May 30, 2008

Important reading for Ehud Barak

I doubt if this will even be read by Ehud Barak, not to mention be
heeded, but I find it a moving declaration of principled discourse and
political reasoning arising out of grief. It was published in
_Counterpunch._ The rest of the article can be found by clicking on or
cutting and pasting the hyperlink at the end of the excerpt. Those of
you who (in spite of the evidence and of common sense) still believe the
lie that all Palestinians are terrorists-- I am sending this to more
than my Middle East Peace compatriots--should think of this the next
time someone tells you that Palestinians want for themselves exactly
what we here in the US are fortunate enough to enjoy.

In Peace--

May 30, 2008

/*An Open Letter to Defense Minister, Ehud Barak */

Here's the Truth You've Been Running From

By BASSAM ARAMIN (*Bassam Aramin* is co-founder of Combatants for Peace.
Translation by Mimi Asnes.)

Honorable General Ehud Barak, you don't know me personally. I am a
seeker of peace, and I struggle with all my strength and ability for the
realization of a just peace that will bring calm and prosperity to
Palestinians and Israelis together. I have suffered personally from your
criminal occupation and I have paid a heavy price. Firstly, I was
imprisoned when I was 17 years old and wasted seven years of my life in
your barbaric prisons. Secondly, have you perhaps read or heard about
what happened to the young girl Abir Aramin? She was a ten-year-old whom
your soldiers killed with a rubber bullet from a distance of 15 feet on
January 16, 2007 in front of her eleven-year-old sister Areen. Despite
this I, the father of Abir — may she rest in peace — believe in the
right of the Israeli person, as in the right of all people, to exist and
to live in peace and security. So why do you not believe in our right to
enjoy these same things, sir?

Where was the democratic nature of your state when your heroic soldiers
killed my daughter before the eyes of her friends at the entrance to her
school in Anata? Where were your democratic ideals when you closed the
investigation file into Abir's murder for lack of sufficient evidence,
this despite the fact that the crime is clear and was committed in front
of more than ten witnesses? Was Abir really a threat to your soldiers, sir?

I carry in my possession the weapons with which Abir threatened those
soldiers. I have in my hand her school backpack, reinforced and armored,
of course — the mechanical pencil she had, laden with dangerous lead
cartridges, and her math book in which class she had a test the same
day, which of course included detailed instructions on how to prepare
chemical weapons. In addition to all this, she had a sharp ruler, which
could for sure be used as a weapon to stab someone. Lastly, I found in
her possession two pieces of chocolate that perhaps contained a bit of
enriched uranium that would have certainly brought devastation upon your
state, if she hadn't been tempted to take them in her hand for a taste
seconds before she was shot.

Here I have to give your soldiers credit in their incredible ability to
incapacitate and kill with such deadly accuracy. The bullet hit Abir
exactly one centimeter from her hypothalamus—this caused her to
immediately enter a coma and she died thereafter and went to dwell in
the presence of God, sparing her the continuing pain and heartache
herein expressed.

Thus, Abir Aramin can be added to the list of great successes and
security accomplishments in the name of the state of Israel. But I
request, Minister and General, in that I am the father of this young
girl, at the very least an admission of responsibility for this murder,
or its cause. It is your duty to bring the soldier who murdered Abir to
court so he may be tried and judged a murderer and criminal.

I believe that there is no military solution to the conflict and when
those cowards murdered my daughter, I announced that I did not want
revenge, I wanted justice, even though revenge is much easier. The real
fighter is one who chooses the harder path of the two for the sake of
peace, and revenge is the path of the coward.

Continued at


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