April 18, 2006
Letter to Prime Minister Haniya
With your party as the new government of the Palestinian people, I’ve been wishing Hamas would use this chance to sever its terrorist arm. You can accomplish so much more for your constituents in desperate need of social and economic services if you renounce the destruction of Israel and work on getting back to the negotiation table.
Instead you stupidly applause the bombing in Tel Aviv yesterday that killed nine people. How can you say the killing of civilians is a legitimate target? You know this is not true. Killing civilians both through direct attacks by armed groups or indiscriminate use of excessive lethal force violate international law. But then again, you know this by now. You’re a political actor. The standards you go by, like the Geneva Conventions, were written to govern how parties must act during times of war and armed conflict. To now say that they should not apply because of an ongoing targeting of militants makes no sense. The same would apply to international laws covering collective punishment.
The suicide bombing wasn’t even carried out by Hamas. You’re a government of four million people, not the allies of Islamic Jihad. You can’t support terrorist attacks which have been renounced by the Palestinian Authority. Nor can you reject positions that the PA previously supported.
What would suicide bombings accomplish but reprisal attacks? By supporting terrorism you push Israel into a unilateral separation without any input from Palestinians. By refusing to abide by any peace agreement, you will not have a viable state. You are also broke—your economy heavily depends on foreign aid, which the U.S. and EU has rightfully withdrawn. Financial support from Ahmadinejad? This is who has your back? Jesus!
Do not exploit the frustrations of your young people. Listen to what's going on in communities and take notice of work being done by local NGOs which are fostering dialogue and cooperation between both sides.
Insha'allah things will be better someday for the children of Palestine & Israel.