|Posted on March 23, 2013 at 9:35 AM|
Dear Mr. President,
So I hear you were in my neighborhood. I want to ask the question I am asked here all the time, “How do you find Palestine?” But, you were not here long enough to find much at all. What did you see traveling to Bethlehem in your limo, “The Beast”? ; Perhaps more than if you had gone as planned by helicopter. Did those tinted windows let you see the wall as you passed through the checkpoint? I know you didn’t see the refugee camps with the narrow streets and garbage spilling over. Did you see the signs in support of the prisoners on hunger strike? Do you know about Samer Issawi,who is now close to death after more than 200 days on hunger strike? Did you see the boys selling packages of Kleenex on the street just to make a few shekels?, Of course not. Did you know why you didn’t see them is because Bethlehem was pretty much cleared of its people, so wouldn’t have to see real life here?
Do you realize just how much you have lost here? Just over four years ago I was here when you were elected the first time. I know how excited people were to see you become President. There was only good will for you then. But I knew how you would soon enough disappoint them…it was inevitable as you are a politician before anything else. Anyone with any doubt would be cured of that after seeing how you handled the young man who interrupted your speech in Jerusalem.
But,you are a human being. Does the sheer weight of this place pull you down just like it does me? In those quiet moments when you retreat into your own thoughts, do you ponder the hypocrisy of it all? A man who has benefited from the life (and death) of others who struggled for equal rights, human rights, arrives to Bethlehem by motorcade the day before Palm Sunday, to honor the baby who became a revolutionary. But, you couldn’t be more different from the one who arrived to Jerusalem by donkey. That man identified with the poor, slept with the outcasts, the lepers. He risked everything, to do the right thing. Something you just cannot do. Do you understand, like Pontius Pilate, that your hands are dirty?
You could have resurrected the dream. Instead you chose to crucify it once again.