Friday, October 30, 2009

One Reason Israel Is Weak

No, not because we have so few citizens and not because we have not that many natural resources, like oil. And not even because too many people of displaying ignorance about the history of the conflict and too much anti-semitism.

Because of people like her.


Robi Damelin.

As Haaretz tells it,

Just before Yom Kippur, Robi Damelin, 65, an activist in the Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace (also known as the Parents Circle - Families Forum, or PCFF), revealed in these pages ("I forgave him," Haaretz Magazine, September 25) an unusual letter of reconciliation that she'd written to the Palestinian sniper who killed her son David, an officer in the reserves. In March 2002, Ta'er Hamad positioned himself with an old carbine rifle on a hill opposite a checkpoint in Wadi Haramiya, killed eight Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians - and escaped unscathed. [I pass that spot twice daily and my neighbor Avigdor Schatz was wounded trying to extricate those caught up in the ambush] Two and a half years later, in October 2004, he was arrested by an Israel Defense Forces unit operating in his village of Silwad. After learning of his incarceration, Damelin decided to contact him and his family, seeking reconciliation.

So, what was Hamad's response?

"I recently learned of the contents of a letter by Robi Damelin, mother of the soldier David, who was one of the 10 soldiers of occupation who were killed in the operation for which I was sentenced to 11 life terms," Hamad wrote. "I cannot address the soldier's mother directly. Not because it is difficult for me to convey my response from prison, but because my hand refuses to write in a style that epitomizes the policy of the occupation, that refuses to recognize and to accept the rights of our people. I cannot hold a dialogue with someone who insists on equating the criminal and the victim, and on equating the occupation with its victims. This is my response to the letter of Mrs. Robi, and I hereby criticize her sarcastic style when she thinks that with emotional words it is possible to resolve this decades-old conflict."

Hamad bluntly rejected the bereaved mother's outstretched hand. "Mrs. Robi did not explain what led the soldier David to enlist," he continues. "She doesn't know the iron fact that her son not only took part in the torture of my people, but stood at the head of the perpetrators of the killing and murder. From her letter, it appears that she is living on another planet. She forgets that the late Abu Amar (Yasser Arafat) called for peace 35 years ago. I wish to remind the mother of the soldier David that history proves that a people that does not fight an occupation with all means, including arms, cannot obtain its rights. This is the lesson that must be taken from looking at your ally the Americans who were humiliated in Vietnam and this is the lesson of your army's withdrawal from Lebanon. You must remove your hands from our land and from our people, and if not, it is our duty to kill the murderers.

"Mrs. Robi says that she joined the Palestinian and Israeli parents' organization for peace, after the death of her son," Hamad added. "This is an organization of parents who lost their children in the arena of the conflict, while she, Robi, is determined to equate our martyrs with their casualties, likening those who are fighting for their rights with the occupiers. Just as I refused to directly address the soldier's mother, I cannot wish to meet her. I cannot meet with the occupier of our land on the same land. I carried out the operation as part of the struggle for freedom, justice and the establishment of an independent state, not out of a lust or love for killing. Acts of violence are a necessity imposed upon us by the occupation and I shall not abandon this path for as long as the occupation continues."

Robbi's reaction?

...his letter is full of political cliches. It contains no deep thinking beyond the political justification of freedom fighters who seek to achieve their own state."

..."Ta'er," she wrote, "you wrote that David went to the army in order to kill, but this young man, who spent most of his time attempting to effect a change through education, said: 'If I go to reserve duty I will treat everyone with respect and so will my soldiers.' I think that these are not the words of a violent person. I think that these are the words of a person who is certain that we should not be in the occupied territories. A Palestinian I met after you killed David told me that he spoke with my son the day before and that he was sorry to hear that David had been killed. This is the human side of the conflict. You say that you killed 10 soldiers and civilians with the goal of ending the conflict. Is it possible that there was an element of personal revenge, as you had seen your uncle violently killed by Israeli soldiers as a child and had lost another uncle in the second intifada? Do you think you changed anything? I think that the killing of human beings, on both sides, only contributes to the cycle of violence."

And she explains:

"He basically said my son is a murderer. That's why it was important for me to write to him again. I know that if this sniper would have had a chance to know David, he wouldn't have been able to kill him. In this sense, my response is almost to protect my son. And yes, there is something insulting in his saying that I'm not being honest, when I know to what extent I examine every day just who I am, [and ask myself] do I really mean what I say."

..."When I told Eran [her oldest son] that I received a letter from the sniper, I expected him to say, 'For god's sake, Mom, let this thing go.' But he said something very beautiful. He said, 'Mom, this is also the beginning of a dialogue.'"

So, this is... dialogue?


But of the deaf...and dumb.


Anonymous said...

You are a piece of shit, Yisrael Medad.

You're a disgusting piece of hateful shit.

YMedad said...

Dear beloved and respectful Anon.,

I have to admit that logically I could be what you claim. But then again, it could be you who is a stinking clump of excretment. The only difference it would seem is that I am willing to be identified while you are afraid to identify yourself.

And I am going to leave your comment up here so that all can see how presumably left-of-center Jews think and express themselves.

Poop to you!

Rebecca said...

Hmm, well Anon might not be Jewish at all (or left-wing).

In any case, thank you for posting about this very painful attempt at "dialogue." Whatever we may think of her attempt, it may give some peace to the grieving mother. The murderer, on the other hand, will hopefully never leave prison.