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Jewish Journal

Visit Sderot: Zionism reborn

by Brad A. Greenberg

February 29, 2008 | 1:32 pm

The Los Angeles Jewish community has been forced this week to take notice of the daily rocket attacks that for the past seven years have been visited upon Sderot and the surrounding kibbutzim and moshavim. The Live for Sderot concert attracted more than 2,000 Tuesday night, and 10 children from the western Negev have been sharing their stories at LA college campuses and high schools.

Still, it’s difficult to grasp the precariousness of life along the Gaza border unless you visit. After I spent two days there last summer, my perspective changed dramatically. Starting today, an Israeli travel company is offering that first-hand experience.

the trips will leave from Tel Aviv stopping in a few places along the way including locations of significant battles in the 1948 War of Independence. They will visit areas blossoming with the coming of spring in the northern Negev area and then continue onto Sderot for a two-hour visit.

In the rocket-battered town, the organizers have not planned any specific activity. They are hoping that participants will roam the town’s streets and spontaneously speak with residents about what they are going through and purchase products at Sderot’s various commercial centers.

Smadar Bat-Adam, the person responsible for the Eretz Nehederet tour, told Ynet that “in every bus, there will be a tour guide who will add to the trip. In addition, Uzi Landau, (former Minister) Avigdor Kahalani and others will be among the passengers and they will also give explanations. ...

Landau said that “Sderot is a manifestation of Zionism renewing itself, we are turning to all who are Zionist and care about the land.” However, the former minister emphasized that “the calling is for the entire public – from left to right. We’re touring without political arguments – this is not a place for politics – everyone can be his own solution. We’re going in order to tour, to identify and to aid the resident by purchasing (products from them).”

(The top photo came from Rick Richman’s blog, where he recently has been chronically in pictures and words the situation in Sderot.)

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