by Bassam Aramin, co-founder of the movement “Combatants for Peace”
translation by Mimi Asnes
Honorable General Ehud Barak, you don’t know me personally. I am a seeker of peace, and I struggle with all my strength and ability for the realization of a just peace that will bring calm and prosperity to Palestinians and Israelis together. I have suffered personally from your criminal occupation and I have paid a heavy price. Firstly, I was imprisoned when I was 17 years old and wasted seven years of my life in your barbaric prisons. Secondly, have you perhaps read or heard about what happened to the young girl Abir Aramin? She was a ten-year-old that your soldiers killed with a rubber bullet from a distance of 15 feet on January 16th, 2007 in front of her eleven-year-old sister Areen. Despite this I, the father of Abir—may she rest in peace—believe in the right of the Israeli person, as in the right of all people, to exist and to live in peace and security. So why do you not believe in our right to enjoy these same things, sir?
Where was the democratic nature of your state when your heroic soldiers killed my daughter before the eyes of her friends at the entrance to her school in Anata? Where were your democratic ideals when you closed the investigation file into Abir’s murder for lack of sufficient evidence, this despite the fact that the crime is clear and was committed in front of more than ten witnesses? Was Abir really a threat to your soliders, sir?