nothing special or newsworthy… just part of our daily routine here in Sderot. I hear a dry, lifeless news report on the radio that “Two people were lightly injured from shrapnel”.
I stop to think: Wasn’t the army in Beit Hanoun supposed to stop this?
I had just gotten off the phone with the Voice of Israel Radio English news, telling them about that morning in Sderot, when a missile fell two meters from the Yeshiva Hesder Learning Academy in Sderot, where 120 students study.
The missile has missed their study hall by 30 feet. Who knows how many would have been killed from a direct hit?
‘So what do you have to say about the tragic incident in Bait Hanoun the other day’? I was asked by the news correspondent.
The answer: The IDF is sorry that it missed its military target while the Arabs are sad that they’ve missed their civilian target.
Yet almost all media outlets in the world, even the press in Israel, accuse us of war crimes against civilians.
Yes, these civilians are indeed the victims — victims of terrorists who use them as their human shields.
And where is the media outrage against the Arabs who fire missiles into Sderot, with only one purpose: to kill and maim as many civilians as possible, who go about their business unprotected. After all, three out of the five people killed in Sderot were under of the age of five.
Indeed, over the past fifteen months, since Israel withdrew its Jewish communities from the Katif districts of Gaza, the Arabs have used those communities as bases from where they have launched 1,085 missile attacks against Israel’s communities in Sderot and the western Negev.
And, on Thursday, when the Palestinian Authority press spokesman Saud Abu Ramadan was asked about these Arab missile attacks against Israeli civilian targets, he described them as “acts of self-defense”.
As far as the Israeli army, the only thing that they can do, in order to put an end to these terrorist attacks, is to go into Beit Hanoun, into the village itself, where the civilians live, and to stop the terrorists from launching missiles from their civilian bases — from the schools, Mosques and the roofs of homes.
As this conflict continues, and as the Arab missiles continue to fall on Sderot, people here ask simple questions: Is there any justice? Is there no objective reporting, even in Israel?
*Noam Bedein is 24. After a year of seminary study, three years of Israel Army service on the Lebanese border and a year’s trek around Asia, moved to Sderot to study at the business school at the Sapir College Branch of Ben Gurion University and has started work at the new Sderot Media Information Center for the Western Negev region of Israel.