Israeli advocate Sara Merson, who participated in the 2012 annual CAMERA Leadership and Advocacy Training Mission in Israel, is now living in Israel, and a current contestant in Israel’s reality singing competition, The Voice.

 Sara as a contestant on Israel’s The Voice. The show is now in its third season, with a Canadian born participant winning season one, and an Arab-Israeli participant winning season two.

She has used her voice and singing talent in order to spread the message of the crisis in Israel right now. She posted a video recently documenting the routine race-to-the-bomb-shelter that Israelis have to deal with on a ceaseless basis. In this instance it was filmed after rockets were detected flying over the port city of Ashdod, in southern Israel. In the background, she sings the iconic song “One Day” by Matisyahu, an overture to peace.

Sara Merson and Hayley Magerman in a Golan Heights winery.
Sara Merson and Hayley Magerman in a Golan Heights winery during a CAMERA trip to Israel.

“This is the reality of what’s going on here,” she explains, voicing her frustration with the circumstance. “Over 1000 rockets have been sent to Israel from Hamas in Gaza. Even after the ‘cease fire,’ Hamas continued to send rockets our way.” Her comment comes in response to a Egyptian proposed ceasefire which was accepted by Israel, but flatly rejected by Hamas. The situation does not seem to be improving, with Hamas vowing to continue rocket strikes into Israel until their demands are met.

Israelis in Ashdod have 45 seconds to race to a bomb shelter before rocket impact. Sara sings in this video.

Fortunately, Israel has developed “the ‘Iron Dome’ antimissile system to intercept some of them [rockets], but without it, these rockets would land in heavily populated civilian areas and many would be killed” Sara adds.

“The Israeli government and the IDF are doing all they can to protect its citizens from the barrage of rockets coming from Gaza,” she continues. “I have faith in this country, its military, and its people.”

Sara is a graduate of the University of Florida, where CAMERA currently has a CCAP group. In 2013, CAMERA was a sponsor of the Florida Loves Israel conference, which took place at the university.

This image by Israel's Home Front Command, shows how much time, determined by where someone lives in Israel, that they have from when a siren is first sounded and a rocket hits an area.
This image by Israel’s Home Front Command, shows the amount of time that one has from when a siren is first sounded and a rocket hits the area.

Contributed by CAMERA intern Alexander Dumanis. Dumanis is a student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

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