Last week I did something, I was not even willing to consider doing 6 months ago. My family went on the hour drive to the town of Sderot. We did some shopping at a local grocery store and went to a restaurant for lunch before returning home.
In 2005 the government deciding the best way to deal with rocket attacks was to abandon Gaza. Jews were forcibly removed from their homes. They left behind completly intact Green Houses that had produced the best vegetables in the entire country. The Palestinians were handed an opportunity for economic growth and a chance to prove they could form their own nation on a silver platter. From their point of view it was not perfect. Instead of making the best with what they had they destroyed it all. Sderot became the front line target for missle attacks.
Citizens of Sderot had 15 seconds to find shelter from the time an air raid siren went off until it would land. The death toll was light but you never knew which siren was the one that could put your life and your property in danger. Unlike the Palestinians, they made the best of a bad situation and stayed. Children's playgrounds were built with protective shelters. There are random concrete walls all over the place, designed to provide extra protection. The owner of the restaurant I was at explained he told his 6 year old that it was a game. If he got to the bomb shelter first he won.
Operation Cast Lead was a response to the cries of the citizens living in Southern Israel. They were tired of the constant air raid sirens, the constant threat of danger. The rest of the country had sympathy and demanded the government to take action. The response was 3 weeks of military action where most of the people killed were those trying to harm Israel. I can now feel safe enough to take my family to Sderot without the fear of falling rockets.
The United States has been delivering the message that the path to peace is to remove Jews from their homes. The only path to peace is to take away the enemies ability to cause harm. If Obama fails to recognize this reality on Thursday he will find that is plan for peace is nothing but a unfounded fantasy.