I wrote earlier why Hamas is legally entitled to use Qassams in order to deter Israeli violence. The tragedy of Sderot is that nobody in Israel cares about the people of Sderot beyond the lip service to their utility as sacrificial lambs for the "national cause" (i.e. the cause of ethnic cleansing and apartheid.) And conversely, nobody in Hamas appears to be aware of deep cynicism that characterizes the attitude of the Israeli political echelon to the fate of Sderot.
Well, some Sderot residents are stepping up to the task and speaking for themselves. This from Ynet:
Despite the ongoing rocket attacks on their town from Gaza in the last several years, some 500 Sderot residents have recently signed a petition calling to stop the IDF operation in the Strip and renew the truce with Hamas.
Arik Yalin, 43, from Sderot told Ynet that over 1,800 Israelis and Palestinians have already joined the petition. "About a month ago we realized that the situation was about to deteriorate into total chaos," he explained.
"It's important for us to voice an opinion that represents quite a few residents who live within the rocket range but who believe that we can, and should try to resolve this ongoing conflict in a peaceful manner.
"We have experienced the terrible hardship of life under rocket fire for the past eight years, and it has deeply hurt us both mentally and physically. Our need to voice a different stance stems from the strong desire to change the situation and begin negotiations with the other side in order to stop the violence," he added...
The "Different Voice" group, which was formed by Yalin and his friends, seeks to promote dialogue between Israel and the Hamas leadership in Gaza. Dozens of the group members maintain constant contact with several of Gaza's residents. (Ynet, Dec 29, 2008)
I just want to point that that Sderot has 20,000 residents. This means that 2.5% of the residents of Sderot signed. This is in fact a huge number if you consider the social pressure that exists in Israel against such initiatives.
The petition that calls on the government to keep the peace is here in Hebrew. Unfortunately no translation, but see my translation below. It is very much a local initiative. The petition begins with recognizing the sucess of the cease fire. (that ceasefire that the Zionist Hasbara claims never worked, because they really care!)
The period of clam change the lives of the people of Sderot, Ashkelon and the region beyond recognition, allowing all of us to experience again a life that is more normal and sane. The continuation of this calm is essential and criticial to the residents of the region from every possible aspect: physical, mental, spiritual and economic.the petition continues:
Another round of escalation may break our already brittle spirit, and take us all to another round of self-destruction and pointless bloodshed. It is not certain that we will survive. And you must be aware of that, if you indeed care about the residents of this area. We've been through this movie too many years--and results speak for themselves: feeling trapped, abandonment, and hopelessness for us and our children!
On the other side of the border live a million and a half Palestinians under unbearable conditions, and most of them want, like we do, calm and the opportunity of a future for themselves and their families.
We live in the feeling that you have wasted that period of calm, instead of using it to advance understandings and begin negotiations, as well as for fortifying the houses of residents as promised.
We call on the Prime Minister and the Defense minister not to listen to the voices of incitement and do everything they can to avoid another round of escalation, to secure the continuation of the calm and to work...towards direct or indirect negotiations with the Palestinian leadership in Gaza in order to reach long term understandings.
We prefer a cold war without a single rocket to a hot war with dozens of victims and innocent fatalities on both sides.
We ask you to offer us the possibility of political arrangement and hope and not an endless cycle of blood.
This petition has been gathering signatures in Israel since the 11th of November. Needless to say, it was ignored by the murderous office holders of Israel.
see also http://gaza-sderot.blogspot.com/