Op-Ed: Memo From Israel to Palestine
Gerard Van der LeunGerard Van der Leun a writer and editor living in Southern California after a 30 year career in book and magazine publishing in New York City.
To: The Palestinian People
From: The People of Israel
Re: Final Notice Before the Termination of Our Relationship
(To be filed in your "Permanent Conduct Record")
As you know from our repeated meetings over many years, we have repeatedly done our best to accommodate your incessant demands regarding employment, compensation, housing allowances, health benefits, and other items of mutual interest as we have endeavored to work together on "Project Peace in the Middle East."
We have, with your agreement and assurances of a better performance, given you time, money, professional help, medication and a more than reasonable offer of land for you to live in while you work out "your issues." In the course of these meetings we feel we have been more than forthcoming in our attendance to your "special needs."
From time to time we have accepted your written word that, given adequate resources, you would be working to resolve "your issues." We note, for the record, that at no time has your word proven to be worth the paper that we both so ceremoniously signed. Indeed, it has been our bitter experience that the working out of "your issues" most often involves explosive episodes on the streets of our country.
It has come to our attention, through a continuing rain of the body parts of our citizens onto our streets, that "your issues" do not seem to be resolvable through considered and mutually agreeable negotiations. The outcome of these 'negotiations' in the recent past seems to us to be one of we give and you take and then you kill us. We have decided that this is not a program that we wish to continue.
Indeed, it would seem to be the case that your "central issue," although internally generated within your institutions and religion, seems to be the eradication of the state of Israel and the extermination of the Jewish people here and abroad. We mention 'abroad' since it would seem to us that your goal is to first create a base that includes the entire state of Israel, kill the Jews within those borders, and then use that land as a base to kill Jews throughout the world. Perhaps we are wrong in this, but we find that a people is best known by the company they keep.
We have had a similar experience with this "central issue" as a "final solution" towards the middle of the last century. We discovered, after millions of us had been slaughtered, that mollification, negotiation and submission was not a successful policy. Indeed, we created the state of Israel around the central concept of 'Never again.'
Please note that after no little reflection and soul searching, we have decided to return Israel to this concept as the foundation of our internal and international policy from this moment forward.
Because we are a reasonable people we have decided to issue this memorandum in order to give you one chance to reform yourselves and become fit to be included in the human race. Should you choose not to pursue this path, we will at least have a record that you were notified in a fair and timely manner before termination.
"Never Again" was our first principle and is now our final position. This memo serves to note the end of all negotiations with the Palestinian People.
Your problems and your issues as of this date are yours and yours alone. You must solve whatever bipolar instability and manic-depressive disappointment and psychotic tendencies towards homicidal violence plague your society among yourselves. You will not, from this date forward, use the People of Israel as targets for your own internal demons.
Your "issues" will no longer be allowed to become our "episodes."
Should you choose to act out, even once, we, the People of Israel, hereby notify you that we are prepared to and shall, without any further notice, over-react towards all Palestinian people and interests within our sphere of influence.
Bear in mind that we have not in recent memory over-reacted against your unremitting efforts to exterminate us. We have been patient and measured in our responses, cognizant of a watching world and not wanting to seem, even for a moment, to be as savage and violent as those who have been waging a coward's war against us for decades. We have, at all points, been as honorable in war as possible ? even when the wars in which we were engaged were not fought by honorable adversaries.
As you know, our military power, both conventional and nuclear, is immense. We won't detail here the helicopters, missiles, tanks, aircraft and troops that we can mobilize and move to the east, as far as the desert of Iraq, if we wish.
Mere mention of these items has not gotten your attention.
The restrained use of these items has not gotten your attention.
Because we are weary of having our streets used as your martyr's mausoleums, because we are extremely angered when we must place the shredded bodies of children into body bags, because we would feel a lot better getting up in the morning if we knew we'd be coming home at night, we have decided we must, regretfully, engage in methods that will, finally, either get your attention or leave you without the capacity for attention in the first place.
This, then, is your single choice:
If you know of those among you who seek to kill even one of us by any means, you would be well advised to render them incapable of killing anyone immediately. Should you wish to ever have a bit of land to call your own and you are aware of an organization of any kind that seeks to take our land outright, you would be well advised to render them powerless forthwith.
Should you fail to do so and, as we stated above, even one more of our citizens should be killed by the cowardly methods you have perfected over the years, we will conclude that your entire society values martyrdom more than life and peace, and we will endeavor, to the limit of our ability, to supply you with same.
We will begin our program of over-reaction without delay and without reference to our allies or world opinion. We will deal with that in the days that follow the completion of our strategic exercises in what you quaintly term "the occupied territories." Please notify those whom you consider your allies that, should they chance to intervene, we have sufficient resources to deal with them expeditiously.
Should individual Palestinians feel that these terms are unrealistic, we would advise them to seek an exit visa and to remove themselves as far from 'the occupied territories' as is feasible, and as quickly as possible. When we over-react to the east we will not be checking ID cards.
Please reflect upon these conditions as seriously as we have in drafting them.
Remember, in the final analysis, we are a people with no little experience in stunning victories.
The People of Israel
CC: USA, EU, UN and others whom it may concern
[Originally published on www.americandigest.org on August 22, 2003.]