Dear President Obama,
I saw you when you visited Sderot in July 2008 as a presidential candidate, wearing an “I love Sderot” T-shirt and heard you condemn “The genuine threat Israel faces from Qassam rockets from Gaza”. I saw you but you did not see me, although my home is less than 1 kilometre away from Sderot, because you were wearing your anti-P glasses, designed for US presidents. That’s how I became invisible.
As you became US president for a second term your anti-P glasses must have been very effective because this gained you votes, spared you the wrath of enemies and spared you also the sight of the Invisible People.
My home, Mr. President, which you did not see, is Najd village on whose land Sderot colony was built. I forgive you for not seeing me, because I now live 2 kilometres away in a loathsome place, a miserable refugee camp, you and other people wearing those anti-P glasses hate so much and see as the source of evil. It is called Gaza Strip.
I can barely write this because of the noise, trembling ground and the cloud of dust bellowing from the flattened buildings around me. Sderot people sent me 1,300 missives in eight days to let me know that I should not, ever, think of returning to my home in Najd. Every missive was awesome, several tons of dynamite. Our next door neighbour, al Dalou family, have no need to be reminded. They are all dead now, the children, the parents and grandparents.
I must admit I sent missives to Sderot people. I managed to get hold of a kitchen pipe, filled it with homemade explosives and lobbed it a short distance away at the occupants of my home at Sderot. Yes, I wanted to remind them that I am here, still alive and want to return home. That is not a big deal, it seems to me, because I can see my home from my refugee camp but cannot reach it. Sderot colonists and others like them who took our land will hardly be affected; they are no more than 70,000, barely enough to fill a modest size refugee camp in Gaza. I hear in the US media about the clever “surgical strikes” but there is no need for this careful surgery. Sderot people, with their F16s, artillery, tanks and drones that photographed my wife hanging washing on the roof, are sure to hit somebody in each strike.
That is because Gaza Strip has another curse: it is unbelievably crowded, although its people are invisible. This strange phenomenon is only visible for ordinary people. You will see it when you remove your anti-P glasses and you will know why it is crowded. My people in Najd and 240 other villages were removed by force of arms from their homes in 1948 by Sderot people. The United Nations and international law jurists keep telling us this is called “ethnic cleansing” and it is a war crime. But I don’t believe this, because if true, the world had 65 years to reverse it by the simple act of letting me go home to Najd.
I saw you on the news last week offering Netanyahu more Iron Domes and funds to repair the shattered glass in Sderot windows and buy pacifiers for their terrified pets.
I therefore implore you to remove your anti-P glasses for a moment and see me standing there on the rubble not far from Sderot. I may be bold enough to ask you to let me have a dozen Iron Domes around Gaza so that my children can sleep (I ran out of ear plugs). It will help a great deal if you also provide some funds to rebuild my flattened building and provide medical supplies for hospitals. I realize you have severe economic problems but I assure you that these funds will be far less than the cost of one downed F16. If some money remains it could go towards the families of dead children.
Talking about dead children we have here in Gaza about three quarter of a million children. It will not be too much to ask for money for them. You provide at least $3 billion from the taxpayers’ money for the Israeli army which has the same number of soldiers (including reserve) as the number of our children. That is at the rate of one Israeli soldier per Palestinian child in Gaza.
If you remove those glasses, Mr. President, you will see, like the rest of the world, eleven million Palestinians of whom two thirds are victims of the largest and the longest ethnic cleansing operation in modern history. I am one of them.
But if you keep wearing them, the world will continue to see us and you will be the only blind president.