Monday, 19 January 2009

An Open Letter to Gaza

MY DEAR HAMAS.

You don't know me, but I know all about you. You've been squabbling with my brother Judah again, so of course I'm interested. Don't worry, I've already told him exactly what I think about his conduct in all this. But since that ceasefire I've been getting more and more irritated with you, my friend.

Okay, yes, Judah has a long history of trying to steal your land, kill your people, etcetera etcetera. We know all that. We know all about how the nation of Israel was formed from part of the Mandate of Palestine, and so you think you have more right to the land than they do. Believe it or not, we even know all that stuff about Israel's conquering Gaza back in '67 (although, you know, first of all you guys and your friends started that one, and secondly, you'd been under Egyptian occupation before that, so big deal). And we feel for you, we really do.

But.

It's starting to look like you have no idea what you're doing. Seriously, Hamas, look at your record. You got elected to run Palestine, great, but then you managed to lose most of it. And yet you're still brawling with people? Take a hint from the West Bank lot, will you?

I mean, take this latest squabble. You got well and truly invaded - what is it, 1300 casualties to Judah's 13? - and then for some reason my brother ordered a ceasefire. You know, you know he could've kept stomping all over you. But what do you do? You immediately fire more rockets into his territory. I mean, really.

All right, then it starts to look like you've got a little sense - you start your own ceasefire. Good lad! But... you make it only a week long? And you have the audacity to claim you won?

Dear boy, Judah flattened you. He could have kept on flattening you. Don't you understand, Hamas? Even if he magically withdraws this week, the next time you start shooting he will be right back in there, and he will crush you. You seem to imagine you're on some sort of equal footing with him -- let me tell you, you are not. Believe me, I know my brother. The only reason he hasn't conquered you is that you're too much hassle to keep an eye on. But if you keep making a nuisance of yourself, you are very likely to find yourself exported to the West Bank. You know how they feel about you over there.

So how about stopping now, eh? You've got your own little country to run, and the international community has a short memory. Lie low for a couple of years, then negotiate with Judah via the UN. They'll be on your side by then, and you can see about getting some of that land back. All this rocket-firing, though? It's just going to get you beaten up and thrown out.

Hoping this reaches you in good time,

JOSEPH son of Israel, a friend