To: B. Netanyahu
From: Diane V. McLoughlin, writer, peace activist
main website: mcloughlinpost.com
Re: The new IDF so-called infiltrator military order providing the IDF with vastly expanded powers to expel Palestinians from their homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or to jail them for up to seven years at the military occupation's whim.
Dear Mr. Netanyahu,
I am writing to share frankly my views regarding the amendment to the 'infiltrator' military order enabling vastly expanded powers to the Israeli Offensive Forces (IOF) to harass and oppress and harm the Palestinian people.
Is the Israeli leadership oblivious to the fact that the civilized world is aware? That it is now watching, waiting to see what the Knesset chooses to do?
This new law gives the IOF the power to expel tens of thousands of Palestinians from their homes, both in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem for want of pieces of paper referred to as either 'legal permits' or 'certificates' issued by either the West Bank military commander or the Interior Ministry.
The West Bank military commander has never issued such permits. Palestinians who were born in the West Bank have no permits. This law is a farce; a transparent charade.
If this order is not immediately reversed, if, instead, the IOF begins to expel Palestinians from their homeland, Israel will become a full-fledged pariah state. At this point, even if the order is reversed I would argue that the chess pieces are not returned back to the square from which they came. Not after America's recent awakening from Vice President Joseph Biden's visit to you.
It is clear that many of your compatriots are hermetically-sealed in a bubble of self-delusion.
I may not be the best person to try to get through to honorable members of the Knesset. In fact I know I'm not. But somebody has got to try; the situation is too important to leave it to trust that somebody else will.
Israel is faced with four options:
One bi-national state with equal rights for all its citizens;
Two states bordered by pre-1967 boundaries, a shared Jerusalem, with no attempt at swaps of good land for bad thinking that anyone will be stupid enough to call that a bargain;
Repatriation of Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan;
Or, the continued oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians - the status quo.
Should Israel continue to choose the latter, Israel's reputation will be destroyed.
And no option will bring blessed calm and everlasting peace to Israel as long as
Palestinian-Israeli citizens within Israel proper are treated badly.
Israel is now faced with the ultimate, most monumental and moral of decisions. That is how it feels; a moment upon which history will pivot. The world collectively waits to exhale.
Should Israel opt to continue to occupy and live amongst the Palestinians on Palestinian lands while denying the Palestinians their civil rights; should Israel choose to implement this newest military abuse - intensifying the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank - Israel risks provoking a different antisemitism to arise, an antisemitism caused by the racist mistreatment of the Palestinians. All of the backroom dealing in the West attempting to criminalize criticism of Israel will not be able to evade, head off or squelch this: odious cause = horrified effect.
Mr. Netanyahu, I have long wanted to ask you when is the last time you were able to look anyone straight in the eye? Wouldn't you like to be able to, again?
In the children's movie 'Shrek', Shrek calls his friend, Donkey, a stupid, annoying beast of burden. I feel like Donkey. A beast of burden plodding along wanting you to have peace.
And like Shrek, the heroic ogre, you must have, like an onion, many layers of complexity about your character that most people who judge you from the outside might appreciate if they only knew.
In my own defense I would permit Donkey to have the final word: Only a true friend would be so truly honest.
Diane V. McLoughlin