Sderot youth challenge MKs to take up their cause

The residents said they’re sick of promises that are not being fulfilled.

Chairs set up by young residents of Sderot to represent the 120 MKs who they feel abandoned them as rockets continue to be fired from Gaza. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Chairs set up by young residents of Sderot to represent the 120 MKs who they feel abandoned them as rockets continue to be fired from Gaza.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In the middle of Sderot, near the Gaza border, 120 chairs sat empty on a lawn on Sunday, waiting for MKs to fill them.
The chairs were set up by young residents of Sderot to represent the 120 MKs who they say they feel abandoned them as rockets continue to be fired at them from Gaza on a regular basis, including on Friday.
“Elections are important and coalition negotiations are important,” organizers wrote. “Even investigations are important, recordings are important, indictments are important. And also a memorial ceremony [for former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin] is important.”
“Hey, how did we forget?” they continued. “A plane for the prime minister is important and so are demonstrations outside the attorney-general’s house, but wait, rockets on the residents of the South are not a little important.”
The residents said they’re sick of promises that are not being fulfilled.
“After a Shabbat full of fireworks in the sky, after the horror show organized by terrorists on the other side of the fence, we decided to stop being quiet.”
Dvir Sasi, a spokesman for the protest, said: “We welcome all the MKs to come to us and explain the situation to us, and listen to us, and tell us their solution.”
Several MKs live in the Gaza envelope area, including Labor-Gesher leader Amir Peretz, a Sderot resident; Bayit Yehudi leader Rafi Peretz, who lived in Gaza before all Israelis were evacuated and now lives in the nearby Moshav Naveh; Likud MK Shlomo Karhi, who lives in Moshav Zimrat; Blue and White MK Alon Shuster of Kibbutz Mefalsim; and Yisrael Beytenu MK Mark Ifraimov, former deputy mayor of Sderot.
“There are at least five representatives of the Gaza envelope in the Knesset,” Shuster wrote on Twitter in response to the protesters, “who are doing their best even in these days, in the Finance Committee, to make sure the residents of the Gaza envelope can live reasonable lives. The government is mainly responsible for the residents of the area, and they are ignoring the presentation.”
Blue and White MK Orna Barbivai, who was the first female IDF general, visited the protest-exhibition, which she said, “reflects an entire generation that grew up here and is sick of empty promises.”
“Unfortunately, there is one chair shared for the man who is still prime minister and defense minister, who should come here and give you answers,” Barbivai said. “[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is intentionally paralyzing the country from his own personal, legal and political motivations.”
In a Labor faction meeting Monday, Peretz lamented that “the security situation in Gaza cannot continue. Netanyahu’s way has failed. The situation today is that Hamas is getting stronger and our deterrence is weak.”
The Labor leader called for Israel to work with the Palestinian Authority and international community to demilitarize and rehabilitate Gaza. If that fails, Peretz said a multinational force should be built to take over Gaza and govern it instead of Hamas.
After Friday’s barrage of rockets, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz hinted that, if he becomes prime minister, he will renew targeted assassinations of terrorists.
“A government which I head will not tolerate a threat against southern residents, and will not accept any injury to Israeli sovereignty,” Gantz said in a tweet Saturday night.