The “Color Red” alert system sounded suddenly Friday afternoon in Tel Aviv’s trendy Shenkin street. But the alarm was not heralding the approach of rockets.
The alarm was sounded by 20 students from Sapir College in Sderot in a provocative attempt to awaken Tel Aviv residents from their indifference to the daily routine of Sderot’s residents under the constant threat of Qassam rocket fire.
The alarm was heard loud and clear, catching the attention of coffee shop customers for a brief moment before they went on with their day.
Qassam rocket displayed on car (Photo: Dalit Shechem)
The students arrived to Tel Aviv in cars covered with signs of protest. One such sign said, “Start your day with a cup of coffee and two Qassams”.
In addition, one of the many Qassam rockets which have fallen in the vicinity of the college was displayed on the roof of one of the cars. The words “From Sapir, with love” were written on the rocket, and the protestors said they were dedicating it to residents of central Israel.
“It bothers us that routine is exalted here. Qassams fall daily, and residents of the Gaza vicinity communities are in danger daily, and here, life goes on as usual,” said Yuval Roytman, a Sapir College student.
According to Efrat Berkin, who is currently renting an apartment in a western Negev kibbutz, the protest aimed at getting the message across to “the bubble that we are there and it’s not over, even if it’s not in the news anymore.
“The are right, and sympathize with them a great deal,” said Nava Cohen, the owner of one of Shenkin’s shops. “Residents came here during the war in the North also. Tel Aviv is the center, its safest here. But Shenkin is not a bubble, we aren’t ignoring their situation.”
A local taxi driver caught in traffic because of the protest did not share Cohen’s sympathy. “They’re rude, they’re blocking traffic. They can protest until tomorrow for all I care, as long as they don’t make traffic jams here on a Friday afternoon.”