The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Letter to President Obama

Posted on February 3rd, 2010 at 9:35 pm by

President Obama,

Please tell Senator Mitchell for me that he’s out of his mind if he thinks the Palestinian side is the one to blame for stalling the peace process. Israel continues, like she always has during every peace talk, to build settlements. Settlement freeze – what settlement freeze? You and Senator Mitchell are being disingenuous if you claim that the Israeli side is doing their part.

Let me ask you something. What would you say to someone who expects you to negotiate with a thief while the thief is stealing your property?

I know you have a lot of smart people giving you advice but they’re still wrong in their thinking regarding the steps the peace process should taking. There is this big push for peace negotiations right now which in my way of thinking is ass-backwards (please excuse my language).

The creation of a Palestinian state can be broken up into three steps. Despite what some people may be telling you, the first step is not peace negotiations. The first step in this whole process can only be the ending of the occupation. Some people must think the Palestinian people are ignorant, stupid and backward. How else can you explain the expectation that an occupied party must to enter into peace negotiations which a brutal occupier.

If the Israeli’s were serious about peace with the Palestinians then the only logical step for them would be to end the occupation. After all the occupation ultimately has to end for an independent State of Palestine to become a reality. Only when the occupation has ended can the next steps of peace negations and building a state begin. I’m not some highly educated Ivy Leaguer but I can say without hesitation that any other way of thinking is simply delusional. The status quo cannot continue. To quote a very famous Jew, Albert Einstein; “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results..”

You can look at one specific historical event that gives credence to what I said. Back in 1947, Gandhi’s primary concern and struggle was not peace-making with the British. He knew that the first step in creating an independent Indian state was to free the Indian people from British occupation. The same is true for Palestine. Peace negotiations cannot begin in earnest until the occupation has ended. The bottom-line is you cannot expect one party to negotiate a peace settlement while the playing field is not level. It’s too bad that some people today seem to be unable to learn from the past.

I am planning a short visit to Palestine in May. I would be happy to report back to you about the settlement freeze, Israel’s suppression of nonviolent protests by Palestinians and their supporters, or anything else you would like to know about. I’ll even get you pictures of riot gear-clad Israeli police using teargas, batons, and water cannons. Maybe I’ll even be able to get a picture or two of protestors being shot with rubber bullets.

Please do everyone a favor and spare us the old worn out rhetoric about the Palestinian side needing to do more. The onus is on Israel to do more. A lot more. As long as the international community lets Israel get away with it she will continue to procrastinate, effectively prolonging negotiations indefinitely. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that delays are in Israel’s best interest. If you think it will be hard to vacate the illegal settlements now, what do you think it will be like in 10 years? Kinda makes you wonder if this wasn’t Israel’s plan from day one in 1948 to slowly create facts on the ground until it’s too late to do anything about. It’s like putting a live lobster in a pot of water and slowly turning up the heat. Before the poor creature knows it it’s cooked.

Steven Beikirch

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