Illinois Sen. Barack Obama stopped in the war-torn town of Sderot, Israel, yesterday as part of a whirlwind tour of the Middle East and Europe. Among the dozens of people who came to exchange words with the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate was Rabbi Moshe Ze’ev Pizem, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Sderot.

Pizem used the opportunity to introduce himself and the Chabad House, which has taken a lead in providing for victims and terrified residents in the wake of almost continuous Palestinian rocket attacks aimed against the desert town. Pizem was invited to the talk by Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal.

For his part, Obama used the event outside of Sderot’s central police station to talk foreign policy. With the used casings of Palestinian rockets serving as his backdrop, the Democrat said that he believes “strongly that it is in the interest of Israel’s security to arrive at a lasting peace with the Palestinian people.”

Pizem, though, looked at a recent period of relative calm skeptically. Speaking by phone after Obama’s appearance, the rabbi asserted that “there isn’t a Jew here who believes the tranquility is real. There is the fear all the time that the situation is going to become more dangerous.”

With that thought in mind, Pizem approached Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak after Obama’s speech to discuss the security situation with him. According to the rabbi, Barak assured him that the Israeli government “would do all it could to insure Sderot’s safety.”