By Richard Friedman,
BJF Executive Director
Nothing inspires me more than the resilience that Israelis — of all ages — show in times of crisis. And the determination the country’s civilians show in the face of terror is especially inspiring and even at times astonishing.
All this was brought home to me once again the other day by a story on the Israel21c website. The story was headlined, “Children of Sderot counter kite terror with kite festival.”
“In the midst of a rash of fires in Israeli border communities ignited by incendiary kites from Gaza, kids in Sderot fly handmade ‘kites of life,'” explains the story.
“We are busy with positive things and optimism and the desire that our children always be happy,” explained the mayor of Sderot, an Israeli city near the Gaza Strip. “I also call on the children of Gaza to enjoy playing with kites and not be drawn astray by terrorist elements. Ours are kites of life, not death.”
I’ve been to Sderot several times and despite the constant targeting of the city by rockets fired from the nearby Gaza Strip, the resilience of the people there, including the children, is amazing. Every citizen of Sderot is a powerful role model of courage and determination.
Whether it be the rebirth of Israel as a modern state in the wake of the Holocaust, or quickly reopening restaurants and shopping areas in the aftermath of bloody terrorist attacks, the response of the Jewish people to tragedy always has been to affirm life. The “kites of life” are one more example.