Tuesday, July 13, 2010


According to messages intercepted by an Israeli security service that may or may not exist, Palestinian leadership is struggling to identify a form of protest acceptable to Israel. The Palestinians had hoped their communal demonstrations in Bi'lin and Ni'ilin against Israeli’s “security barrier” would compare favorably with the hostilities associated with the 2nd Intifada, but Israel responded with gunfire, gas grenades and arrests. Palestinian opposition to the Jewish State’s admission to the multi-national Office of Economic Cooperation and Development was similarly panned, and even the Palestinian boycott of products from the occupied territories has been waved out of bounds by Israeli commentators. And of course the nine deaths during the Gaza Aid Flotilla completely failed to resonate with the Israeli public.

Consequently, officials from the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Islamic Jihad have been communicating frantically, groping for a resistance strategy that won’t offend Jewish sensitivities. Despite their differences and suspicions (including the question of which side the PA is actually on), their secretly recorded communications reveal a shared predicament. They also confirm that Arabs incessantly conspire (except when they incessantly quarrel and prove themselves incapable of self-government).

Circus Israel obtained transcripts of the Arab discourse from an Israeli espionage operative by posing as Jonathan Pollard’s publicist. The following conference call involved Khaled Meshal (Hamas), Salam Fayyad (PA), Abdullah Ramadan Shallah (Islamic Jihad) and Ahmad Sa’adat (PFLP).

MESHAL: Everyone hooked up?..Okay, gentlemen, we have a big problem, so I’m just gonna say what needs to be said. We’re screwing up the one thing we always agreed on – Israel’s needs come first. We must – I mean must – find modes of resistance that don’t offend the Jews. By the way, I just got a bootleg Avi Gefen CD and it kicks ass. I’ll burn copies for you guys.

SHALLAH: Cool. Listen, I couldn’t agree more about re-calibrating strategy, Khaled. I really thought the settlement boycott would be OK, since it's stuff made on our land and all that, but it’s just way too aggressive. We should’ve run it by the Yesha Council.

FAYYAD: And that Aid Flotilla – what a bright idea. Not! Look, we were warned. When Lieberman calls something a violent provocation, it’s a violent provocation. Those crazy boats and what-have-you. Why? Because of a siege? It just makes Israel look bad.

SA’ADAT: Say, who’s gonna talk to these hotheads in Ni’lin and Bi’lin? It’s not okay to provoke tear gas and bullets and scrawl that potty-mouth stuff on the Wall. I don’t want Jewish kids seeing that trash on TV.

FAYYAD: You’re blaming the Authority, I assume.

SA’ADAT: Your turf, man.

FAYYAD: My turf? Listen, I have –

MESHAL: C’mon, c’mon. Guys, there’s plenty of blame for everyone. Let’s keep it positive.

SHALLAH: Hey, a rabbi, a sheikh and a midget walk into a brothel. The sheikh says –

SA’ADAT: This the one where the rabbi says “oy vey, it’s bigger than a palm tree”?

SHALLAH: You heard it already?

MESHAL: Who hasn’t? That joke’s older than the Jewish presence in Jerusalem. Look, let’s focus here. One suggestion - why don’t we just ask the Israelis what protest they’ll tolerate?

SA’ADAT: No, no, no, no, no! Khaled, are you trying to make things worse? Every lover wants you to just understand them and not ask a lot of questions. Besides, you’re just trying to shift responsibility to the Jews. As Abdullah said, it’s our duty to figure this out.

MESHAL: What about a Palestinian Gandhi?

SHALLAH: That’s just another version of asymmetrical warfare. With Sharon under the weather, the Israelis don’t have a comparable peacemaker.

FAYYAD: How about we use protest letters? Firm but polite. Good quality paper.

MESHAL: Better yet, does anybody know if the Israelis have a standard complaint form? We fill it out, submit it quietly through proper channels, we can’t go wrong. It’s their own form.

SHALLAH: That’s good. Just let’s not flood them with complaints. We’ll look like a nuisance and it’s not very nice.

MESHAL: Right, exactly. Everything in moderation. Not too much and not too little.

FAYYAD: Well, too little’s okay.

SHALLAH: Of course. By the way, a friend sent me an old Jackie Mason album. Vinyl - mint condition! Guy makes me laugh so hard I plotz!

SA’ADAT: Jackie takes something, like, half-formed in my mind and says it perfectly. Like he’s in my head!

FAYYAD: You wish, Ahmad!

MESHAL: Hey, I hate to be a nudje, but we’re burning minutes. Listen, how about something like this Flotilla Commission the Israelis put together? A focus group of really old Jews that detest us. If something doesn’t offend those guys, it’s good to go.

SA’ADAT: Again you make the Jews responsible! Not only do you want painful concessions, you want them to tell you how to ask for them. Nutty.

MESHAL: Okay, Mr. Diplomat, make a proposal - for once. One constructive idea.

SA’ADAT: Well, maybe if you listened a little more carefully, you’d know I’ve been suggesting a petition drive from day one.

MESHAL: I like petition drives. I always said they’re very effective with the Israelis. But what do we demand?

FAYYAD: Demand?

MESHAL: Okay, not demand. Request.

SHALLAH: Something like, we, the undersigned, respectfully request…what?

SA’ADAT: Negotiations?... Discussions about negotiations?

FAYYAD: Preliminary discussions about preliminary negotiations?

SHALLAH: Jordanian citizenship and limited residency rights in restricted West Bank areas?

SA’ADAT: No, no – that’s to be negotiated.

SHALLAH: This’s really hard. Ya know, I just don’t think it’s so wrong to ask the Israelis for a little guidance. They know what they’ll tolerate.

MESHAL: Do they? 2 Jews, 3 opinions.

SA’ADAT: Why can’t we be delightfully quirky like that?

MESHAL: Lemme tell you something Abu Tir said the other day. "Hamas wins parliamentary elections and they arrest 64 of us. So protest voting’s obviously not allowed. After 4 years in prison, they revoke my Jerusalem residency. So even thinking about resistance is not allowed in territory they control. Maybe they just want us out of here."

FAYYAD: Khaled, c’mon, man…

MESHAL: This never occurs to you? That everything we’re talking about, the expulsions, the land grabs, the contempt, it’s all on purpose to make us surrender?

SHALLAH: Wow. My brother, that’s really paranoid.

SA’ADAT: Worse, it’s anti-semitic incitement. Khaled, I’m very disappointed.

SHALLAH: Those Syrians slipped something in your falafel.

FAYYAD: Look, if we present the right request in the right way at the right time, Israel will always consider it. Just like Oslo.

MESHAL: Sorry. Guess I’m a little frustrated…

SHALLAH: Here’s a good one. Arab walks into a bar on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem. Slaps a pile of shekels on the bar, says “let bygones be bygones – drinks’re on me!” Bunch of Jewish guys get drunk, they jump the Arab and beat his ass. Week later, the Arab comes back in. “Let bygones be bygones – drinks’re on me!” Jews get drunk, beat his ass again. Another week, in comes the Arab. This time he says, “I’m not buying you guys any more drinks.” Jewish guy says, “good, ‘cause we’re tired of you making us drink before we beat your ass!”

FAYYAD: Now that’s funny! I gotta tell that one to Tony Blair!

Simply awesome!
You're inimitable, simply the best!
Great blog you got here. Too bad very few ppl know about it.
David, I'm a liberal South Asian who has been reading your blog for a while now. I just want to say that you are consistently brilliant as a commentator, your honesty is commendable, and you are very, very funny. You should do stand-up comedy. I'll be linking my friends to your blog.
What is simple is better.
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