click here to jump to start of article
  • Torah Reading: Naso
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​

Sderot Student at the UN

Sderot Student at the UN

"Are human rights for some, but not for others?"

by Liraz Madmony

Liraz Madmony, a 23-year-old law student from Sderot, addressed the UN Human Rights Council Special Session on Gaza in Geneva on behalf of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) on Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 before the vote by the council that condemned Israel's military offensive in Gaza and resolved to send a fact-finding mission to investigate alleged Israeli abuses against Palestinians.

Here is the text of her speech.

Thank you, Mr. President.

I come from Sderot, the city in Israel that for eight years has been terrorized, by 10,000 rockets fired against us from Gaza.

As a law student, I learned -- and I believe -- that all human beings have the right to peace and security.

But when I see today's resolution, I ask: Why is the United Nations ignoring my suffering? When the terrorists committed these 10,000 violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, why was the UN silent?

Are human rights for some, but not others?

The constant assault on Sderot has destroyed our ability to lead a normal life. The warning before each attack gives us only 15 seconds to run for shelter. Fifteen seconds that will decide, life or death.

Mr. President, who will protect our right to life? My family does not have a bomb shelter, so we run to the most protected room, which is the shower.

There is one attack I will never forget. We heard the siren at seven in the morning. We ran to the shower. The rockets fell next to my house. My little brother, who was 14, went to see if anyone needed help. He found a man whose legs were blown off, and a woman blown to pieces.

My youngest brother is six. The rockets have been falling for eight years. He knows no other reality.

Everyone suffers in Sderot. Fathers and mothers are afraid to go to work, creating poverty. Kids are afraid to go to school. I have missed many of my law classes. My friends are afraid to visit. The streets lie empty.

I dream of the hometown that I remember. When the park near my house was filled with happy families and children playing. When people enjoyed life.

I still dream of peace. It will come when the rulers of Gaza choose humanity over hate, when they stop firing on our children while hiding behind their own.

We refuse to grant victory to the terrorists. We choose to live, staying strong with our faith, family and love of country.

Mr. President, who will protect our most basic human rights? My country is now trying its best, and all who love life and desire peace should pray they succeed.

Thank you, Mr. President.

January 14, 2009

Give Tzedakah! Help create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 32

(32) Judson Bastos, January 22, 2009 9:30 PM

Liraz, I make your words as mine, althogh only you can say them with the right that you have. The Israeli citizens are the first whose words must be respected and considered.

(31) ger van der Burg, January 22, 2009 10:10 AM

Doesnt mather on whos side you are in this war try to see it in prospect, If the Arabs keep theirselves quitte there is peace, when Israel is quitte Iran and Hezbollah and Hamas are trying to get Israel distroyed. Conclusion:.........

(30) Dr. Michael Cunningham-Urtzell, January 21, 2009 12:56 PM

The reports on the war, and the pontifications of the UN tell me that both are anti-semitic and will never approach what Israel does with an open hand.


(29) yara gerber, January 21, 2009 5:19 AM

Human rigths are for all

Great speech! If United Nations was so worried in defend Israeli's human rigths maybe the warm had never started. Yara Gerber from Brazil

(28) Elonna, January 20, 2009 9:12 AM

UN is pathetic

The UN is nothing but a bunch of hypocrites, biased against Israel. I really think a majority in the UN can't stand the idea of a Jewish state. No other explanation. They live in their cozy Western civilized countries, ignorant of dhimmi reality throughout the middle east. or just don't care. Where is the UN's "fact finding" missions into all the Arab countries that don't have human rights, who have dhimmi-laws against non-Muslims? Arab terrorists bomb Sderot for 8 years, where was the "fact finding" mission from the UN then? UN has ZERO credibility. Nobody would get away with bombing America for 8 years. I would love to see these UN idiots sit on their hands if someone bombed THEIR countries for 8 years.

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment