At 7:30 this morning you were busy making sandwiches for your children. You were making sure they ate their morning cereal and perhaps drank their chocolate milk. You hugged them and told them not to walk on the road, cross only at the crosswalk, and the kids left while you rushed to work.
At the same time, in a completely different country, other parents asked themselves, should we send our children to school? And what if the anti-rocket siren goes off? Who would take my kid by the hand and make sure to take him to a protected site? And truth be told, the kids didn't really want to go to school. They're scared. And by the way, there was no cereal this morning. Mom is no longer working because of the worries, and dad's store is empty of shoppers.
In the evening, many of you will likely head to PTA meetings ahead of the upcoming end-of-year ceremonies at school. At the same time, in that other country, the parents will sit with the principal in order to examine school preparations for the coming days – which kids will be studying in fortified classrooms, and which ones will travel to study elsewhere, and what to do in case of escalation. An end-of-year ceremony? Who are you kidding. They have to worry about Qassam rockets now.
A few weeks ago I heard a woman on the radio, who is a resident of that same obscure country, recounting how while a siren was being sounded there and everyone held their breath until the rocket landed, in our country too, many people held their breath: The Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team scored a goal against Ashkelon in the National Cup final.
And on the day one of those "flying objects," to use the disdainful expression uttered by attorney and advisor Dov Weisglass from central Israel, landed in Sderot and killed Shirel Friedman, one of the commentators on national television recounted the military options available to Israel, when newscaster Geula Even asked him with concern: But what will happen if, as a result, innocent Palestinians will be hurt?
Educating children to hate us
These people, who Geula Even shows so much concern for, elected Hamas' terror government to lead them. They did it in democratic elections, out of their own free will, with clear minds and clear intentions. They allow Qassam launchers to fire from their backyards and they allow the producers of explosive belts to produce them in apartments at their buildings.
In their schools they educate their children to hate us to death. Day and night they repeatedly tell them that Jews are the enemies of mankind, pigs and monkeys who poison wells, and therefore Israel must be exterminated. They also refer to their sons, the suicide bombers who blow up at the heart of civilian populations, as saints.
I'm certain that there are different people among them who wish to live in peace. I wouldn't want them to be hurt. I propose that they move to a different apartment, far away. Yet in any case, when the time comes to choose between the lives of Sderot children and the lives of innocents-or-not-so-innocent people in Gaza, I choose the lives of the former.
"We offered biased news coverage in order to promote the agenda of withdrawal from Lebanon that at the time was facing public debate," former Israel Radio news editor Chanan Naveh admitted last week during a radio convention in Haifa. "We pushed in every possible way for the removal of the IDF from southern Lebanon in 2000. We viewed it as a mission. In our newsroom, three editors had sons serving in Lebanon."
Now we can understand why the media hasn't really dealt with the Qassam rockets that have been landing in Sderot for seven years, and particularly in the last two years since the Gaza withdrawal. Dr. Naveh's and his colleagues' children were simply not serving there. Would he, Geula Even, and their colleagues conduct themselves the same way had Qassams landed in Tel Aviv?
Two years ago, in the framework of the attractive marketing campaign regarding the wonders of "disengagement," Sharon and Olmert promised us, with the support of most media commentators, that the moment we leave Gaza it will be easier to fight terrorism, and that if only one Qassam rocket lands here, "Gaza will be shaken up" and "the world will understand." Well…?