If you do nothing else today, I beg you to listen to 12-year old Chanan Yaakobov, whose father Yaakov was killed by a Kassam rocket six days ago.
The video is here, and the particular segment I want you to hear begins at about 04:20.
Transcript is here, but the written words cannot convey the person.
Q. Do you want to continue living here in Sderot? A. (firmly) Yes.
Q. Why? Why is it important to you?
A. Because, I very much love the State of Israel. If I and my cousins leave Sderot, we could do it in a day. But if we do, then the State would simply fall apart. Because if Sderot falls apart, then the whole country goes with it. If the Hamas terrorists see that they succeeded in emptying out Sderot, then they will say, we finished with Sderot, and then they will send Kassams to Ashkelon, and then we will lose Ashkelon, and then the same with Ashdod - and then the same thing with the whole country, that's it, nothing will be left of Israel. All the Jews will be scattered in places that - I don't know where they will be able to go...
Q. if the Prime Minister was here now, what would you say to him?
A. I wouldn't want to speak with him, I would tell him to get out of here, I - I would give him a kick, or throw stones at him - I don't know what I would do to him.
Q. And Amir Peretz, who lives here - what would you say to him?
A. I would tell him to go away, I wouldn't want to talk to him, I don't even want to see him. Because if the people of Sderot were important to him, a long time ago - and I mean a long time ago - he would have done what he should...
Asked about the government, Chanan said with great emphasis:
[I want] the Defense Minister and Olmert to - to say that they can't do it. They should let Bibi Netanyahu and [Avigdor] Lieberman take their place.... They should give up their places in the government! ... If you can do it, then I want to see your answer! I ask of you - and if not, then give up your places, but quickly! Quickly! I, the son of Yaakov, I turn to you: Give up your places in the Knesset! Give them up!"
See also Gush Katif Residents Visit Sderot
Gush Katif's Rabbi Yigal Kaminetzky, who continues to serve as a spiritual and practical leader for the former residents, explained why it is important to visit the Sderot residents: "Regardless of the government's policies, it is important to talk with the people and hearten them, just like any person who is in need of encouragement so that he may live as normally as possible. Given the similar situation that we have experienced, we are more equipped than anyone else to give them strength and hope."
"People are thirsty for words of faith and strength," Rabbi Kaminetzky writes. "The reality in which we live, where our leaders and media broadcast only weakness, is very difficult and depressing. People are thirsty for words of the spirit that will uplift them."
Thoughts of leaving Sderot should not be encouraged, the rabbi advises: "The struggle is not just for Sderot, but rather for the nation's spirit. Continued life in Sderot, despite the difficulties, can imbue a great spirit into the people. Unfortunately, our nation faces great difficulties from within and without, and we need great spiritual strengths to help us meet these dangers... The people of Sderot, unwittingly, are the spearhead of the fight..."
Asked if one is permitted from a Halakhic [Jewish-legal] standpoint to live in an area of danger, Rabbi Kaminetzky responded:
"A certain measure of danger is clearly permitted; one may ride in a car or cross the street, despite the danger of traffic accidents. But beyond this, those who live today in Sderot - just like when we lived in Gush Katif in Gaza - these are not merely personal issues. The eyes of the whole world and nation are upon Sderot. If, Heaven forbid, it is abandoned, this will give another tremendous back-wind to terrorism, encouraging them to try to empty out more towns in Israel, Heaven forbid - a tragic situation that would be a tremendous and terrible desecration of the name of Israel and of G-d...
"The home-front has become the battle front, both in the north and now here in the south - and as such, it is part of the 'commanded war' the Torah instructs us to wage. If the home-front crumbles, the army won't have what to defend even if it finally receives the right commands."