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The PJ Tatler

by
Leon de Winter

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May 19, 2011 - 3:48 pm

Dear Barry,

I have to keep it short this time since I’m in a plane on my way to you, but I immediately need to make clear to you that your speech is, to be blunt, sheer stupid.

You want us to withdraw to the 1967 borders. As you know, the pre-1967 borders were an open invitation to violence and terrorist attacks. If you want a repetition of the Gaza disaster, force us to withdraw to those lines and create an independent Palestine. Our national airport will be right on those lines. The heart of our country will be open for rockets.

But I will not be just a nuisance to you. I will do what you want us to do if you think it is reasonable. And with that I mean: if you think that withdrawing to the pre-1967 lines is reasonable, I ask you to act within the same vein. Don’t just talk, but do the walk.

We have only 7 million inhabitants. When one dies, it is as bad as when 43 people in your country die. So if you want us to do what you think is reasonable, if you want us to take risks that you think aren’t risks but safe and sound historical decisions, let’s make a deal: when we have withdrawn to the pre-1967 lines and an Israeli citizen dies because of terrorist rocket fire, you fire rockets in your population areas until you have 43 of your citizens dead. If 10 of our people die, you make sure 430 of your citizens die. This is reasonable if you really think that your proposal is not an act of suicide for Israel.

I’m sure you are not asking your friends to take risks you are not willing to take yourself – that’s friendship, isn’t it? You don’t want our commercial airliners to be exposed to gunfire, do you? You are totally convinced that the Palestinians will live peacefully at our side and that’s why you are telling us to withdraw, it’s as simple as that, isn’t it? You are so sure there will be peace that you can easily agree to my proposal: they kill one Israeli, you kill 43 Americans.

This is the Shakespearian (or maybe: biblical?) deal I want to discuss with you tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it!

See you soon,

Your friend Bibi

Leon de Winter is a novelist and columnist for Elsevier Magazine in the Netherlands. His last novel, The Right of Return is a thriller set in Tel Aviv in 2024. He presently lives in Los Angeles.
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