US Secretary of State John Kerry offered an alternative definition for the word ‘ceasefire’ as a way to resolve international concerns over the conflict in the Gaza Strip.
“I though to myself if the problem is we can’t get an agreement on a ceasefire, then let’s just change the meaning of the word,” he told reporters at a Washington press conference.
Instead of the standard definition as “a temporary suspension of fighting” the new meaning will be “a temporary suspension of disproportionate fighting.”
“If the mountain won’t come to ceasefire then the ceasefire can go the mountain,” a buoyant Kerry quipped. “I really think this can work.”
While dictionary editors expressed their doubts about the move the State Department announced that the United Nations had already accepted Kerry’s concept after a quick vote in New York.
US officials confirmed that a draft document based on the updated meaning of ‘ceasefire’ was on the table and had been communicated to “all relevant parties in the current Gaza situation.”
A Hamas spokesman said the idea was “interesting” and that the organization felt it was a “significant step in the right direction.”
When questioned by members of the press as to the definition of “disproportionate” the Secretary of State responded that was “a matter of context.”
“The important thing is to get the Israelis and Palestinians to sign on this thing,” he said.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it would need clarification on exactly what the terms of the new proposal were.
“At this stage we don’t want to give a disproportionate response,” a ministry spokesperson said.
Pakistani officials said they were keen to study Kerry’s idea and how it may influence the 1972 Simla Agreement signed with India that led to an independent Bangladesh. Dhaka responded by putting its armed forces on alert and India moved 100,00 troops towards the Kashmir region.
Within hours of Kerry’s announcement Basque separatists said they intend to continue bombing campaigns under the new meaning of the ceasefire that it had itself declared in 2010. The Provisional IRA also said it would seek Kerry’s support in “recontexting” the 1997 arrangement it had made with the British government.
The US State Department did not respond to further inquiries about the Kerry initiative. In a short statement the department explained that the Secretary of State was focusing all of his attentions on the sudden outbreak of war between North and South Korea.
Spoof and satire contributed to this blog post.