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Anne Frank's Letter to Netanyahu

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Mr. Prime Minister,

It was a desolate litter of human beings; where the corpses could be seen where the human eye could see; every bunk crowded with the living and the dead; it was a place where who were gassed could not scream. Some seventy years ago it was a notorious Nazi concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen, Germany. It was where I died_____ But when I glance back, I see some disturbing parallels in Palestine, albeit not closely related___ people in Gaza living under the shadows of Warsaw Ghetto. It's a revision of Auschwitz.

I hope if I take a little liberty to address you by your nick name "Bibi" it will not make you offended. You don't know how beautiful this place is? You can't even imagine. Why? Simply because no demagogue lives here. I won't label this place with any worldly name that we learnt during our terrestrial life "heaven or paradise," labeling it--I think"-"- if it would make some people please then certainly it will also make others offended. Samantha and Bertha are my new friend here. Samantha, her full name is Samantha Smith, she is an American teen aged girl who once wrote a letter to [then] Russian President Yuri Andropov, exactly when both super powers of the world were at the verge of war, perhaps a nuclear war. And Bertha, her full name is Bertha Von Suttner, the unloved child of an ancient aristocratic Czech family who urged her wealthy friend Alfred Noble to endow a Noble Peace prize. They both tease me that my very people who claim themselves the children of prophets, how they've dirtied their hands with blood and dishonored the sacred land with incendiary machines, where Abraham Sarah, Jacob, Rebecca, David and Solomon are buried.

You would be so happy because you have won a war against an underdog enemy. You know what H.G. Wells says about such disproportionate wars, when one warring party has an overwhelming military capacity with which it can blow what comes in its way and the other party's weaponry is yet to be evolved. This was a kind of a Martians' war with man or a "man's war with sparrow." When poorly armed inhabitants of Warsaw Ghetto ambushed in defense, the Nazis crushed indiscriminately what came in their way, they razed block after block of the ghetto. In Warsaw uprising Jews were poorly armed and their war against the nasty Nazis was too a kind of "man's war with sparrow.'' You, periodically come to raze the buildings and civilians alike for which your ablest military strategists use a metaphor "mowing the grass".

Bibi, when I look back and when I see Palestinian children pelting stones on Israeli tanks, imagery of a Jewish shepherd boy David hurling stone from his sling on Goliath flickers in my mind. But what disturbs me a lot is that that once oppressed David is turned into an oppressor Goliath now. Palestine is a staggering bloodbath since David Ben Gurion well known as "old man" sought this state for a warrior-pioneer Jew, who on his back would plow the land with gun and after winning [the war] would read poetry around bonfire. Is it different from what the Drunk on Genocide Nazis did after killing meek and defenseless Jews? There too were celebrations in bars and pubs on music and dance for killings. What we have set in motion in Palestine, one needs not an expert's eye to contemplate that.

Bibi, when I was leaving home with my parents for the hiding place. I packed my diary first in my school satchel. You know why? Because memory meant a lot to me. And it means a lot to [us] all Jewry, because we are people of history. I fail to grasp wisdom of the notion that how people of history can erase the history of the Palestinians with bayonet? There is anger and tension that hung palpably in the air. The villages whose homes are stolen. The images of dead children in Gaza and of destroyed houses, they all, yelling aloud Israel of reinventing apartheid. An apocalyptic sting emanating from your actions in Palestine displeases me a lot. This astonishes me that how people of classic values like of tikkum olam: "behave and act constructively and beneficially,'' have become perpetrators of violence.

We know what suffering is, we faced slavery, exiles, diaspora, and surmounted and inconceivable sufferings to the human mind. Does it mean to be a paranoid nation? It is as we are in a constant threat that world is against us, sleuths of army are descending from a mountain and would attack us. Something synonymous to that your late father, an historian and a professor emeritus at Cornell University, also taught you. How dreadfully we have turned this tiny state into an assassination machine, "if someone comes to kill you, rise and kill him first. We are applying the same medicine [that Nazis applied on us] on wrong people. This is what we are doing with Arabs, our own distant cousins. Stealing large swaths of their land which is "evildoing" in Jewish Mishna how does it become kosher in a "Zionist State"? I daresay not but some writers are drawing some disturbing parallels between you and Hitler. The racist bill in Israeli parliament the "Knesset" they too bear resemblance with the laws adopted by German parliament "Reichstag" in the early days of the Nazi regime.

Bibi, I was thirteen years of age, had darling parents and an elder sister Margot, many other relations and darling uncles and aunts too. Life was cramming with dreams. Mummy, sometimes, she asked me to whom I shall get married. There was a string of boys who loved to kneel their heads on their heels just for a single glimpse of mine. Everything was fine and shipshape. Then came Hitler's fascism and it was anxiety that reigned everywhere. I had dreams like many other girls of my age or of the same like the Palestinian children that are shot down by Israeli guns. I witnessed and endured the horrors of Holocaust, the hardships that we endured were unfathomable.

Mr. Prime Minister,

We had British on our side, then America on tour side. We have power and we can claim what we want in a pure Athenian sense, "the powerful exact what they can, and the weak grant what they must." We should forget not, there is nothing permanent. One can't rule out the role of contingency---- history doesn't follow a linear track only, it goes in a cyclic way too. The ancient Egyptians built pyramids when the Germans were living in caves. The Arabs ruled in the middle ages. The Muslims were playing algebra when the German princes could not write even their own names. It has nothing to do with the races. Civilizations rise and fall. The Chinese, the Aztec, the Romans but no one really knows. Why? What when we shall not have American support? For the Palestinians one day "out of the blood clotted walls, out of the quivering of life and death, life will emerge," because there is nothing permanent in this world. As Holocaust were not permanent.

Bibi, what condescends me is that Jews had made many distinguished contributions to the modern civilization and have a long list of fascinating names like Marx, Freud, Kafka and Einstein and there is a separate genre too which covers services of the Judaism to the modern world. At this time when the world is already in turmoil and going through a transition it demands from us [all] a peaceful coexistence. You know "Bibi!" violence never lasts long, and the occupation will collapse under the cumulative weight of wrong doings. Once there was Soviet Union, the British Empire, the Apartheid and the Roman Empire, now where they all are? Ghettoes and genocide paved a way for the Human Rights Declaration and Genocide Convention.

Margot, my elder sister. Mummy always banished her from reading books that are only for the grownups. Here she is reading a remarkable play Nathan the Wise. Set during the Third Crusade, when all the populations of Jerusalem, Muslims, Jews and Christians despite their religious differences and prejudices they lived in peace. Cornad, a Christian knight, parades into ablaze house and saves Recha, Nathan's foster daughter. Al-Hafi, a dervish, is Nathan's great friend and he works for Saladin the Muslim Sultan of Jerusalem. Sultan, a sympathetic ruler, saves the life of Conard. Daya, a Christian lady, who takes care for Recha, she never feels guilty of her association with the Jews. The whole town resounds Nathan's costly stuff and generosity. They celebrate common humanity which unite them all. Nathan the Wise might have some wisdom for us to grasp, at this time when the world has lost sense.

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I do not have a series of glorious achievements to share with my fellow beings or the viewers of this piece. I worked for a private TV channel "Din News" based in Lahore Pakistan. I feel so saddened on the melancholy deaths of millions by the (more...)

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