Think again. In a story titled Sderot plagued with welfare crisis, Ynet reports that, now that the rockets are over, the true face of Sderot as an impoverished and neglected community of mostly Mizrachi resdidents has emerged. Director of social services in the Sderot Municipality Yigal Levy is very candid about the origins of the city's current troubles:
Over 4000 families are currently being treated by social services in Sderot. Out of all applications this year, 40% were new applications and some 20% of those were related to bank debts and foreclosure threats. The municipality finds itself unable to attend to all of the new problems as a result of a drop in grant funds.An indebted resident feels virtually helpless:
"The number of applications has risen, but our ability to address them has dropped by 50%," Levy complained. "The government saved people from the Qassams, but now no one really cares."
"Suddenly when it's calm and there are no more Qassams, they've threatened to take away my house. During the operation everyone was considerate. (...)But most striking is his actual longing for the days when the rockets poured down on the town, "bringing unspeakable pain to the population and leaving them mentally scarred forever":
As long as the operation lasted no one approached me and I could live in peace, at least in that respect. My debt isn't that high, I'm trying to pay it off and still they threatened to evict me…I always felt that we were abandoned here, but now I feel it even more," he said.
Sometimes I think, to hell with it - bring on the Qassams. It'll solve my problems with the bank and I'll get to keep the roof over my head[.]Yes, firing those rockets against a civilian population center was a crime against humanity on Hamas' part, which can't be overlooked or forgiven. But no matter what the intentions were, the actual harm inflicted can't be disregarded either. Any equivalence between the low-level damage suffered by Sderot and the carnage visited on Gaza is immoral and should be denounced by intellectuals as a monstrously dishonest debating device.