Aug 22

An open letter to Israel From: Lauren Booth, UK

Gilad Atzmon
“This morning I set out to write a piece about the looting of the aid Flotilla to Gaza, by your soldiers. As you may have read, an Israel Defense Forces officer, has been remanded by a military court, suspected of stealing laptop computers from passengers. Interestingly, Haretz newspaper, now refers to the fleet as an ‘aid flotilla.’ Which it was. Rather than the ‘terror’ fleet your leaders would have had you call it.  But I digress.
So,  there I was, all ready to write my piece, when I came across an article on ynetnews. It sought to spell out the shock perhaps felt by some about the looted goods. A senior Israel Defense Forces officer said of the flotilla thefts: ‘there must be a serious problem in the IDF in terms of values.”

I looked at those words for a long time. And, instead of writing my piece, decided to write to you instead. Because I can’t help wondering, who on earth still has any reserves of ‘shock’ to spare for the behaviour of your military? I mean really, come on guys. Beyond the comfortable avenues of Tel Aviv, the rest of the world finds the phrase ‘Moral Army,’ when applied to the IDF, nothing short of a huge, (sadly catastrophic), global sized joke. One on the same level as, say, climate change denial or George Bush’s presidency.
Now, here I’ve done it again. I’ve made you really mad at me. But please, just  give me a moment or two to explain why I’m writing this letter. Because I didn’t set out to, nor do I want to insult you. Certainly not anymore than I have in the past. I’m sat here with washing up undone and housework piling up, to ask you one question. As a mother and as a fellow human being I need to know why you don’t see the evil that’s being done in your name?

How can you not see?

As you may already know, I was on the first Freegaza mission in 2008. This means that I not only have the pleasure of knowing personally the  fine ladies who founded the FGM (Freegaza Movement). It also means that I had many friends and colleagues on the Flotilla that your military attacked in May.
You know, (again just for a second see me as a mum and not an ‘enemy’) not one of those fine people is a terrorist, wanting to run weapons to ‘extremists’. They are to a man (and to a woman) kind, concerned citizens of the world. People, who simply cannot go about their normal daily lives whilst your state, your army, your settlers torment other human beings. Every minute of every day. Of every month. Of every year.
For sixty two years.