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Fifteenth Sort

Dear Jon offers his solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem.

by Dear Jon
January 11, 2001

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Fifteenth Sort_Dear Jon-Dear Jon offers his solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. Dear Jon: Why does spaghetti sauce stick to non-stick cooking pots? Sincerely, Chef

Dear Chef: I find that tomato-based sauces tend to chemically bond to any surface on which they are left to atrophy in the time between cooking and doing the dishes. The sooner the dishes are done, the less the tomato-based sauces adhere to non-stick surfaces. However, if you are like me, you are “project” and “challenge” oriented, rather than “routine” oriented. As I have tried to explain to my wife many times, a “project” oriented person is not a “procrastinator.” As the dishwasher (by pre-nuptial agreement) I prefer to let the dishes gather over a few days, say, 3 or 4, until they become a “project.” Usually the sign that the dishes have become a project, is when the dining room table has become the place to prepare the food, which is then eaten in the living room. That is when I turn up the music and I get to work.


Dear Jon: What solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem would you propose as an arrogant, narrow-minded minion of that Great Satan, the United States?
Sincerely, Frustrated Peace-Seeker.


Dear Peace: I am so glad you asked that question. If international diplomats were half as wise as you, they would have consulted Dear Jon by now. I am proud to be a minion of the United States.

Let us begin with the solutions that will probably be adopted by Congress and the United Nations sometime during the Bush administration. These solutions will inevitably make matters much worse.

One solution is to send United Nations “peace-keepers” into the West Bank and Gaza, to police the check-points and roads, to prevent random violence and sniper fire by Jewish settlers and to clamp down on terrorism by militant Muslims. This will solve nothing. The U.S. will resist sending American troops into this cross-fire, since everyone who knows anything realizes that most militant Palestinians see Americans as stooges of Zionism and would fire on them as readily as they would on any Israeli soldier. However, if the quagmire of U.N. peace-keeping ever does take hold in Israel, America will eventually send troops, probably to defend our “honor” or the U.N.’s “honor” or for some other nebulous concept that will seem meaningless when our first troop carrier goes up in flames.

Addendum to all you Armageddon cult-freaks: As a pessimistic a-millennialist believing in realized eschatology, which puts me in league with the “anti-Christ” for many of you, I do believe it is possible, in this particular wrinkle of time, that the U.S. will represent “Gog and Magog.” Here is what I mean: It was true of the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Ottomans, and the British, that the occupation of Israeli territory by these empires inevitably preceded their downfall. If America sends soldiers to Israel, even with blue U.N. helmets, it means the sun is about to set on our little piece of history as the World Empire. Does it mean Jesus will come back? Nope. It just means America is going to fall, and you and I could have a rough life when we are senior citizens.

Another solution they will suggest, and try to enforce with sanctions, is some kind of power sharing where the groups with the most guns will get to send delegates to some sort of “representative” government. Has that worked ANYWHERE else in the world? Forget about it.

Another solution they will suggest, is complete Palestinian independence with a fully-armed defense and a seat on the United Nations. Zionists, the Ultra-Orthodox, and Americans, will never go for that. As in the case of Taiwan, Americans prefer to protect favorable economic climates with the primary oppressor, rather than take the side of justice and reason. Besides, the issue is more complicated than with Taiwan, which is an island unto itself and deserves to be recognized as a nation. The map of the Palestinian State has that inconvenient strip in Gaza divided out from the rest. This would mean complicated formulas to allow passage through Israel, or, a territorial compromise which would lead to the bulldozing of more homes.

Here is my arrogant, narrow-minded solution: American democracy.

Wilson’s 12 Points
1. Declare a moratorium on bulldozing people out of their homes, for crying out loud.

2. Scrap the English-style parliament, and replace with a new constitution.

3. Separate religion from the federal government.

4. Federate the republic. Divide Israel into 6 states: Gaza is one, the West Bank is two, and what is now “Israel” should be 3 states.

5. Each “state” should maintain a degree of local autonomy for the administration of schools, roads, zoning, determining the relationship of religion to local government, and the power to establish local ordinances which could very well reflect the majority religious culture in the state.

6. Residents of Gaza and the West Bank must be absolutely as equally enfranchised in the election of federal officials as are those who are currently called “Israelis.” They must have the right to run for local and federal offices, including that of President.

7. Each state should send 3 senators and 4 legislators to an Israeli National Congress. An equal number of representatives should comprise an electoral college to elect the nation’s President.

8. A Supreme Court of seven justices, with limited powers, should be appointed with Senate approval.

9. Integrate the military.

10. Make Jerusalem autonomous from any of the 6 states. Just as Washington D.C., the District of Jerusalem shall be the Capital of the Federal Republic of Israel. Jerusalem should be represented by one legislator and one senator in the Israeli National Congress.

11. Include in a “bill of rights,” the rights to peaceable assembly, the right to practice one’s own religion, freedom of speech, of the press, and of all mediums and forums by which thought is communicated, protection from search and seizure without a warrant, protection from imprisonment without charge and a fair and speedy trial, and the prevention of discrimination or disenfranchisement from citizenship at local levels.

12. Agree as part of this accord, that whoever has a home, gets to keep that home when the new constitution takes effect, for crying out loud.

Why this will never happen: First, Religious fundamentalists of all stripes will never trust a government that is divorced from religious law. Second, People hate each other too much because of the bloodshed, and they want to keep the fight going.

Still, there it is, my arrogant American solution.

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