Sderot mayor to Goldstone: When rockets hit us you were silent
Mayor of Qassam-battered town accuses Goldstone of ignoring Israel's suffering in UN Gaza report.
Mayor of the southern Israeli town of Sderot, David Buskila, on Saturday sent a scathing letter to South African justice Richard Goldstone, who headed the United Nations fact finding mission on Israel's offensive in Gaza last winter.
Goldstone's commission compiled a report accusing both Israel and Hamas of war crimes during the three-week offensive.
Buskila, whose city of Sderot has been bombarded by Qassam rockets fired from Gaza for eight years, accused Goldstone of remaining silent while "8,000 rockets pounded us."
In his letter, Buskila wrote that his city had suffered from Hamas' aggression more than any other israeli city, with death and destruction that left an indelible mark on the residents of the city.
"The world, and you in it, was silent. You were silent in the face of the dead bodies of our children, in the face of our children's frightened eyes, you were silent in the face of every one of the 8,000 Qassam rockets that hit our city," Buskila wrote.
"Your silence was frightening, and reminiscent of things forgotten," he added.
The letter began with the mention of three Sderot children who were killed in rocket attacks. "The blood of the children whose lives were cut short is screaming out from the earth, there is no redemption and no forgiveness for the blood of a little child whose short existence had not yet taught him that there is evil and that there are wars," Buskila wrote, attaching pictures of the three children "who will never grow up" to the letter.
The Sderot mayor also expressed his identification with the Palestinian people, writing that "I regret and am sorry for the death of every Palestinian child, I feel the pain of the Palestinian civilians, but let's not ignore the facts - the leaders of Hamas and other fundamental Islamic terror organizations are to blame for the suffering of Sderot residents and their children, as well as the suffering of Gaza's residents. These people, whose sole purpose in life are war crimes, and to whom the norms of the West do not apply, are to blame."
Buskila concluded his letter by expressing hope that "peace will prevail in our region, and I invite you to personally examine the suffering of the residents of Sderot, who represent the other part of the equation, the part you didn't bother understanding."