Evgeny Kissin: A letter which was never sent.
This letter was written at the beginning of 2007 and has never been sent to the addressee
for the reasons stated in its first paragraph and because in the end I came to the
conclusion that she simply wouldn’t understand it. Nevertheless, as years went by,
I thought that it might be interesting for those who love my art and want to know more
about me as a person: what I believe in, what motivates me, and what is “most important
and dear for me in life and death”.
I have been having doubts whether I should send this letter to you or not, I have been writing it for 4 days and have re-written it several times. The first reason for all of this was that in principal one cannot but agree with what you say about the meaning of friendship. The other reason was my understanding that when you were writing about your having been "hopelessly in love" with me in the past, your "genuine care" for me in the present and willingness to "always be there" for me if I need you in the future, you were really believing it, and it feels somewhat awkward to reply to such statements with what I have to say to you, especially since you are a woman. Nevertheless, I have decided to go ahead and try to explain to you certain things - for the sake of truth and for what is most important and dear to me in life and in death.
First, I will reply to some of the statements in your last letter. It seems to me that you simply aren't realizing what you are saying: "The Western World is selling to the poor arms for 425 billion pounds". I'm sorry, T, but the absurdity of these words is obvious - those who can afford to buy arms for 425 billion pounds cannot possibly be poor. Your accusation that the West is being "SO hypocritical" for selling those arms to "the poor" is just as absurd (sorry, but I can't think of any other definition): as everyone knows, demand begets offer, not the other way around, and those who rule entire countries are not innocent and inexperienced teenagers who can be persuaded to buy (and use) drugs. Your statement that "we control everybody" is equally absurd after 9/11, 3/11, 7/7 etc. As for oppression - NO, THE WEST DOES NOT OPPRESS ANYBODY; THIS IS AN OBJECTIVE FACT.
True, hypocrisy is not always alien to the foreign policy of some Western countries. A striking example of that is the European Union's constant demands that Israel return to its 1967 borders - demands which it continues to make, in spite of the fact that none of its members has ever returned any territories it conquered in a war to any of its other members. However, as we all know, in order to have the moral right to accuse others of something, one has to be free of those faults oneself; otherwise, it's the very hypocrisy we're talking about. Years ago, you wrote to me that capital punishment was not acceptable to you, even though many people found it justifiable. Now: in Israel, there is no death penalty, whereas Arafat practised it in his Autonomy even for such a "crime" as selling land to Israelis. In spite of that, you supported Arafat in his fight against Israel and called that bloody dictator a "poor man"! Excuse me, T, but this is sheer hypocrisy, and if you show hypocrisy yourself and at the same time accuse others of being "SO hypocritical" - this is already a DOUBLE HYPOCRISY!
Yes, there are many things of which the West can be justly accused - and nevertheless, Winston Churchill was 100% right in his famous statement: " democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms which have been tried from time to time.” And I shall repeat again and again what I wrote to you many years ago: "WITH ALL ITS FAULTS, THE WEST IS THE BEST SOCIETY THAT EXISTS ON OUR PLANET". The best proof that can be made in our debate is the fact that in spite of all your anti-Western tirades, you continue to live here and don't move to Cuba, North Korea, Iran or Gaza! With your idealism (albeit channelled in a wrong direction) and your contempt for the Western "wealth", the obvious reason, is that, as you admit yourself, "we are all free in the Western world to think, say and do whatever we fancy (provided, of course, that we don't make trouble for the society we live in)"; that here you can freely and without fear take part in rallies against the local governments' policies, whereas in the above-mentioned places ... as in the old Soviet joke, when an American said: "I can freely shout in front of the White House: 'Down with Reagan!' '' - a Russian replied: "Big deal! I can also freely shout on Red Square: 'Down with Reagan!' " !
Now I shall come to the most important point - and to make it clearer, I shall draw a parallel. At the time when the bloody tyrant Milosevic (who had come to power through rigged elections) was practicing ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians and the terrorist KLA (whose sole goal was Kosovo's independence, not destruction of Serbia) were killing Serb civilians in Kosovo (only in Kosovo!), you justly wrote: "Milosevic is a nasty piece of work, the KLA are also a nasty piece of work...I am convinced that the cause of the Balkan problems is much more complicated than Milosevic the madman". A little over a year after those events, in July 2000, the democratic state of Israel offered to Arafat (a professional murderer who had devoted his entire life to DELIBERATE killings of civilians - Israelis, Lebanese Christians and others - and whose organization's goal had always been destruction of Israel), 90% of the so-called West Bank (including East Jerusalem), the whole of Gaza and 3% of the Negev Desert for the purpose of establishing an Arab Palestinian state on those territories. To that unprecedented offer of compromise for the sake of peace Arafat responded with an intifada - a new terrorist war against Israeli civilians, including children, on the territory of Israel in its 1967 (and even 1948) borders. Having come to the conclusion that territorial concessions to Arafat were only provoking more war, the overwhelming majority of the Israeli people voted for Sharon in the elections that took place a few months after the Camp David talks (the fairness of those elections has never been questioned even by Israel's most malicious enemies). Although the Sharon landslide crushed Barak in those elections, he formed a government of national unity and invited his crushed adversaries from the Labour Party to join it; in particular, the well-known Shimon Peres became the Foreign Minister in that government. Once formed, the Israeli government of national unity headed by Sharon started defending its citizens against Palestinian terrorists and NEVER TARGETED A SINGLE PALESTINIAN CIVILIAN in their defensive operations (although many Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli bullets - not only because civilians inevitably die in any war, no matter whether they are being targeted or not, but also because Palestinian terrorists were using their own civilians, including children, as human shields). After all of that, in April of 2002, you declared to me in our last phone conversation that the West had to remove Sharon from power in order to achieve peace in the Middle East, that Arafat was a "poor man", whereas Sharon - "a criminal"! Such statements, T ,OBJECTIVELY not only exclude the possibility of the person who pronounces them (or just thinks this way) being my friend, they also make him/her MY ENEMY - mine, as well as all the Jewish people's; this is a fact of the objective reality, like summer is hot and winter is cold, the sun shines and stars twinkle. You say that I don't have the flexibility to accept other people's ideas - yes, I do and to a high degree (all my friends know that), but everything depends on the idea, and indeed, there are ideas which all of us don't (and shouldn't!) have the flexibility to accept. I can't accept the idea that Haman was a poor man, and Mordechai a criminal; I can't accept the idea that Hitler was a poor man, and Anelevich, a criminal; nor can I accept the idea that Arafat was a poor man, whereas Sharon is a criminal. Those who hold such "ideas" are MY AND MY ENTIRE PEOPLE'S OBJECTIVE ENEMIES.
In 1999, at the time of the NATO bombings of Yugoslavia, you refused to believe the Western media and went as far as saying that "the so-called "democracies" of the West and its media have succeeded in brainwashing the population". In 2002, you didn't bother to think independently and believed the most obnoxious, the most filthy anti-Israel propaganda that was being disseminated in some of the Western media! When I suggested to you during that phone conversation of ours that Israel should be supported, your reaction was: "How can one support Israel when one and a half million people are homeless?!"
You didn't even bother to think that it wasn't Israel who was keeping those people homeless; that it was the duty of the rulers of the countries where Palestinian refugees were dwelling in camps to absorb them dozens of years ago, in the same way as Israel absorbed 800000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran (and in the same way as Arab countries absorbed the 30000 Palestinian refugees whom Kuwaitis threw out for supporting Saddam Hussein when he invaded their country!); that the cynical and cruel Arab rulers were deliberately keeping generations of their own people in refugee camps in order to have international pressure exerted on Israel! I can understand those "outsiders" who tend to believe that both sides are equally guilty in the Arab-Israeli conflict; this is a natural way of perception for those who observe conflicts between other peoples, and with such people I can certainly have a good and friendly relationship, even though our views differ. I myself don't think that Israel has never done anything wrong throughout its history: naturally, that would be impossible, since nobody is perfect and Israelis are also human beings with their faults. But those who support the Arabs in this conflict are MY OBJECTIVE ENEMIES.
I know that you believe what you're saying when you write about your feeling of love, friendship and care for me - but those subjective feelings can have different forms and specific meanings in different situations. Needless to say, the example I'll give you now should in no way be taken as a comparison, but those Christian fanatics who for thousands of years were persecuting, torturing and massacring my people sincerely believed that they were doing all of that out of their genuine love and care for the Jews in order to save them from the eternal fire in Hell! It is obvious, that you loved not me but some kind of figment of your own imagination which you identified with me - and which in reality had nothing to do with me whatsoever. Those who love me love my people and hate its enemies: Arafat's, Hamas' and Jihad's gangsters, Ahmadinejad and his ilk, all those barbarians, two-footed beasts, subhumans, excrements of the human race who, like Nazis in 1930/40's, while killing Jews, are aiming at the entire Western civilization!
Yes, T, in the end we'll all die and our bodies will all rot or be cremated - but we'll enter history according to our deeds, words and beliefs (in certain situations, a word is also a deed - and a very important one). All the persecutors and butchers of my people from the Pharaohs to Andropov have already entered history as monsters, whereas all those who helped Jews in hard times are being recognized as heroes and righteous people. More and more people are realizing now that your fellow leftists who marched in the so-called "peace demonstrations" during the Cold War were naive puppets of the Evil Empire, whereas Reagan, Thatcher, Pope John Paul the 2nd and their allies (whatever one may think of the other aspects of their policies) liberated hundreds of millions of victims of Communism and saved the entire mankind from the red plague. Likewise, all the Arafats, Nasrallas, Haniyes, Ahmadinejads and their ilk will remain in history as monsters; you and your co-thinkers - as their naive puppets; whereas Jean Kirkpatrick and Oriana Fallaci, Nonie Darwish and Brigitte Gabriel - all those wonderful people with brilliant minds and courageous hearts will enter history and remain for ever as heroes.
AM YISRAEL KHAY VEKAYAM - THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL LIVE AND WILL LIVE!
*The initial of my addressee's name has been altered