Friday, November 17, 2006

Village of the damned

“Find me the dog shelter, in this town “ I asked

“Why?” asked Yonat our Producer

“Because, people care more about dogs than they do about poor people”

Sderot is the town in Israel that is the closest to Gaza and hence has been subjected to nearly a thousand Qassam rockets fired by militants in the Strip this year, about eighty in the past week. Now Qassam rockets are not the state of the art Tomahawk missiles but are crudely home made pipe bombs that rely more on the principle of ‘Point, shoot and prey’ principle of modern warfare.

When you hear in the news that Israel has struck a metal shop in Gaza, it really means that they have tried to wipe out a Qassam factory, and having spent time on the streets of Gaza, it often seems that there are as many ‘Metal Shops’ in a block as there are Starbucks stores on corners in New York City.

Sderot, is not exactly the resort capital of Israel. It is fair to say that it could lay claim to one of the most depressing places here, when Russian migrants come to Israel they believe they are coming to the land of milk and honey, only to find that they end up in the village of the damned.

To give you an example of playground conversations overheard today, a group of children maybe six of them aged eight to ten were in a vigourous discussion and when I asked Yoav to translate he laughed and said that they were each boosting that “No the Qassam landed closer to my house or the Qassam that landed near my flat was bigger than your Qassam”

Of course being down here for the whole day not one has been fired today and we have been sitting around drinking Israel’s worst coffee. The only highlight, is when someone walks past us and we try to guess how many bottles of 15 shekel vodka they have had to drink.

Fashion is something that should also be noted that Sderot is not famous for, as the procession in the main street showed. If you are female you must wear boots, preferably white and then try to totally uncordinate them with everything else you wear. Of course the famed hat makers of Sderot specialize in woolen caps in multi colors to match the socks sticking out of the boots.

This just a tragic town of twenty thousand where no one wants to live, but cannot afford to live anywhere else. Almost totally all Russian migrants, there are more signs in Russian than in Hebrew on the shop fronts and you hear more Russian than anything else spoken.


Why would I ask for a dog shelter?.

Because in the sad world of TV News, scared yelping puppies who have been abandoned by owners fleeing the rocket attacks has more impact than poor people pushing shopping carts in depressing streets.

We laughed about my idea, and no we did not go and find a dog shelter, but set up in the street for our live shots.

Still think it was a good idea though

Mal
Sderot
November 16, 2006

1 comment:

PLANET3RRY said...

Wow... pretty crazy.

Of course, I was laughing at the White Boots. Don't they know it's past Labor Day (U.S. fashion humor)

Stay Safe!