Israelis shop to show Sderot solidarity


Israelis flocked to Sderot to shore up local businesses against the threat of Palestinian rocket salvoes.

Thousands of people from all over Israel descended Friday on Sderot to shop at its markets, patronize its restaurants or enjoy an unseasonably warm afternoon with hikes in nearby desert dunes and pastures.

The campaign, titled “Convoy to Sderot,” was initiated by activists concerned by the long-term erosion of the hardscrabble southern town’s economy amid constant rocket attacks from the nearby Gaza Strip.

Local businesspeople reported turnover increases of as much as 100 percent, but they also voiced fear that the influx of well-wishers would be short lived. Israeli media responded Sunday by publishing free ads for Sderot businesses.

Taking the campaign further afield, the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles plans to host a “Live for Sderot” concert Tuesday.

According to Yediot Achronot, Sylvester Stallone and Paula Abdul are among the celebrities expected to attend the event, which will feature musical performances by 10 children from Sderot as well as by Ninette Tayeb, the winner of the first season of “A Star is Born,” Israel’s version of “American Idol.”

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