|AS-SALAMU ALAYKUM – PEACE TO HAMAS|
An Open Letter
Dear Khaled Meshaal and Hamas,
As-salamu alaykum. Peace be to you.
I have been pained listening to and seeing the anguish being experienced in Gaza. My heart breaks as stories and images emerge of children and innocent bystanders are injured and killed, as personal possessions and homes are destroyed in the battle that is raging in Gaza.
I write because I pray for your people. I pray that they not know war and terror and missiles that decimate their homes and lives. I write because your people’s anguish is almost unbearable to hear and to see.
I write because – with humility and love – I know how your people’s suffering can end immediately. Sometimes when we are in the midst of turmoil and racked with pain, it is not easy to see solutions. And so, I write to perhaps help lift your eyes open to see a solution.
That’s it. If, upon reading this tomorrow, you were to call on your soldiers and citizens to cease sending rockets westward, into Israel, I can (almost) guarantee the Israeli response. There will be a ceasefire. And your people – the people I hear and see cry and lament the terror they are currently experiencing – will immediately know physical safety for themselves, their loved ones, and their homes.
Would I like you to acknowledge Israel as a legitimate political entity, even a legitimate Jewish expression of an eternal yearning to return to Zion? Of course.
I could spill oceans of ink defending Israel’s right to defend it’s citizenry from rockets being rained down upon innocent populations, explaining how no country in the world would tolerate even a dozen rockets, let alone hundreds, falling within its borders. I could reflect on my own fear, as I experienced three Code Red sirens two weeks ago, each giving me 90 seconds to seek shelter…and the relief I felt when I heard the “thud” of the Iron Dome missiles destroying your rockets in mid-air. I could marvel how the “pain of the Gazans inflicted by Israel” has world attention, yet it seems nary a word is raised as Arabs destroy Arabs in Syria and Iraq at the same time. While every life is sacred, I could wonder why tens of thousands of Syrian and Iraqi deaths are less important than the 300 Gazans who have died in the last two weeks. And I could write a treatise on the right of the Jewish people to live free of fear in a homeland, claimed by them to be such for over 4,000 years. Oh yes, I could also offer a lesson on anti-Semitism and how it continues – even in this conflict – to raise its hoary head. Yes, I could share all that with you.