A Connecticut Yankee in Bibi’s court (with sincere apologies to Mark Twain)

In 1889 the great American novelist Samuel Clemens, best known by his pen-name, Mark Twain and famed for his book, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn”, published his beloved satire, “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”. It was a fantasy which mocked aristocratic manners and institutions.

Set in 6th century England, Twain delights us with his cast of characters from King Arthur himself to Queen Guinevere, Sir Lancelot, and the feared Merlin the magician. All the players reside in Camelot.

The plot begins in the city of Hartford, Connecticut, one of the six New England states.  Hank, a farmer in Hartford, receives a severe blow to his head and lies unconscious. In his dream he found himself in merry old England with a carousing group of men weighted down in heavy armor, swords dangling at their sides,

They laugh at his manner of clothing, as if he arrived from outer space, and they bring him to the royal court where he meets King Arthur. In order to evade being thrown into prison, Hank convinces the king that he can predict the future, to the doubt of the smirking Merlin.

Realizing that the date is June 20 on his Connecticut calendar, he predicts to the king that the sky will be darkened soon by a great eclipse. And when the eclipse does in fact occur, the king is convinced of Hank’s strange powers and appoints him to be a counselor at the royal court.

Perhaps what we need in Israel is a Connecticut Yankee who, when meeting our Prime Minister, Bibi, can convince him of a different future about to appear on the horizon.

He will tell Bibi that he is aware of the problems now facing him and will convince him that he, Hank, and only he, can save Bibi’s royal seat in the palace halls of Parliament.

Doubtless Bibi will be suspicious of this newcomer. Yes, Bibi is familiar with Connecticut. When he spent his university years at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts across the bridge from Boston on the River Charles, he  probably cheered for Harvard in Cambridge over the rival Yale in New Haven, Connecticut.

What is it that the Yankee can do or can tell Bibi that will by cause bring a good effect? The Prime Minister is surrounded by counselors and advisors, his primary one being his wife, Sara.

She insists on reviewing the credentials of all prospective candidates for government positions.  It is said loudly that she also interviews those candidates and then proceeds to tell her husband who to appoint. And because Bibi is a loyal and loving husband he listens to his wife and takes her questionable advice.

Therein lies the major problem and Hank will be determined to find an acceptable solution.

Sir Bennett, Sir Kahlon, Sir Herzog and Sir Deri, together with Dr. Tibi and Madame Zouabi  will plot among themselves to provide a way of ridding this Yankee from Connecticut from Bibi’s court.

The Yankee will send for his mighty pollsters from Quinnipiac, masters of surveying peoples’ attitudes and responses, and they in turn will arrive with many rolls of paper to jot down opinions of Israelis from Metullah in the north to Eilat in the south.

Following their lengthy travels and questioning tens of thousands of good citizens, they will present the ribbon-tied rolls to Hank who in turn will present them to Bibi.

And without untying the ribbon and without reading a single line, Bibi will respond:

“Nothing is in it. You will find nothing in it”.

The Connecticut Yankee returns in dismay to Hartford. He had often heard about a famous wall in Jerusalem. And he will tell everyone who will hear him, “I have been to Jerusalem and I have seen the great wall. And its name is Bibi”.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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