tea packs 88.
(photo credit: )
Tea Packs front man and Sderot native Kobi Oz is sending a message of solidarity from the heart of Tel Aviv back to residents of his hometown. Oz organized a concert in Rabin Square to show the residents of the beleaguered city that the people of Israel are with them.
Thousands of people from around the country came to the square on Monday evening to watch Israel's top performers sing in support of Sderot and its residents.
For the last seven years, Sderot has been under constant attack by Kassam rockets fired by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
The concert's title, "Sderot is All of Us," is meant to convey the message that the Kassam attacks are not a local problem but a national one - if Sderot is attacked, Israel is attacked.
The idea for the concert arose from a telephone call Oz received from his cousin.
"She called me a few days ago and in a teary voice asked me to put on a concert in Tel Aviv that would bring artists and people from the whole country, so that they would see and feel that they are not alone," Oz wrote in a letter published on several Web sites. "She told me that the people of Sderot feel like the country has let them down a bit."
From that moment on, Oz has been busy gathering some of the top names in local show business to join him on stage. Artists like Shlomo Artzi, Miri Mesika, Amir Benayoun, Knissiyat Hasechel, Rami Kleinstein and others performed - for free - alongside Oz and Tea Packs to help raise Sderot's morale.
Residents of Sderot and its surrounding communities arrived in 50 buses. Most wore red shirts to symbolize the Color Red alert that is supposed to warn of an impending rocket attack.
For the last few weeks, Sderot residents and students from the Sapir College in the Negev have been active in trying to raise awareness among Tel Aviv residents.
Recently, caravans of cars have been touring the streets of Tel Aviv on Fridays, blaring their horns and displaying signs and banners reading "Sderot is here" and "You might be next."
A group of students from Sapir College have also set up an exhibit of 50 exploded Kassams on Rothschild Avenue, set up to look as if they had landed in the coastal city.
"We brought the rockets in untouched so that you really get the authentic feeling," said organizer Lavie Vanunu. "We chose Rothschild because it's the center of the center."
"We're not trying to criticize Tel Aviv residents, we just want them to remember that Sderot is only 50 minutes away and that we're all in this together," he added.
The exhibit also features a notebook in which passersby can jot down their impressions or leave messages for the people of Sderot. Once the exhibit closes, the book will be taken back to Sderot and placed where the local population can read the comments.
"The book is full and the reactions have been varied. Some people walk by and ignore it, stopping only to let their dogs pee on the rockets, others have left heartfelt messages of unity and solidarity and a sincere desire to lend a hand," said Dr. Liora Aylon of Sapir College.
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