Open Letter To The Prime Minister Of Palestine
An Open Letter To The Prime Minister Of Palestine - Ismail Haniyeh
From Genevieve Cora Fraser
Dear Prime Minister Haniyeh,
I have been deeply moved by your honesty and courage and determination to bring the Palestinian Diaspora back home - and to make Palestine a safe haven for all who dwell within.
We are all Palestinians, Edward Said said. Never has this statement been more true. The dangers you face are imminent and imperil the lives, health and basic safety of the Palestinian people - but now the whole world is also at risk from these same dark forces. Your election is one of the most promising developments to occur since Palestine's tragic ordeal began nearly 60 years ago - the reason - you speak truth to a dishonest world hiding in the thicket of their lies. Please know that you have friends in America and throughout the world that have pledged to support you in efforts to bring justice to Palestine.
A year ago last January I visited Palestine and attended a peace conference at Al Quds University where there was no heat because the school had barely enough funds to keep its doors open. I drove past Palestinians chained to guard rails by the Israeli Occupation Forces and municipal buildings and refugee camps bulldozed and bombed and riddled with bullets. I witnessed a family held at a checkpoint by machine guns, denied a visit to their father - grandfather who lay dying a few feet away in an ambulance. I shared the last meal from a family farm that was now stolen and in the hands of the settlers, and was part of a team of internationals who rescued two Gaza teenagers who, despite holding valid permits, were arrested and jailed for merely sight-seeing in the Old City of Jerusalem.
I spent two days with the family of peace activist Dr. Khalid Salah in Nablus and was brought on a tour of their blood soaked, bullet and missile ridden apartment. His heartbroken wife Salam had lost 40 lbs in the six months since the brutal slaying of her dear husband and son Mohammad. The trauma and sorrow of their children, Diana and little Ali was still evident. The emotional scars from their hours long ordeal where 1,000 troops had gathered to slaughter them was fresh and graphic and magnified when the commander who had ordered the killings was awarded one of Israel's highest honors. Their loss is but one example of the sadism and horror you must brave everyday as part of the price you pay for being Palestinian. Yet, despite intense suffering, the People of Palestine remain remarkably sane, whole and free.
Yes, Palestinians are a free people. Palestine expressed its freedom, dignity and courage to the world through the ballot box - by voting their conscience and will - by voting for Hamas. Palestine is the only real democracy in the Middle East. True democracies believe in human rights and equal treatment under the law. This is not Israel's legacy where the racist Apartheid Wall and Basic Laws deny human rights to Arab citizens of Israel as well as to Palestinians.
The Holy Land cannot be grasped by the greedy.
If the people of Israel can somehow, someday open their minds and hearts to the common humanity they share with you, then they will be true partners in peace. But for the most part, they are a lost and troubled people who are trying to steal a land that will always elude them - until they recognize you as their brother.
Palestine is the Holy Land resanctified by the blood of its martyrs, but only Peace will lead the People home.
The thoughts and prayers and love of millions of people of every race and creed across the globe are with you in your struggle for a Just Peace in Palestine.
Blessings to you and yours,