OPEN LETTER:

A Palestinian Father’s Grief

Dear Friends,

More sad days! I’m sure you are sharing in mourning of the Israeli victims of today’s suicide bombing in Jerusalem. More citizens, more children, more human loss. We here feel much more than you, I’m sure. For we not only grieve the Israelis whose lives were taken today, but we also grieve our own losses as well. A 13-year-old, a 15-year-old and 5 more adult Palestinians were killed yesterday in Tulkarem. Another adult today. Your media no longer even sees the need to report these Palestinian deaths. It is as if we are an invisible people.

The world only moves from one disgusting bus bombing to the next, with no mention that in between is a mighty Israeli military, collectively punishing an entire people and systematically creating the conditions for more violence, more responses, more nonsense!

I have much to say, especially as every Palestinian city, except Ramallah, goes to sleep tonight with IDF tanks back in every Palestinian city and Palestinian children are unable to attend school. I have much to say, especially because today’s bombing almost took my best Israeli friend, who lives around the corner of today’s tragedy. I have much to say, because many of my Palestinian friends are sleeping tonight in Israeli jails, arbitrarily arrested. I have much to say, especially because more Israeli families—not settlers, not soldiers—just families, like mine, are missing loved ones tonight.

Tomorrow we will continue, for today was wasted with more unnecessary human loss, on both sides.

In memory of all the children, living and lost,
Sam Bahour                            


Sam Bahour is a Palestinian American journalist and a Muslim. He lives with his family near Ramallah in the West Bank. His daughters attend the Quaker school in Ramallah, whenever the 24-hour curfew permits travel.


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This story was published on December 4, 2002.