Netanyahu, Go Visit the Little Gazan Girl

An open letter to PM Netanyahu: Visit the girl whose fingers were severed in Operation Pillar of Defense, and ask her for forgiveness, in the name of all of us.

Eyal Megged
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Eyal Megged

Shalom to you, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

I don't know if you saw the sad story in Friday night's newscast on Channel 2, or if you invoked your right to get some rest and respite after the fighting subsided. Briefly, it concerned a nine-year-old Palestinian girl whose fingers on her right hand were severed when an Israeli bomb landed nearby while she was playing in her backyard in Gaza. Now she is hospitalized, as part of the region's typical theater of the absurd, here in Tel Hashomer, and is undergoing a series of operations in the Sheba Medical Center to save one or two of her fingers.

Many tears were spilled during the story: from the girl's eyes as she writhed in pain; from the eyes of her noble mother, trying to console her that she can express her artistic talent through her left hand as well; from her father and brother's eyes, which connected with hers via a screen; from the eyes of every viewer, in my opinion.

But this isn't just a recommendation to see this moving piece that you missed, but to use the opportunity you have at your disposal to get involved. To be deeply involved in this tragic-absurd episode.

After watching the segment, I immediately said to myself that I will contact you and tell you that there's no better way for you to redeem something from the war with Gaza than to make a brief visit to Sheba, to ask the disabled child for her forgiveness, in your own name and in the name of all of us, as the man charged with our leadership. To stand next to her bed and tell her that you are sorry from the depths of your heart for the bomb that fell accidentally in her yard. That you are sorry you were forced to shell and bomb Gaza. To apologize for the fact that in war children are also injured and killed.

And at the same time to ask the forgiveness of those who remain (if any ) of the Gazan family that was killed, again by mistake, by the aerial attacks aimed at their neighbor, the terrorist.

The whole world will be moved, I imagine, by this stand, this type of gesture. But this isn't the goal. The aim isn't international public relations; in no way is it PR leveraging of the tragedy. The aim is to use the tragic opportunity to speak with the enemy who "only understands force" in another language, a human language that touches everyone's heart, on both sides of the barricade. To show that you are human, not the Zionist monster they perceive you to be. The aim is to open a crack in the sealed wall.

I am convinced you could do it in the best way possible. Because as opposed to your image as a calculating politician through and through, you are not devoid of feelings and on special occasions you have proved that you have the ability to leave cynicism far off to the side.

That being so, I would offer you the friendly advice to resist the conditioned reflex of turning immediately to a battery of consultants. In the past when you took advice under such circumstances, the advice you received was always for the worst. Each one of your advisers came with his own considerations: This one would explain what would go over well at the Likud Central Committee, another with what would please Eli Yishai, another about what Yisrael Beiteinu and Habayit Hayudi wanted to hear. One lawyer will say you are incriminating us, another operator will fume and roar that they are the ones who brought the disaster upon themselves.

Listen to your heart, not to them. You'll see it'll be worth it - not only for you, but for all of us.

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