Mor Yehudai. Photo: The Israel Project
June 16, 2007
Five of Sderot's youngsters have traveled to Washington to explain the city's situation to the powers at be on Capitol Hill. The love, they say, was 'overwhelming'
Itay Avitan Photo: The Israel Project
by Yitzhak Benhorin
WASHINGTON - The situation in Sderot got some unexpected attention over the weekend, courtesy of five of the city's residents, who were sent to the United States by the Foreign Ministry and the Jewish Agency.
The five met with American politicians, the media and leading members of the local Washington community on Capitol Hill Friday, and were, in their own words, 'overwhelmed' by the empathy shown to them.
"I thought we'd be criticized but all I found was understanding," 23-year old Itay Avitan told Ynet.
"I'm surprised by all the love. It gave me strength," added 21-year old Mor Yehudai, whose house suffered a direct Qassam hit two years ago.
The five also took part in a press conference held by the "Israel Project", a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the Israeli cause in the US.
Most American television station turned down offers by Israeli diplomats to come on their shows, during the rocket salvo on Sderot, saying that the Israeli body-count simply doesn’t justify it.
For the past seven years, life in Sderot had been disrupted to the core, explained Avitan in the press conference."Children no longer play in the streets… people are afraid to go out, and refuse to continue living like this."
Both were asked by the press if in their opinion, the disengagement had anything to do with the rockets fired on the city, and both said no.
The rocket fire on Sderot started seven years ago, explained Yehudai, adding that "any day with three rockets or less is a quiet one."