Open letter to my dear cousin

This is an open letter written by Izzy Mustafa to a family member in reaction to the Palestinian Authority/PLO betrayal of our people and in reaction to those in the West Bank rising up against the PA’s collaboration with the Israel’s occupation forces.

To my dear cousin,

Put your baton down. Look in the mirror and remember who you are and where you come from.

I know it’s been awhile since you have felt proud. Working in our village rock industry wasn’t cutting it for you and you wanted to feel like you’re doing something meaningful. For you, that meant putting on a uniform, boots, and strapping a gun around your shoulders.

You officially became a policeman for the Palestinian Authority — for the men and women in suits driving luxurious BMWs and living in foreign invested villas in Ramallah who sell our peoples freedom away.

You feel powerful walking around the city streets of Nablus, posted up with other shabab in scrappy uniforms and berets on their heads, acting tough as people walk past. You stop a car on the corner and assert your authority. No clear reason of why, but you still issue a citation because you want to claim your rule.

Your brother was arrested and tortured by Israel a few years back. He still carries the scars and trauma on his sleeve. You wanted to protect him, but with that uniform you are only protecting them.

You take orders from Abu Mazen with one goal, to protect and maintain his legitimacy. You protect his legitimacy by protecting Israel’s brutal oppression of our people. You are being ordered, my dear cousin, to coordinate with those same monsters who massacre our own in Gaza. You are being ordered to jail those who dare speak out about their grievances of the cruel treatment that you and they face daily.

I get it, you want to look as tough as the weak Israeli soldiers decorated with M-16s who stop you at every checkpoint, pulling you out of the car and patting you down — humiliating your existence.

You want to be able to assert dominance that you have felt from the Israelis your whole life. The Israelis and Abu Mazen are giving you the illusion that you are doing a service for your people and your country, but how does it feel my dear cousin that you are turning your weapons against your people?

Put your baton down ya zalameh and just look towards your people. You are a reflection of them. You have the authority to exist, rise up, and resist as a Palestinian, but your “authority” as an accomplice to the persecution of our people is illegitimate and will not be respected.

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