Friday, November 10, 2017

Two Modest Mideast Proposals

          Two Modest Mideast Proposals

          Scenario 1: Draw

Palestinian:         You oppress my people and enslave us.
                             We can no longer tolerate your tyrannical rule.
                             Let my people go!

Israeli:                 You stand at sword-point with us and each other.
                             We can no longer tolerate your chaotic presence.
                             We divorce thee, we divorce thee, we divorce thee!

American:            Send us your tired, your poor,
                             Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
                             I lift my lamp beside the open door.

German (aside):            So the Jews play at being Arabs
                                      And the Arabs play at being Jews!

Chinese (replies):         And America swallows yet another
                                      Vigorous and turbulent minority.

Shiite:                            The exodus of Palestine is a calamity,
                                      But I hereby declare it written
                                      That the infidels shall follow soon after!

Sunni:                            We shall be well rid of the troublemakers
                                      But what would we do without Israel?

          Scenario 2: Truce

Israeli:                  Come, let us bargain together!
                             You may have your bribe of land
                             If you can accept as free and equal citizens
                             Even the minority of stubborn Jews
                             That we carefully settled there.

Palestinian:         You and we are in mutual checkmate;
                             Minorities wrapped within minorities,
                             Davids who are Goliath to smaller Davids;
                             What choice have either of us
                             But to surrender to peace?

American:            Behold and revere, O struggling world
                             The glorious dual sanctity
                             Of private property and civil rights;
                             For good fences make good neighbors
                             And good neighbors make good fences!

Chinese (aside):  How fervently the American preaches
                             The conservative liberal gospel
                             Of attachment to dust!

German (aside):  It’s called enlightened self-interest
                             For old wars are less profitable
                             Than new markets.

Shiite:                  Alas, we must now endure the presence
                             Of those annoying and distracting Israelis –

Sunni (aside):      Good!

Shiite:                  - but rejoice, we keep the Palestinians
                             Vanguard of revolution!

Sunni (aside):      Alas!

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