Thursday, 5 February 2009

"An Open Letter To A Citizen Of Gaza : I Am the Soldier Who Slept In Your Home " (Parody)

Today, I happened upon this gem, which I sincerely hope is not what it purports to be. In it, the author, an IDF soldier who, by his own admission, used the home of a Gazan civilian as a military position, brings new meaning to the phrase "adding insult to injury". This is not, as one might hope, an apology for the appalling state in which the attacking Israeli army left the civilian homes it requisitioned (racist graffiti and other vandalism are the norm), but rather a truly nauseating exercise in self-pity and self-righteousness, in which this (probably) teenage soldier presumes to lecture an entire people about proper behaviour and who their "real enemy" is. After barely managing to prevent every meal I have eaten in the past month from coming up at once, I wrote this:



Perhaps you don’t remember me. I’m the nice young man who kicked down your bedroom door and ordered you to “Get the fuck outta here!”, but faces are hard to remember, I understand, and you seemed much more interested in the barrel of my Galil assault rifle. You Arabs and your weapons fetish!

I thought you might not remember me, so I decided during my off hours to leave you a little memento, as a contribution to understanding between my innocent, noble people, and your almost human people. I really mean that, too! You really are just THIS close to humanity. To the left of the living room window that I expanded for you, I drew a little self-portrait, just so you’d remember me. It’s the one right over the line saying “Arabs into the ovens!” , the stick figure taking a shit on a Palestinian flag. I noticed that you have – or should I say, had – a very nice collection of paintings hanging on your wall. I love art, too! It’s so nice to know that we can connect on these little things.

I just want you to know that I really don’t have anything personal against you people. I think that with a little evolution and a little culling of the herd, you might even be acceptable for continued existence on Earth! My CO always tells me I’m a “rosy-eyed optimist”, but I don’t think that “subhuman” means “subhuman forever”. But I really can’t get past the great resentment I feel at having had to blow up that school where those people were taking refuge. If only you loved your children as much as you hate ours…or whatever it was that Golda Meir once said.

I know, I know: you’re thinking “If you’re such a great guy, why did you shit all over my living room?” How typical of you people not to notice that I put it all together in a neat pile and even put a little piece of paper over it saying “WATCH YOUR STEP”! And in case that isn’t enough to make you appreciate the agony I went through during our latest heart-wrenching exercise of our right to self-defence, I just want you to know that I didn’t shoot your cat for fun. I love cats. No, I shot it out of peer pressure. The guys and I were bored one afternoon when we were almost certain there wasn’t another living being left in your neighbourhood, and they dared me to do it. It seems sad now, I know, but just think of all the cats that have now been freed of their previous families. You’ll find a new one in no time!

I like to think that I have a special sort of empathy for your people. My great-grandfather was in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Of course, the situation is totally different. His desire to resist being slaughtered made him a hero, while yours makes you terrorists.

Ahh, I would love to just muse with you on the ironies of history someday, maybe over coffee and that shisha crap you Arabs like so much, but I have a feeling you won’t accept my olive branch. In fact, I have a distinct feeling that right now you’re thinking “Who does this inarticulate teenager think he is lecturing someone 30 years his senior on good behaviour and gratitude?”

But let’s face it: if you people had gone just a little bit farther away back in 1948 and 1967, we wouldn’t be having all these troubles. We’d have left you alone long ago if you’d just left. You had the chance to be free of our “oppression” just by running as far as you possibly could. You people really never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity! But since you’re here, we’ve felt a need to care for you. You seemed to be developing an obesity problem in Gaza (3 out of 5 adults with a triple-digit weight in pounds!), so we put you on a diet. When your complete lack of self-control caused you to start digging tunnels to smuggle things in that we were keeping away from you in your best interest, we helped you understand that that was the wrong thing to do. And what did you do in response? You lobbed makeshift explosives at areas near where our people lived! The nerve of you people, the gall! If you’re going to lob explosives at us, make sure the fucking things are name-brand and actually work! Anything less is an insult. All we want is peace and to be rid of you peace, and we will be happy to make peace with you the minute your culture evolves to the point where you are capable of it.

Please, try to keep a sense of proportion in your indignity. You may have lost over 1,300 friends, family members, and neighbours because of us, but I lost my INNOCENCE because of you!


Anonymous soldier who spent an agonising week in your flat.

PS. I really didn’t enjoy leaving your refrigerator open, dropping a lit cigarette on that lovely rug you had, tearing holes in every cushion and pillow in your house, and leaving several pairs of dirty underwear on your dinner table. It was just the necessity of war. I will be in therapy for years over the things I was honour- and duty-bound to do to you, your family, and your people. So often, I wished I could just disappear from the whole thing. But then a pedestrian would come into my sights, and I would wipe away a tear and blow his head off. If you only knew how painful my lot in life is!

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