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November 28, 2014

Hatred is ossified anger. It’s what happens when anger is withheld. I don’t want to hate Netanyahu. Hate objectifies him, belittles me. I don’t want to hate, but I am angry at Netanyahu, and tough as it is, the anger, expressed, enables me to remain in relationship with him. So here’s my anger.

I am so damn angry at you, Bibi! You are clever, smooth. Back in America, you used to sell cars. You are selling us a bill of goods, and there are no goods. You are the car-salesman’s dream. You have folks believing what you’re selling, that you are fighting the good fight, that you care for us so much that you must battle on in our name, against evil. That you hold the key to our happiness. But guess what, Mr. Salesman, we’re on to you. We ain’t buying that heap of shit from you.

This is anger, Bibi. I’m fuckin’ mad at you. Years ago, while running at the Jerusalem promenade, I came across you hosting some dignitaries from abroad. You were not yet prime minister. With sweeping gestures you explained the situation to your guests. Just you and your guests, no bodyguards. I should have kicked your ass right there. Are you beginning to get how angry I am? I don’t talk like that. No one brings that out in me like you do. Not even the killers in Har Nof last week. They broke so many hearts, killing praying men, creating 15 orphans in a few minutes. They hurt us so badly. But these terrible perpetrators were also victims, their act the bitter fruit of oppression. We cannot excuse them, yet we seek to understand them and what they did.

But you, Bibi? How do we understand you? Have you been victimized by anyone? You know what you are doing to hurt us, and you keep on doing it. That’s the definition of darkness, of evil. We all have dark sides, but not all of us are prime minister.

Bibi, don’t you see the grandeur of the present opportunity? Were you to take yourself in hand and do an ethical accounting of your actions, you might open to possibilities other than leading us down the dark tunnel of continued violence and suffering, all the more poignant because they could have been prevented.  Each day, you choose to ignore the opportunities for partnership, for openings to a possible future. You demonize an entire people and their leaders, and you want us to believe that we are, at every moment, on the verge of extinction. And we keep buying it.

No more, Bibi. People are finally beginning to wake up. Take your damned car. We’ll walk. We’ll march. We’ll reach out to the Israelis who are frustrated, frightened, fraught enough to finally take action. We’ll assist them in connecting the dots, seeing that their endless debts and the exhausting fight for daily survival are intimately tied to your refusal to bring the peace that will bring with it a different way to live. We’ll empower people as they discover the will to figure out what is happening to us. We’ll demonstrate the way that peace-making enables the rehabilitation of our empathy, our ability to see the other. 47 years of occupation have taken a terrible toll on our humanity. We’ve allowed our way of life to distort our vision. We have learned to hate. But we were not born hating, we learned, we created hatred. And if we created hate, we can create love.

Love includes anger. We are angry at those who hurt us, and they can hurt us because we care about them. Perhaps we can still care about you, Bibi. We might even find a way to love you. But this is love you will have to earn. Just as it is difficult to reach out to my friend when I am angry at him, it is hard to reach out to you, from within this anger. The first step is expressing the anger, and that I’ve done here. Now, please, Bibi, you reach out to us. If you do, we will respect and…dare I say it…we will love you. Lead us forward, Bibi, awaken your hardened heart. If you do this, we will be here with you. Together we will find our way to peace. It is not yet too late for you, it is not yet too late for us.

Yoav Peck


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  1. Here! Here! Well said, Yoav.

  2. Michael Greene permalink

    Very powerful Yoav. Thank you. And I hope you have recovered from your surgery. You are a good person.



  3. So well done!!. I think it is fantastic that you have the heart to even write to Netanyahu. He scares me so much. I hope you are feeling better. Love, Marilyn

  4. Gilead Meroz permalink

    Dear Yoav.
    You speak my heart too.
    It’s so much easier to show the world in black and white, good and bad, right and wrong – and to communicate it.
    But I think and fear that inteligent and bright as he is, Netanyahu does not have the heart nor the real courage that opening one’s eyes to his own folly, & creating something new demands.
    I’m willing to find myself wrong in this respect. If I do, I promise you (and Netanyahu…) that I’ll be happy to declare having been so.
    I think this letter is important, Yoav – because it speaks clearly the frustration that many people who had (and may still have) a vision not based on a’ you or me’ but on a ‘you and me’ world feel. Your letter may help in lifting or lessening at least a heavy burden from the hearts, and maybe create something which has to do with this vision.
    As such i intend to send your letter to other people.
    The important thing is to remember and re-create the vision which is stepped over by Netanyahu, not the anger.
    And to act in accordance and commitment to this vision, and have Netanyahu be our best tool to get clear & see what needs to be done…
    amiably yours

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