WASHINGTON – Dozens of Hollywood stars attended Tuesday the "Live for Sderot" concert, which was held in Los Angeles and dedicated to the children of the Qassam-battered town.
City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also participated in the glamorous event, organized by the Israeli consulate as an opening ceremony for Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, and US presidential hopefuls Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain all sent their warm wishes to Sderot via videotaped messages.
The show was hosted by Israeli actress Noa Tishby, and included performances by Ninet Tayeb, violinist Miri Ben-Ari, Israeli-born American singer Elliot Yamin, Mike Burstein, Aki Avni and Oscar-winning actor John Voight.
In Obama's message, which was broadcast during the event, the Democratic candidate said that as a father of two girls, he "could only imagine the terror that these rockets cause." Senator Clinton voiced her sympathy for the people of Sderot, saying she was overwhelmed by the town's residents' courage and sacrifice.
Republican candidate McCain stated that the world must not remain passive in view of the Qassam fire on the Israeli town. "It’s an outrage that this violence is claiming innocent victims but is not condemned by world nations. Everybody is entitled to live in peace," he stressed.
Fighting media bias
Israeli Consul General in Los Angeles Jacob Dayan told Ynet that it was the biased, one-sided coverage of the situation by the Los Angeles Times that prompted the consulate to organize the campaign for Sderot.
Dayan added that the presidential candidates' willingness to contribute to the concert "proves that it's not only the people of Israel that stand behind Sderot, and not only the people of Los Angeles that embrace them, but the whole of the United States."
Tuesday's show was part of a wider campaign, sponsored by the Israeli Leadership Club, aimed at raising awareness to the situation in Sderot in the American public. Ten teenagers from Sderot were recently flown to LA to meet with high school and college students and share their experience from life in the bombarded Israeli town.