This morning, Ben White tweeted an image of this email from Samar Batrawi, a doctoral candidate at King’s College London, in response to an invitation to meet with officials at the Israeli embassy here.

I’m sharing this letter for several reasons. First, you will see that it is powerful, eloquent and incisive. Also, it repudiates in clear and simple terms the flashy new(ish) hasbara talking point that links demands for Palestinian human rights to an Islamist agenda. Most importantly, perhaps, the details Batrawi shares of her own family history bring to horrific life the Palestinian nakba or catastrophe when more than 700,000 Palestinians were forced from their homes or killed and their villages razed in order to make way for the Israeli state. My piece ‘Telling tales in Israel and Palestine‘ which was published yesterday on Mondoweiss, is a comment on the battle to own the narrative in this issue. Batrawi’s letter is its fiercely beating heart.

She writes,

What does the 3rd of November mean to you? On this exact date 59 years ago, Israeli forces massacred hundreds of Palestinians in Khan Younis. My grandmother was a young mother back then, my father a few months old. She held him in her lap, hidden under her dress, afraid that the Israeli forces would find him and take him away from her. Between 275 and 415 people died on that day, but my family survived to tell the story. This is what the 3rd of November means to me.

You can read the rest by clicking on this image:

batrawi letter

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