Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another letter from Sderot

Laura Bialis is a US Documentary filmmaker originally from LA who moved to Sderot, Israel, two years ago to find a subject through which to film life in that town. The subject she chose as a platform for her doco was the local musicians and bands.

Her blog is one of the most candid I have seen on this issue. Rather than swoop in with her cameras to film the locals' hardships like a voyeur, she settled down and became a local, sharing the grief, trauma and comradeship of living in "the most bombed city in the world". Nobody is more directly in the shadow of the mass Islamic hatred for the Jewish State than the residents of Sderot.

She even married one of her documentaries' subjects!

Following her blog timeline of rocket attacks and their devastating, sometimes fatal effects for two years, is fascinating. Back in March 2008;

Saturday, sometime between 5 and 7AM:
One or two Tzeva Adoms (Red alerts for incoming rockets- 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter, part of the Sderor way of life). I don’t remember. I don’t get up, I don’t wake up. I just stay in bed. Screw it all. If they want to bomb me, go ahead.

Saturday, Noon:
Helicopters. I get online. I can’t help it. What does it say in the news. Thirty-three qassams from yesterday until now. Twenty-six people killed in Gaza, including some civilians. Several IDF soldiers injured. (This was a minor IDF response to terrorists digging tunnels and smuggling weapons)

I look at the press from the West and get very angry. Its mostly about their injuries. Another article about Palestinian protests about our attacks. This is ridiculous. If there were no rockets raining on us the IDF wouldn’t have anything to do there. I don’t like the way we are portrayed. We don’t want this war. They are dragging us in. What can we do? There are rockets raining on us daily. But in the media we look like the aggressors. It feels so unfair to be sitting here and reading that. My entire perspective has changed. I used to think that Israel needed to take care of how it looked to the Western World — that we can’t look like monsters. Now I know it doesn’t matter. They will paint us however they want. I just can’t read the news anymore, it makes me too angry. We need to move forward with our lives, protect ourselves. The government has a responsibility to protect its people. The question is, what is the best way to do that?

Angry with the press coverage back in March? Laura, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Jump forward to the commencement of Operation Cast Lead at the end of 2008:

December 27 1:30 pm
Now its all over the news. The bombing is not stopping. There have been counter attacks. We are advised to stay inside near bomb shelters. Netivot and Ashkelon have started to get hit- one person has already died in Netivot.

As usual, I am worried about how this is being covered by the international press. I turned to the CNN web site, and was aghast. It described the situation as “dozens of rockets have been fired into Israel” since the cease-fire broke down. This is preposterous. It has been hundreds. Just this Wednesday there were 70 rockets, yesterday 20… the proportion looks totally different from the outside looking in.

Please take some time to read it, and think about the lives of these people who care about life.


No comments: