The Rockets' Red Glare... in Sderot

Michael Freund,

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Michael Freund
Michael Freund served as Deputy Communications Director in the Israeli Prime Minister's Office under Binyamin Netanyahu during his first term of office. He is the Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (, a Jerusalem-based organization that searches for and assists the Lost Tribes of Israel and other "hidden Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. In addition, Freund is a correspondent and syndicated columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and authors a popular blog on Middle East affairs, Fundamentally Freund. A native New Yorker, Freund is a graduate of Princeton University and holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia. He has lived in Israel for the past 19 years and remains a loyal New York Mets fan....

Well, it was just another quiet Friday today in the Israeli town of Sderot.

As of this writing – before noon - only 1 Palestinian rocket has hit the city thus far, while a second one landed in an open field elsewhere in the Negev. I guess the terrorists decided to sleep in late this morning.

The fact of the matter is that for much of the past year, the Palestinian rocket fire has been ongoing, as has the lack of coverage in the Western media.

And this helps to explain, at least in part, the willingness of so many governments to continue backing PA President Mahmoud Abbas, even as he has done nothing to halt attacks against the Jewish state.

With little public awareness, and even less outrage, about the persistent Palestinian assaults against Israel, there is little political price to be paid, it seems, for backing Mr. Abbas.

Abbas_supporters_2And so, as Reuters revealed today, Washington has agreed to give Abbas another $86 million to bolster his so-called security forces – the very same armed units that are rife with terrorists and their sympathizers and which permit the attacks on Sderot to continue.

The ostensible reason for doing so is to strengthen Abbas in his power struggle with Hamas, but that is short-sighted thinking to say the least. Backing one bad guy just because he is a little less evil than the other bad guy is hardly a morally compelling, or strategically sophisticated, policy vision.

The result of this approach is quite clear: Mr. Abbas sees that he is rewarded no matter what he does – or doesn't do – so why should he bother to stop attacks on Israel?

And so, once again today, the red glare of the rockets hitting Sderot continues.