When U.S. President Barack Obama visited Israel recently, we fell in love with his captivating personality. His trip to the Holy Land represented one great hope: that his visit would launch a process that will ultimately, we are praying, bring peace.
On the second day of his trip, when his voice echoed across the Mukata government compound in Ramallah, filled with the hope of peace, a rocket warning pierced the air in Sderot and a rocket exploded against the wall of the Haziza home. The rocket sent the family's youngest daughter, Lian, on an endless journey of fear and anxiety, and broke the sweet calm that had prevailed in Israel for four months. It shattered the naive delusion of a peaceful childhood, sending us all back to the reality that has been the essence of our daily lives for some 12 years.
That one salvo brutally stripped the illusion of absolute silence from the scarred collective memory that is shared by local residents who must live this nightmare, and whose scars may never heal.
I carry young Lian's pain with me, as well as the wounds in the souls of all of our children. With a heavy heart, I see their childhoods being ripped away from them. On the last day of the Passover holiday, I slept fitfully, feeling anxious and despondent as my own children prepared to go back to school. Their walk to school was accompanied by rocket alerts and distant explosions, which have long provided the soundtrack of their childhoods.
On behalf of myself and the residents of Sderot and other towns near the Gaza border: I would like to see the bleeding hearts harboring double standards, who purport to pursue universal justice, rise up and fight for our children's right to a happy and healthy childhood with the same fervor they fight for their own children and the children of Gaza. We have had enough terror destroying our children's souls. We don't need the hypocrisy and double standards spewed by you or our neighbors from the terror organizations.
I support Israel's government in every endeavor that involves exacting a firm, comparable price from these plunderers that have stolen our little children's worlds and childhoods. I watch them — our children — very closely, with tears choking me. I silently salute these little heroes, the future heroes of our beloved land. Heroes against their will.
David Buskila is the mayor of Sderot.