Gershon Baskin is an Israeli peace activist who has been in contact with a number of Hamas members for the past 20 years in his role as a former hostage negotiator. He is a partner to many coexistence initiatives, and a member of organizations that maintain extensive Israeli-Palestinian dialogue.
In 2011, Baskin was one of the mediators between Israel and Hamas in the negotiations that led to the deal for the release of the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, in which 1,024 terrorists of the terrorist organization were released in exchange for Shalit.
Ghazi Hamad, a senior member of the terrorist organization Hamas, serves as the chairman of the Energy Authority in the Gaza Strip and in practice serves as the spokesman for Hamas in Europe. Hamad was previously considered one of the moderates in the terrorist organization, and his connections with Israelis including Baskin led to a deal for Shalit's release.
Since the Oct. 7 attack, Hamad has claimed that Hamas did not murder and kidnap civilians. In a recent television interview, he said that Hamas would carry out more and more attacks like Oct. 7 until Israel is destroyed.
The following letter was sent by Baskin to Hamad, with whom he was in contact until recently, regarding the hostages. Baskin posted the letter on his Facebook page on Nov. 1.
Ghazi Hamad –
I believe that this will be the last time I ever communicate with you. I don't think you have the courage to answer me and I do not expect an answer. But these are my words to you and I hope that they sink deep into your mind.
I think you have lost your mind and you have lost your moral code. You have crossed the line between humanity and inhumanity. I have never justified the killing of innocent people. I never imagined that you would justify the killing of innocent civilians – My God – babies, whole families burned alive, old people, children killed in front of their parents. These are not the actions of human beings.
I always thought you were a man with the principle of humanity. How can you justify the things that your people did? How can you call for 1 million October 7's?
Hamas Official Ghazi Hamad: We Will Repeat the October 7 Attack Time and Again Until Israel Is Annihilated; We Are Victims – Everything We Do Is Justified #Hamas #Gaza #Palestinians pic.twitter.com/kXu3U0BtAP
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) November 1, 2023
I have called Israel's bombing of innocent civilians in Gaza a war crime. I care more about your people than you have ever cared for them. Every time someone in Gaza would come to me to ask for help, I would tell them to talk to you. But you know what they said? They only care about their own people – that's what so many people in Gaza said to me about you and your people.
You built tunnels and bunkers for your own people – not one single shelter for the people of Gaza. You ran away from Gaza and deserted your people. I am sure you took your privileged family with you when you ran away just like your sick coward leaders in Qatar on red carpets and 5 star hotels and millions of dollars that they and maybe you too stole from the Palestinian people.
Honestly Ghazi, you surprised me and disappointed me. We have known each other for 18 years. We have spoken more than 1000 times. We have met face to face I think four times. You earned my respect when you showed that you actually cared for Gilad Shalit and wanted him to be returned to his family – not just to get [your] prisoners released. There was some humanity in you. And on the day of his release you even said, "Next time we will negotiate peace!"
That is what you said. But you have changed and you are evil. Maybe you are under the wings of Salah al-Arouri, maybe under the influence of someone else. I am sorry to say that you were someone who I actually trusted and thought that we together could help to bring a better future for our peoples. But you and your friends have brought the Palestinian cause back 75 years. You and your friends are directly responsible for the tragedy that is happening to your people. You and your friends will pay the price, but first millions of Palestinians are paying the price of your hate, your fanatic ideology and your lack of humanity.
I never want to speak to you again. You don't deserve to speak to someone like me.