An Open Letter to Wall Street Journal From a Palestinian Mother
Bret Stephens penned a column last week in the Wall Street Journal titled, “Where are the Palestinian Mothers?” in which he makes the racist assertion, based on conversations he’s had with three individual women, that all Palestinian mothers raise their children to become “martyrs.”
The thing that Stephens must understand about Palestinians’ concept of “martyrdom” is that it’s a coping mechanism for the senseless loss of life they must endure. Their “martyrdom” is not an aspiration. It’s forced upon them.
My mother is a Palestinian. At the moment, she’s probably enjoying the peace of her suburban home. Unlike her counterparts in the West Bank and Gaza, she’s free from having to worry about her children being killed by occupational forces in the middle of the night, or even broad daylight. For a Palestinian mother, this is a freedom that can never be appreciated enough.
My grandmother was a Palestinian. She passed away last summer after decades of being a flag bearer of the strength of Palestinian mothers. She was a survivor of the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948, which was one of the first Palestinian villages to be ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias to create the state of Israel. She was seven years old at the time and witnessed the murder of her neighbors and relatives, including her own Palestinian grandmother and infant brother. Yet, she survived and, in her refugee exile, created a fruitful and happy life for her family that allows me to write this letter today.
Over that time, those militias came together to become the Israeli Defense Force. One of their leaders, Yitzhak Rabin, rose to become the prime minister of Israel.
In his column, Stephens claims that he has “yet to meet the Israeli mother who wants to raise her boys to become kidnappers and murderers.” Actually, every Israeli mother is legally obligated by the Israeli government to enter her sons and daughters into an institution that systematically kidnaps and murders. It’s the Israeli Defense Force.
Stephens makes the racist suggestion that Palestinian culture is filled with hate, but what, then, can we say of a society that views another people as collectively subhuman?
If you want to know where the Palestinian mothers are, they are living under a military occupation, among an unarmed civilian population, quietly reciting their boys’ names in their hearts as American columnists try to write them away.
Photography by Robert Croma.
A condensed variation of this column was originally published as a letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal.
Source: Muslim Girl