Steve Plaut: Letter From President Peres of Israel to Prime Minister Singh of India





No, this is not correspondence from Shimon Peres to Manmohan Singh. It was actually written by Steven Plaut, an economist at the University of Haifa, as an approximation of what Peres would write to Singh if he were to encapsulate his own thinking on how Israel should deal with the Palestinians and extrapolate this to how India might deal with extremist Muslims.

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

My heartfelt sympathies to you and the Indian people for the Bombay/Mumbai unrest and protests against occupation this week. However, we must really speak about how to deal with these forms of activism in India, perpetrated by these misunderstood Islamic militants.

Mister Prime Minister, I have a great deal of experience in dealing successfully with terrorism and violence, and this is why I wish to come to your rescue. The first thing you must realize is that one can only make peace with one's enemies. With one's friends, there is no need to make peace. There is no military solution to the problems of terrorism, and this is why you must seek a diplomatic solution. "No Justice, No Peace?" as they say.

You must invite the leaders of this Islamic organization responsible for the bloodshed in Mumbai to New Delhi to meet with you and perhaps tour the Taj Mahal together. You must learn to feel their pain and understand their needs. However, most importantly, you must end the illegal occupation of territory that does not belong to you! First, you must withdraw from Kashmir and Jammu and remove all the Hindu settlers there. But, that is just a beginning. Large sections of West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Hyderabad contain local Moslem majorities. Lakshadweep is 95% Moslem.

You cannot continue to coerce these people into living as demographic minorities. The solution is to create two states for two peoples, inside India itself. Indian Moslems are entitled to self-determination and national sovereignty! You must bear in mind that India was conquered by the Moguls and that makes all of India the homeland of Moslems. The fact that India was partitioned with Pakistan and Bengladesh granted independence does not solve anything. What about the right of return for Punjabi Moslem refugees and other Moslems? These demand that they be allowed to exercise their sovereign rights inside India in the lands of their forefathers and have their one-time homes restored to them!

Then there is the matter of the status of New Delhi. It was a Moslem city for centuries, and served as the Moghul capital. Your selfish insistence that New Delhi remain Indian is racist. You must end the apartheid regime inside Delhi and turn it into the shared capital of two states, or maybe three. I have no doubt Pakistan will applaud your efforts.

You must meet all the demands of the militants in Mumbai in full. In addition, you must offer them Internet web services and five-star tourist hotels in exchange for their promising to abandon violence. After all, that is how we turned Yasser Arafat into a peace partner. You see, military force serves no role any more in the post-modern universe. It is passe. It is archaic. Today, consumer interests dominate the world, and the Islamist activists of the earth will surely make peace in exchange for some profits from participating in global trade....


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A. M. Eckstein - 12/10/2008

No doubt Shcherban doesn't like this satire--it strikes too close to home.

His view seems to be that of the liberal who finds the murdered man on the street: "Who did this? We must find him! He needs help!"


Arnold Shcherban - 12/1/2008

Shame on you, sir!