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|BUT Seriously: The New Immigrant|
|12/15/00 at 09:34:45|
|BUT SERIOUSLY: The New Immigrant|
By Sam Orbaum
(December 5) What does it take to get American Jews to move to Israel? Just one man to lead the way.
"Line two, Mr. Barak, it's Joe Lieberman."
"Who's Joe Lieberman?"
"Y'know, the Al Gore guy. Coupla votes short of vice president."
Barak seemed to remember something about a Lieberman. But that was a long time ago (in Israeli political terms).
"G'morning, Joe," the prime minister said, smiling in that sort-of way he has. He was having a good day - well, not so bad. And he liked talking to American politicians, who always seem like they just stepped out of the shower: fresh, invigorated, up-and-at-'em. Not like Israeli politicians, who always seem like at the end of a siege.
"How's the weather over there?" Lieberman inquired. The pee- m immediately became anxious. An American politician never says nothing for no reason, while Israeli politicians talk until they can think of what to say.
"Warm. Warmish. Well, warmer than yesterday." What those people want, the Israeli understood, was bottom-line, precise facts, not like here, where everything is a debate until it becomes an argument. "Is that why you called?"
"Yes. And how's the housing situation?"
Housing? What have we done wrong now?
"Look," Lieberman said, "I'd like a full report by noon, if it's no trouble. I'll be there tomorrow. Me and the wife."
The Israeli leader was agog. "An official visit?!"
"Not exactly," the American Jew said. "We're making aliya."
YOU COULD just imagine.
"Get the cabinet in here at once!" Barak barked at his aides. "Tell them it's a national emergency."
In such times that the little Jewish state faces a dire threat, it is no problem getting its ministers assembled.
Trembling, Barak told them the situation.
"That's wonderful news!" they chorused.
"That's terrible news!" Barak moaned. "Think of the consequences!"
There was wall-to-wall puzzlement. The immigration minister pointed out that this was the founding principle of the Zionist state. "It's an answer to our prayers," he exclaimed. "The previous high-profile American to consider moving here was Meyer Lansky. That would've brought us every Jewish criminal on the run. Joe Lieberman makes aliya, we'll have two, three million fine American Jews following him!"
"That," thundered the PM, "is precisely the point! Civilization as we know it is doomed!"
"Is that a bad thing?" the minister asked timidly.
Barak looked around at the people running his country. None of them had any idea. But not for long.
"Imagine, if you will: Tomorrow, Joe and Hadassah Lieberman arrive as humble immigrants. At the airport, they're pushed and shoved about, they have to wait here, wait there, somebody God forbid is smoking nearby, and when they're this close to throwing in the towel and going back to America, then they come up against their first typical pakid. Now, this is Joe Lieberman, not your average Joe; he's got morals, values, scruples, and he's got power. People listen to him. He's a mover, a shaker," Barak said, shaking. "By the time he's left the airport, it'll be reorganized into a model of American efficiency, with every worker saying 'Have a nice day.'
"Then, this new immigrant gets into a taxi. Does he go to a two-and-a-half room apartment in Holon, where he'll spend his first few years learning to become an Israeli, and maybe open a pizzeria? No. He'll go right to the Knesset and start looking for an office.
"A good thing? No, a bad thing. Because he doesn't understand the way things are done here, and with every second American Jew following him here, Israeli democracy will be destroyed.
"Israeli democracy, let me remind you, is a wonderful thing, perfected by people who came here from Russia, Poland, Morocco and Iraq. Israeli democracy was fathered in communism, totalitarianism, socialism, messianic fundamentalism, and dogmatic theocracy. From democratic countries, sure, we've had one or two: Golda and Abba Eban, fanatic socialists; Flatto-Sharon, an escaped convict; Kahane, a kahanist; Weinberg, who ran with the Russians.
"So instead of Shas with 17 seats we'll have American Jews with 17 seats. You understand the difference? What the hell are we going to do with all these people demanding a democratic democracy, honest government, accountability to the electorate, constitutional freedoms, both equality and majority rule? This Lieberman is a menace: he's honest, he's squeaky clean, he's admired. He'll be setting an example. Our political way of life is threatened, and each of us here, to a man, is about to become a dinosaur."
A religious minister objected. "There were no dinosaurs."
"Gentlemen - and may I point out, half you of will undoubtedly be replaced by a woman - I ask you: is this Jew good for the Jews?"
No one knew what to say, which says it all.
FROM: Joe Lieberman
TO: The Knesset, Jerusalem, Israel
As you may have heard, later today I and my wife Hadassah will be arriving as new immigrants. We wonder if, between now and then, you can see to it that everything is, as you say, b'seder:
1. We will require kosher food upon arrival. By "kosher" I mean "not treif": instruct all the rabbis to stop their self- erving hair-splitting and check out the Torah for a description of "kashrut."
2. Cut income tax, sales tax and property tax by 95% and increase public services by same. If you can't do it, I will.
3. You know me, I will not tolerate corruption. It is not a Jewish thing. Instruct your A-G to reopen all cases involving politicians. If we have to put prison bars around the Knesset, we will.
4. Your politicians will henceforth be political. Rabbis will preach in synagogue, not parliament.
5. Draft dodgers will be jailed. Tax evaders will be jailed. All residents will swear allegiance.
6. Everything you've been promising law-abiding Arab citizens all these years? Do it.
7. Sunday is part of the weekend.
8. Please instruct all Israelis that from now on they will be polite, civil, respectful, considerate, conscientious, modest, principled, honest, ethical, courteous - in short, Jewish.
9. From the moment I arrive, Israeli children will behave.
10. We are religious. Just let anyone tell me we're not.
11. Give me a couple of days and I'll solve the Palestinian problem. It's simple: convert them all, and make it a Jewish problem.
12. Keep El Al; sell Shabbat.
THE ISRAELI leader glared at the memo he had just received, as if it were a declaration of war. He could envision what it meant, even if no one else could.
It meant everything in his country would soon become organized according to logic.
It meant his beloved Knesset would be filled with people speaking his beloved Hebrew in a rotten accent.
Golf courses everywhere.
It meant her, running her half of the country like a Hadassah ladies' chapter, with three million Israeli women too busy - with fundraising, bazaars, cake bakes, nearly-new sales, raffles, auctions, raising millions and doing mitzvas - to put three million Israeli men's suppers on the table.
It meant he was going to become the prime minister of a united state of America. And who would be left over there, telling the American government what's good for Israel?
And then it hit him: a plot! This has to be a plot to unhinge the State of Israel; but just as quickly he dismissed the idea as crazy, and wondered if it is absolutely necessary for an Israeli leader to be paranoid, while not too far away, at that very same moment, the Palestinian leader was smiling to himself, thinking, ha!, it's working.
|Re: BUT Seriously: The New Immigrant|
|12/15/00 at 10:32:23|
|*LOL* That's toooooo funny!!!!|
|Re: BUT Seriously: The New Immigrant|
|12/17/00 at 09:37:30|
|Re: BUT Seriously: The New Immigrant|
|12/17/00 at 09:38:15|
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