Monday, January 14, 2008

An open letter to Arun Gandhi

Hello everyone. I signed this letter and I encourage you, who believe in peace and work for a better future to our globe and humanity, to sign this letter.

Dear Arun Gandhi:

We are an interfaith coalition from the Middle East, as well as other predominantly Muslim nations, who would like to thank you very much for referring to Jews as destroyers of humanity, and to Palestinians as snakes. We also must thank you for being so educated as to realize that Israel's population, the majority of which was, in fact, born in the Middle East and not in Europe, has a Holocaust mentality. (In fact, you probably know that when it comes to whining about their experiences at Auschwitz, Persian and Yemenite Jews are the worst! You'd think it only happened to them and not the Kurdish or Ethiopian Jews too!) And the fact that you chose to use snake imagery, which is the Biblical and Qur'anic representation of evil, to describe Palestinians was brilliant. Clearly, you are extremely culturally sensitive, internationally erudite, and really seem to know how to sweet talk us. We're so glad you're our friend.

We fear we've made some terrible mistakes. Here you are shining your wisdom and leadership toward a new tomorrow upon us -- one that understands Israel as monolithically violent and Palestinians as slithering beasts -- while we stupidly felt an appreciation for those human rights groups that many Israeli Jews have created specifically to see Arabs in humane terms, to improve the situation, and overcome our rivalry. And, can you imagine we actually rejected representing each other with imagery that reduces people to animals? We have spent countless time and energy fostering a new paradigm upon which we do not singularly define any community by the trauma they suffer, nor by their allegedly negative characteristics, believing that individuals should be judged upon their own merits; while we have sought actively to engage each other with integrated strategies that foster a greater sense of community. Our focus has been to create a larger, regional healing by shining light on each other's humanity regardless of our group affiliation. What were we thinking? Bring on the pejorative labels!

But, then again, let's face it. Who are we compared to someone with a family name to exploit? We just live or come from the region. Can you ever forgive us for such transgressions, especially in the face of such a captivating Zionist conspiracy theory?

You will probably get naysayers about your article, but let's face it. We need someone like you to lecture us about how to behave ourselves, and how to handle our problems because we're pretty stupid to figure it out on our own. We need you to identify which single community is to blame for the rivalry that occurs throughout our region. And we need you to label some Middle Eastern communities as either singularly animalistic or threatening because we just can't seem to remember how well these fresh, new, untried methods always seems to work to soothe tensions and solve our problems. We now know, thanks to you, we don't really need an actual and legitimate process in which we work in true service to our region by cooperating to overcome the problems we collectively face, We just need to know what kinds of evil, destructive people Jews are; and what kind of animals Palestinians are. Thank you so much for your kindness and empathy. Your grandfather would be so proud.

Very truly yours,

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