Rabbi David Fendel, head of the Sderot Hesder Yeshiva Afikei Daaat and 2008 winner of the prestigious Moskowitz Prize for "community involvement and commitment to the Jewish nation", immigrated from the USA in 1979. He participated on Sunday in the funeral of Ami Moshe, a resident of Ashkelon who was killed on Saturday in a missile attack on the city.
Rabbi Fendel shared with Arutz Sheva some of his thoughts on the escalation of terrorist attacks on southern Israel in recent days.
“We realize that this is a direct result of the whole attitude of the Israeli government toward freeing prisoners and towards terror and towards turning the other cheek and trying to pacify wild beasts,” he said, adding that “what Sderot has been going through for about ten years is now beginning all throughout Ashkelon and Ashdod.”
“Grad missiles,” he added, “are not Kassams. This is a whole different ball game. This is real deadly, and this is frightening. Whenever they feel like it, they can hold the entire south hostage and captive.”
Rabbi Fendel rejected the idea of a ceasefire, usually broken by the Gaza-based terror groups in any event, and called for the IDF to launch a military operation in Gaza.
“Now that Gilad Shalit isn’t in Gaza, there should be nothing stopping us,” he said. “This was an all-out attack on Israel. A ceasefire is even more threatening because that means that they won. That means that they’re waiting for the next round and they can start in on their terms, when it’s good for them, and whenever it becomes a little too difficult then they can begin the whole thing again.”