Monday, October 24, 2011

What Would You Do?

There is a letter going around, written by a naval commando:

If, God forbid, I arrive at a situation where a terrorist organization shall take me prisoner, I ask of you: Do not protest, do not give interviews, do not tell share how much it hurts you, do not have festivals in my name. Every novice salesman knows: that is not how you lower the price.
I am NOT “everyone’s child.” I am a warrior who has fallen captive.
Do NOT turn me into a tool: I do not want the whole world to know who my identity and my name at a time when nobody remembers the soldier who was killed by my side. I do not want the press to make rounds about me, I do not want to turn into a political axe used for digging political agendas, power games, and manipulations. I do not want to be the entry door for the “Israeli consensus.” I am not ready for the idea that my release will turn into a dogma that cannot be reconsidered. I do not want those who dare think differently to have their mouths shut. I do not want the press to use me to raise their ratings, and I do not want singers to write songs in order to improve their results in Google.
I am not a milk carton: do not make a logo out of my picture, do not make my face your profile picture, do not make my shadow into a slogan. Do not hire PR firms in order to manipulate public opinion and the opinion of those who make decisions. Do not establish a creative team, an optimization team, a marketing team, a staff, or work meetings with cookies and presentations. Do not make a brainstorming team or create a tide of public opinion. Do not build a PR budget and market penetration. Do not sketch strategies. Do not divide the public into graphs and tables. I do not want “expert panels,” I do not want conventions, I do not want them to count the number of days I have been sitting prisoner, I do not want depression contractors to make a career out of my story. Do not produce pins and flags and ties and shirts in my name. Do not make parades and demonstrations and protest signature booths on campuses. It lowers my chances of being released and it throws sand in the eyes of the decision makers. I am not a reality show: do not come to take a picture with my father as a souvenir at the time when thousands of murderers are being released for me. I do not want the blue and white flag to be raised at a time when the entire atmosphere screams white flag. I do not want to see a cold blooded murderer of sixteen people be released with a smile, especially just several years after he gave the victory sign to the victims’ families in court. I am not ready that hundreds of families who just recently buried babies should explode in fury and be called in public the “party poopers.” I am not ready that a boy who went to eat pizza with his mother, father, and three brothers—and came back alone, should watch a murderer eat baklawa in a victory hut twenty kilometers away from him. I do not want murderers who are released to East Jerusalem to ride the train together with my niece. I do not want families whose entire world has collapsed to hear that the murderer of their loved one has gone to Club Med in Turkey. I do not want their pain should receive an eighth of a page just before the sports section because it is “proper reporting.” They already know that the blood of their children is cheap. You do not need to trample on their hearts and twist your foot while you are at it. It really comforts me that the president says that he pardons but does not forgive. I do not want the next Intifada to be named after me.

Y., Naval Commando

It's a funny thing...people go to the army knowing in the back of their minds that-- they could die. But that doesn't happen to most people, so it is able to go to the back.

I think that everyone in Israel knows someone or is someone who has lost a relative or friend in an act of war or terrorism. That's a pretty sobering thought when you actually stop and think about it.

I know that I would want everything done for me if I was, G-d forbid, captured and held. But...I think...I would rather be held, and, yes, die than let terrorists with blood on their hands go free and go kill more than they have already killed. On the other hand, my family and friends would probably want anything to be done in order to get me out and they probably would not like my stance.

נכנס עייפות, יוצא כל מיני...לילה טוב, עולם. Good night, world.

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