Nabil Amr
Palestinian writer and politician

A Calm Letter to President Biden during a Tumultuous Time

Do you know, Mr. President, how many people were killed by Israel in Gaza and who they were? Just to remind you... 20,000 so far... and there is no end in sight.

Seven thousand children have gone, not counting the fetuses who died in their mothers' wombs. Young people, adults, elderly people, men and women, writers, historians, poets, journalists, engineers, doctors, nurses, skilled workers, craftsmen, farmers, teachers, artists, builders, drivers, and athletes who were excelling in all sports.

Such people, Mr. President, built civilizations when they had been afforded the means needed for life. Sadly, Mr. President, you have covered up their killing and equipped those responsible with the latest US-made deadly weapons.

Maybe you do not know that these people are siblings of scientists who contributed to the building of the United States, relatives of thousands of professors who teach children in your schools and universities, and cousins of Palestinians who voted for you and helped you get to the White House in the hope that you would turn your attention their cause and their legitimate aspirations for freedom and independence and address it with some degree of justice.

This is a categorization of those killed by your planes and your “smart” or rather “dumb” bombs.

Mr. President, you commendably support the two-state solution, however, what is actually happening is the killing of the citizens of this prospective state. If things keep going as they are now, the state will exist only on paper, or it will become home to the highest concentration of orphans, widows, disabled, and traumatized children in the world. Their memories would forever be haunted by the sounds of explosions and the buzzing sound of aircraft, as well as the mass burials for those who were fortunate enough to receive a prayer, while those still under the rubble do not even receive any prayer at all.

President Biden, you do not just support Israel, nor are you merely providing it with the means it needs to defend itself. You are encouraging it to continue the murder of Palestinians and Israelis in Gaza and the West Bank, the narrowest battlefields in the entire universe.

Mr. President, you have used your veto power, which seems to have been invented only for the American administrations to prevent the Palestinians from having a glimmer of hope for justice. This veto, Mr. President, is ultimately responsible for the ongoing death and destruction. It is responsible for drowning the Israel you love in the burning sea of Gaza. It is the reason that America is hemorrhaging to sustain a war whose objectives there is no hope of achieving, even if it might seem like there is to those leading the war effort.

Mr. President, this is a message for you... for your administration... for the hand that raises the veto in the Security Council, and for the airlift that sends the material needed for the perpetuation of this madness from the US to Israel.

Mr. President, this letter represents a people who, despite all the current horror, still yearn for freedom and a sustained and fair peace. A people you are very familiar with but keep at a distance, over 15 million humans, the only nation in the world without a state. Our poet Mahmoud Darwish said in his wisdom: “The state is tiny, and the idea is great!” And about his people, he said: “When we have the means to live it, we love life.”

When you visited us in Palestine, you said that we have a right to a state. Sadly, however, it will not see the light of day, neither in the near nor distant future. Have you not noticed, Mr. President, that a genocidal war is being waged to prevent its birth in the first place?