A cry from the heart

Jan 10, 2024
Palestinian mother Asmaa Naser, mourns the bodies of her twin children, Ahmed and Jihan Naser Palestinian mother Asmaa Naser, mourns the bodies of her twin children, Ahmed and Jihan Naser, who were killed as a result of an Israeli air strike on Nuseirat camp, at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, on December 29, 2023. Image: Alamy/Ali Hamad apaimages Dair El-Balah Gaza Strip Palestinian Territory 291223_Dair_El-Balah_AH_007 Copyright: xapaimagesxAlixHamadxapaimagesx

Prime Minister Albanese, “don’t wait 200 years to apologise for the brutality of a coloniser, be on the right side of history now, today.”

I am not in the habit of publishing or forwarding work by other writers, but in this case I am making an exception. This is not written by a journalist, but from a young, compassionate woman; a wife, a mother and a thorough human being who calls herself ‘ordinary’.  I totally disagree.  She is anything but ordinary.  Every syllable, every word, every paragraph of her despairing cry for help should be read far and wide, in the hope that western politicians will heed her call and find their moral compass.  Here it is, totally unedited – Jafar Ramini

Letter from Yasmin Petrucci:

Dear Senator Penny Wong and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese,

The first thing that you should know about me is that I am an ordinary person. I am not a law maker or CEO of a multinational. I am merely a mother, wife, and taxpayer- one of millions in this country. I am also like hundreds of thousands of ordinary people across the globe who, at night, are unable to sleep. I am traumatised and haunted by the brutal images out of Gaza and the West Bank; a country I have never visited and have no blood ties to. First-hand accounts of the depravity and violence inflicted on a people with no means to escape, no weapons to fight back and no shelter to hide. Thousands of men, women and children starved, dehydrated, and braving the cold, the floods, and the unrelenting onslaught of a colonising power bombarding them from all sides in full view of the world and with the complete support of the US and some members of the Australian parliament. Their only crime is to be Palestinian.

Each morning I wake up to tell my husband that I have seen the most disturbing video to only lie awake that same night and see something even worse. Babies with half their bodies blown off, blood-soaked children shell shocked and trembling, fathers wading through waist deep flood waters carrying their dead children, men and young boys dehumanised, blindfolded and semi naked lined up near ditches and the screams of mothers as white phosphorous rained down on them and burned the flesh off their children. When will this end? How much more can we expect them to take? For how long can the Israelis’ act with such impunity? They have committed the most heinous war crimes this generation has seen, fully sanctioned by this government with insurmountable evidence and with full admission from their own officials. They have butchered, lied, and committed open acts of perfidy without consequence. They have massacred entire families at point blank and thrown Palestinians out of their own homes. They have decimated entire neighbourhoods and imprisoned and abused innocent children. Yet there has not been a single sanction. Not a slap on the wrist. Not even a raised eyebrow and a pursed lip. But what is most painful to know is that we support this attack by sending arms, aid and allowing shipping routes to use our ports. Tell me, would you support ISIS like this?

Last night, I saw a video that will be tattooed into my memory. If you are brave, a simple online search will help you find it. It is of a young boy, no more than five, lying on a gurney with a catheter attached. The doctor lifted his legs to show the flesh and skin that had burned away from his body all the way to the bone. He was still alive, and doctors have run out of anaesthetic. This level of suffering is unfathomable. How can we call ourselves a civilised society and yet turn a blind eye to the immeasurable pain innocent children are forced to endure? I will never be able to unsee this image. Nor will this generation of young people with access to social media, who for the first time in history, have a front row seat to genocide in all its ferocity. This generation will remember. They will also remember how we acted and how we reacted. What legacy are we to leave? One that creates more hate or one that is committed to humanity and abides by international law?

Like this boy in the video, my children are five. I see their faces when I see these images and I hold them tighter and closer. But if you don’t see the children of Gaza as humans, how can I trust that you will see my children as humans? How can I trust this government to see my brothers as humans if you don’t see the men of Gaza as humans? How can I believe you care about women’s rights when you don’t care if the women in Gaza are receiving caesareans without anaesthetic? Because of the stain of this government’s slow reaction to the terror and your unwillingness to condemn this ethnic cleansing, all I see when you appear on TV is the video of that child on the gurney. Anthony Albanese and Penny Wong, I only see that child when I hear you speak. That is the memory you have created in the minds of so many of us. I am sick to my stomach knowing that I voted for you in the last election, believing we shared the same values. We do not.

I implore you to take a stronger stance to prevent any further human suffering for the sake of humanity, morality, and common decency. Palestinians are humans like me, like my children, like my husband and my brothers. They deserve to be safe and free with a right to self-governance in the land that has homed them for generations. Don’t wait 200 years this time to apologise for the brutality of a coloniser, be on the right side of history now, today.

Thank you for your time.

Yasmin Petrucci

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