Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Peace for Land

Jay D. Homnick
The American Spectator
26 January '10

"So, Sadie, why do you look so happy today?"

"I got a letter from my son Abe in Israel."

"And how is with Abe?"

"He lost all his money in a business, his apartment was damaged by a bomb and he had to wait a month to get a refrigerator."

"Then why so happy?"

"Because mine Abe writes such a beautiful Hebrew!"

This bit of Jewish gallows humor encapsulates much of the modern experience of having coreligionists, often relatives, in Israel. The grind of their everyday battle for survival is tolerated while the astonishing phenomenon of the revenant country and language is celebrated. The perfect metaphor for life in Israel is the ubiquitous habit there of eating sunflower seeds. They jam a fistful of unopened shells in their mouths, then walk down the street spitting the shells while somehow extracting the seeds with teeth and tongue, swallowing only the seeds. Israelis spend their lives dodging shells of one sort or another.

One of these is the shell game of the world-demanded American-sponsored Europe-monitored peace talks with the Palestinians. As matters are currently constituted, these are simply impossible to bring to a satisfactory conclusion. Sounds shocking, but no less true for all that.

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