An admittedly small upstart group of Palestinians, comparing the quality of their governance with the orderly procedures in Israel, have decided the best thing that can happen to them is to give up on their own government.
As a result, they are asking Israel to keep the members of the Hamas government the Israelis arrested in response to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by militants.
Even more surprisingly, they are advocating a one-state solution, with the Gaza Strip and West Bank volunteering to become part of Israel.
To let their voices be heard, they took to the streets, waving banners that read, “Palestine, No; Israel, Yes!”; “I Almost Speak Hebrew Already”; and “Let’s Make A Deal.”
Israel reacted with caution to the unexpected development, with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert saying, “Let them return our soldier; then maybe we can talk.”
When a reporter pointed out that if Gaza and the West Bank became part of Israel, the soldier would technically already be in Israel, Olmert replied, “Yes, but we want him back in his own home, and we want him there alive. Then we can do a headcount.”
Asked what he meant by a headcount, he said, “As you know, we insist that Israel have a Jewish majority. It’s only fair that, in the entire Middle East, there should be at least one country that does. After all, our ancestors were here, too, and that’s why we set up the country. So we have to determine with that many more Palestinians in Israel, do we have a Jewish majority? Right now, I’d say no way, Hosni.”
The reporter asked, “Then the latest Palestinian proposal Israel to become a one-state solution would not be acceptable to you?”
“I don’t see how, unless they agreed to limit procreation for a few decades while the Israelis agreed to step on the gas. Then maybe we could work something out.”
“Oh, maybe they could have our government without voting rights. You must remember that one of the inconvenient things about having a Palestinian majority that could vote is that I could be replaced by a Palestinian. We can’t have that. But I would like to see both Israelis and Palestinians happy.”
“Happy? Wow, that’s asking a lot, isn’t it?” the reporter commented. “Has that condition ever prevailed in the Middle East?”
“Not in my lifetime, but I’m an idealist,” Olmert replied. “To tell the truth, we should all only be happy in this region. It would be the greatest thing since sliced Challah bread.”
Then his mind wandered back, searching for a time when people in the Middle East might have been happy. “You know, happiness for everyone in this region would be almost as great as the wonderful day the burning bush lit up and God waved Moses over to give him the Ten Commandments. By the way, did you ever think how extraordinary it is that the finger of God came out of the bush and carved the Commandments in stone just for Moses?”
“Well,” the reporter said, considering the matter, “let’s just say I never had a bush light up to give me a message.”
“Oh, I don’t know many people who have. But, what’s even more extraordinary is, when he came down and saw the Israelites worshipping the golden calf, he threw the stone tablets down and broke them. But we still have them.”
“Yes, we do. What do you think he did, pieced them back together again?”
“Maybe. But I like to imagine a more dramatic sequel. What if he went back up, apologized to the bush, and asked for another copy?”
“Oh, well, that’s interesting.”
“Yes,” the prime minister went on, “And, to prove the generosity of God, he got it! To me the second copy is as important to me as the Christian Second Coming. Well, so much for Biblical chitchat. I must get back to governing Israel, regardless of whether it will only be to govern what we consider the current state of Israel or we decide the Palestinians can have our government, too.”