“It is only a ceasefire for Israel. It is never a ceasefire for the terrorists in the Gaza Strip.”

By Findalis of Monkey in the Middle

From the Sderot Media Center:

Waiting for the Color Red

by Jacob Shrybman

(Israelnationalnews.com) As this is the third ceasefire in three years between Hamas and Israel – with over 226 rockets being fired in the seven months since Operation Cast Lead – you will be hard pressed to find a person in Sderot who believes in the relative quiet. There is a common joke that it isn’t a true ceasefire, but more like we “cease” and they “fire”.

One of the most visible developments is the extensive construction of bomb shelters underway throughout Sderot. There is a huge influx of building materials for private one-room bomb shelters attached to people’s homes and whole apartment complexes adding bomb shelters to each level of the building. Wherever you look in this small city of 19,500 residents, you can see thousands of shekels being poured into preparation for future rocket attacks.

Besides the various terror attacks on the border that have thankfully been thwarted by the Israel Defense Forces, there remains steady smuggling of terror weapons into the Gaza Strip. According to Israel Security Agency Chief Yuval Diskin, “Hamas is continuing to increase its strength, manufacture longer-range rockets and smuggle rockets of a far superior quality.” One of these newer Grad missiles, coming straight from Iran with heightened targeting capabilities and explosive power, hit a school in Ashkelon over the Sabbath back in February. In early June, Hamas terrorists packed horses full of explosives and attempted to attack the IDF on the Gaza border.

The last home that was hit in Sderot on May 19, 2009. (Photo: Noam Bedein)

The situation in southern Israel is quieter than during Operation Cast Lead; however, as one can see from various small news bites, it is a very delicate silence.

As this delicate silence continues, the more trouble the victims of this once daily reality of rockets have with any sort of treatment. The emergency center that treats victims of the Kassam attacks shut down this June. The two centers that treat the vast psychological damage to the people of the region will shut down in the coming months due to lack of funding. One of the private sponsors of the centers, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, cut their funding due to a restructuring of priorities.

While the medical professionals diagnose people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as frequently as they do a common cold, there remains the unique Sderot phenomenon that there is no “post-trauma” yet due to the continuation of the rocket fire. Dr. Danny Brom, the founder and director of the Israel Center for Treatment of Psychotrauma, says that, unlike the northern cities of Haifa and Kiryat Shemona following the 2006 war with Hizbullah, Sderot is “not in a post-traumatic reality.” Even though the need for trauma treatment is ever present, the centers serving Sderot and the surrounding areas are closing.

After the widely covered Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip this past December and January came the widespread criticisms and condemnations of Israel’s actions. The United Nations established a fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict. Although the Israeli government did not officially participate, private individuals flew to Geneva to testify about the rocket fire in southern Israel. This past July, along with Noam Shalit, Sderot Media Center Director Noam Bedein gave testimony, with the assistance of videos, explaining the human side of the daily reality of rocket fire on civilians.

This is the third “quiet period” Sderot has seen. During the first, over 300 rockets landed in the region and during the second, over 500; now, the number is steadily rising to over 226 rockets. The world may have found new topics in the news, but that has not stopped the rockets. Sderot is continuing to go about its daily life through the eerie quiet, knowing well that the rockets will return in full force in due time.

In a cease-fire, both sides are suppose to stop all attacks. Not just one side.

by Jacob Shrybman

Following four rocket and mortar attacks in southern Israel this week making it 230 attacks since the ceasefire on January 18th, ranking Republican member of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) and Texas Governor Rick Perry visited Sderot, Israel and the shut down Sderot Emergency Center accompanied by the Sderot Media Center yesterday. During the visit, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen noted the still apparent rocket threat, “It is only a ceasefire for Israel. It is never a ceasefire for the terrorists in the Gaza Strip.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry in Sderot, Israel.

The Congresswoman and Texas Governor visited the city of Sderot, Israel today to see first hand the toll that over eight years of rocket fire has had on the people of Sderot. The Sderot Emergency Center which provides immediate first aid to the victims of the rocket attacks was closed last month due to lack of funding and was specially opened for Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and Governor Perry.

View video here.

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen expressed her concern for the deterioration of the situation in Sderot. “We are very worried about the budget cuts of the trauma clinics. That is going to have such a severe negative impact on the children and the families of this ‘Missile City’.” The Congresswoman continued to highlight the city’s psychological crisis and the closing of its trauma centers, “The needs are getting tougher and tougher and yet you see trauma centers getting closed. It just makes no sense.”

After visiting the closed Sderot Emergency Center, the Congresswoman and Texas Governor spoke to Sderot residents and viewed a short clip from Sderot Media Center ’s and American producer Liane Thompson’s upcoming feature-length documentary, Missile City Kids , that aims to create global awareness of the psychological trauma of Sderot’s children.

Texas Governor Rick Perry commented after the clip of Missile City Kids, “I hope most Americans realize that there’s a part of the world where children are still being victimized, and individuals, freedom loving people, who just want to live in freedom and live in peace are being victimized every day by individuals, who for whatever reason, want to attack in the most vicious and thoughtless way to destroy lives. And for what reason? G-d only knows.” The Governor continued conveying his support for Sderot, “Americans and certainly Texans are going to be supporting the citizens of this city.”

Gov. Perry not only paid a visit to Sderot, he is in Israel discussing security, seeing the sites, and received the Defender of Jerusalem Award.

Besides the lone star that sits boldly on both of their flags, Texas and Israel have much in common, and a sturdy relationship that should continue to grow, according to Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is in the country on a visit aimed at strengthening economic ties between the Jewish State and his own.

“I come from a pro-business, pro-prosperity point of view,” Gov. Perry told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, “And the first goal of this trip was to further some of the economic development that already exists between Texas and Israel, and to recruit some of the Israeli businesses we visited here to expand and come to Texas.”

Perry also recalled the Texas-Israel Exchange – a body that supports the trade of agricultural know-how between Texan and Israeli scientists – which he established in 1991, while serving as the Texas Agriculture Commissioner.

“We have a connection that goes back many years,” he said. “And Israel has a lot that we can learn from, especially in the areas of water conservation and semi-arid land – Israeli technology has helped us a lot in dealing with drought.”

“But also,” the governor continued, “when I was here for the first time some 18 years ago and I was touring the country, the comparison between Masada and the Alamo was not lost on me. I mean, we’re talking about two groups of people who were willing to give up their lives for freedom and liberty.” Beyond the comparisons, Gov. Perry said another point of his trip here was to show other people “what was really going on”, with regards to the military threats facing the country, and in particular the IDF’s recent Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.

“We went to the border with Gaza and received a briefing from the army there, and we went to Sderot and saw the police station with all the Kassam rockets piled up, we saw playgrounds that had to be covered from rocket fire. It’s a powerful place.” In that vein, the governor said he was also interested in learning more about security aspects while in the country, as Texas has a large, porous border with Mexico, and the recent violence in that country had unnerved many Texans.

“Israel is a leader in security technology, and another reason for our visit to the Gaza border was to see some of the security measures being used there,” said Perry.

Read the full story here.

Wouldn’t that be funny. The Texas border safeguarded by Israeli technology. I wonder when the Mexican government would start comparing itself to Gaza.

“I hope most Americans realize that there’s a part of the world where children are still being victimized, and individuals, freedom loving people, who just want to live in freedom and live in peace are being victimized every day by individuals, who for whatever reason, want to attack in the most vicious and thoughtless way to destroy lives. And for what reason? G-d only knows. Americans and certainly Texans are going to be supporting the citizens of this city.” Gov. Rick Perry.

I hope you will support Sderot too. Just click here, and donate what you can. The smallest amount goes a long way.

And this tribute is for Gov. Rick Perry and all the good people of Texas. How I wish he was my Governor!

Texas, our Texas – Lone Star State tribute