Rock in the Red Zone

There seem to be a lot of people who don’t understand why Israel feels the need to go into Gaza and to root out Hamas there. Over the last eight years, terrorists have been sending missiles into the southern area of Israel on an almost daily basis. The city that gets targeted the most is called Sderot. The Israelis, being highly technical, have deployed a system which gives a 15 second warning to get to a safe place. Hamas in turn continues to build stronger and more accurate missiles.

Imagine, fifteen seconds in which to seek shelter. Sometimes 50 times a day.

Media coverage of this terror is low because fortunately the death toll has not been catastrophic. But it is terror, and no one can pretend it is a peaceful, civilized way of living. In what has become a well-rehearsed routine, Sderot’s residents run for cover when the Color Red air raid sounds. Every person in this close-knit community has experienced a Qassam exploding nearby, and has known one of the victims. Several thousand people are being treated for shock and other psychological effects. Sderot’s children, many of whom know no other way of life, show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. As the rockets continue unabated, however, “post”-trauma is not an accurate diagnosis, because these are not events isolated in time… it just goes on every day. Over the last seven years many people have died, many more have sustained life-changing injuries.

But here’s what’s so interesting:

Laura Bialis, a film maker from Los Angeles, moved to Sderot to document this life. But what she discovered was an incredibly vibrant music scene that has grown there. In some weird way Sderot turns out to be the Seattle, Washington or Athens, Georgia of Israel.. at least musically.

As Bialis explains:

Musical sounds and instruments from all over the world meld together in this place at the crossroads of East and West. As they try to live normal lives, and realize their careers, the musicians write about their daily struggles and the harsh realities of living in Israel and especially, Sderot. Their music captures their fears and challenges, the feeling that the world has abandoned them, the uncertainty of this place. Through Hip-Hop, Folk, Middle-Eastern, and Rock n’ Roll, they express their desperation and determination.

To many, the questions about Israel and the Middle East are abstract. But the people of Sderot are at the tip of the spear — they live the battle on a daily basis. To them, peace in the Middle East is not a question of roadmaps or diplomatic initiatives, it’s just a day that goes by when they don’t have to run for cover.

So check it out if you can. Below is the trailer, go digging around the movie’s website.

One comment

  1. inocuo said:
    2009/01/20
    14:21

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Here in spain is really difficult to be able to read or hear voices that explain the other part of the facts. I really don’t understand the interest in those who only want to show us the half part of the problem. I hope this problem they suffer in that area will flinish in a near future and that won’t be a looser, only winners.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: