Sunday, October 23, 2011

Letter by a Shayetet 13 Commando

This letter, written by a combat soldier in Shayetet 13, was translated by a friend, and I think it offers a different opinion that has sadly been silenced by our media over the past few years.

If heaven forbid, I should be abducted by a terrorist organization I request the following from you:

Please do not organize any demonstrations, please do not conduct any interviews, please do not talk about how much this is hurting you and please do not organize any festivals or musical competitions on my behalf. Any novice in business knows that that is not the way to lower the asking price.

I am not “everybody’s child”. I am a combat soldier in captivity. Please do not use me as a pawn. I do not want the entire world to know who I am and what my name is – while nobody can remember the name of the soldier who died right by my side. I don’t need the media to use me as a freebee. I don’t want to become a tool for furthering all sorts of political agendas, power games or manipulations.

I don’t want to become the national beacon, nor do I want to be the entry ticket to the Israeli consensus. I don’t want the idea of my release to become official dogma which is forbidden to be questioned.

I do not want the people who dare think differently to be silenced on my behalf.

I don’t want the media to use me to get better ratings.

I don’t want entertainers to write a song about me to improve their Google results.

I am not a bottle of shampoo: do not make a logo of my picture. Do not add my face to your Facebook profile. Do not stylize my silhouette to make a slogan.

Do not hire a public relations firm to mold public opinion and that of the decision makers. Do not set up “creative teams”, “optimization teams” or “marketing teams.” Do not set up a “headquarters.” Do not hold any staff meetings with burekas and slideshows. Do not hold any brainstorming sessions and do not create any “critical mass,” do not arrange any advertising budgets or market penetration. Do not write any strategy sketches; do not build any chart-, cross section-, or graph-analysis of the population.

I do not want any “panel of experts” or conferences. I don’t want anybody counting the number of days of my captivity. I don’t want any “depression merchants” making a career off my story.

Do not produce any pins, ties, flags or t-shirts. Do not hold any marches, demonstrations or parades for me. Do not set up any on campus petition booths for me. These things will decrease my chances of being released. These things only serve to confuse our decision makers. I am not a reality show. I don’t want you to photograph me with my father as a souvenir while thousands of murderers are being released on my behalf.

I don’t want you to wave any blue-white flags when really, we are in a white-flag atmosphere.

I don’t want the cold-blooded murderer of sixteen people smiling as he is being released, having gained some weight within the few years since he made a V-sign at the families of the murder victims in the court room.

I am not prepared for the hundreds of families who only recently buried their babies, who are rightfully filled with rage, to be presented as “party poopers”. I am not prepared for the kid who went with his father, mother and three brothers to eat pizza and came back alone, to watch the murderer eat baklava in his “victory hut”, a mere 20 kilometers away. I don’t want the murderers released to eastern Jerusalem to ride the light rail together with my niece. I don’t want families whose entire world has just caved in on them to read in the paper that the man who murdered their boy is going to a Club Med vacation in Turkey. I don’t want their pain to receive a mere one eighth page coverage, just before the sports news, because “reporting-wise it is better that way.” They already know that the blood of their beloved sons is cheap; they don’t need to have their hearts crushed completely.

I feel just so comforted to know that the president has “pardoned but not forgiven them”.

I don’t want the next Intifada to be named after me.

A Shayetet 13 combat soldier.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dear avram,
i was about to translate the letter but was looking for someone in israel to do the job [much better insight]. thanks for taking care of such an important task. i will see to it that that it is forwarded to as many people as possible, including some radio talk shows hosts.

eli hubara