Winnipeg - Sderot has been under rocket fire from Gaza for the last decade, with about 13,000 rockets having been fired from Gaza to Israel’s western region.
Noam Bedein, director of the Sderot Media Centre, has been living in Sderot for the last five years. He is a native of Tzfat and grew up in Efrat, Israel and he wants to know how it is possible that these ongoing rocket attacks have become acceptable to the world, when it would be inconceivable and unacceptable if the rockets were fired anywhere else in the world.
B’nai Brith Canada’s Manitoba Jewish/Christian/Aboriginal Roundtable recently hosted a wine & cheese evening with Bedein as guest speaker.
The event, which attracted about 100 people at the Jewish Community Centre, was co-chaired by Belle Millo and Pastor Raymond McLean.
David Matas, senior counsel for B’nai Brith Canada, introduced Bedein who discussed, Hamas, Gaza, and the Arab Spring - A View from the Ground in Southern Israel.
According to Bedein, Israel’s air force commander has reported that 97 per cent of all rockets being fired from among the civilian population in Gaza are being fired from behind homes, schools and mosques - in residential areas.
Photo from left to right Pastor Rudy Filal, Maria Fernanda-Medina (form BB) and Noam Bedein
He said, “Israel has no choice but to defend her citizens by hitting a target in Gaza...and the next day, these images of mosques and schools are plastered all over the international news, affecting people around the world.”
Gaza is the first Middle East Arab territory under the control of an internationally recognized terrorist regime.
“We’re up against an...imbalance of media coverage,” said Bedein. “It’s not only a growing challenge to represent a unique rocket reality, but also what’s happening on the other side of the fence - in the Gaza Strip - affects not only Sderot, but regions around the world.”
Globally, people are being exposed to only one side of the story, conveyed Bedein.
“People have more sympathy for the Palestinian cause in Gaza,” he said. “This enables terrorist organizations to keep firing rockets on Israeli civilian populations and have legitimacy for it. Giving legitimacy to terrorism is one of the most dangerous and dark elements in the world, leading people - even within Jewish communities - to view Israel as Nazi Germany and Gaza as the Holocaust.”
This is the third time Bedein has travelled worldwide to counter Israel Apartheid Week (IAW), addressing some-150 campuses across North America, as well as the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN) and Capitol Hill in Washington.
“Around the world - especially on North American campuses - I’m seeing people becoming anti-Zionist and anti-Israel. I’m trying to explain where things are really at.
“How is it that this ongoing rocket reality of Sderot has become acceptable to the entire world, when anywhere else in the world having rockets fired at them is inconceivable?”
Sderot is about a kilometre away from the Gaza border. This means residents of Sderot have 15 second to run for their lives when a rocket is fired.
“We’re fighting on the front line of the media information war,” said Bedein.
“If you go to YouTube and type in ‘15 Seconds,’ our video is No. 1. Because really, what can you possibly do in just 15 seconds? Every single person and family in Sderot has experienced a rocket attack, and once you’ve had that experience, your life is changed forever.”