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A Rumor of Humor

It is true that our new Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, himself a former journalist, is an ardent daily reader of our TIMES OF ISRAEL. Accordingly he must have been (not a devout) but a casual reader of my past 1,252 published articles.

Therefore, there is a rumor spreading in the halls of Jerusalem’s political clans that Prime Minister Lapid wants to appoint me as one of Israel’s spoke-persons in the chambers of the United (not really so united) Nations.

Now it is known that I am not an Abba Eban of blessed memory, but having served as a university professor among other places for more than sixty years, it is (I am proud to say) true that I am a damn good speaker! 20 citations on the wall from governments, prime ministers, presidents and nobility (including a personal letter and photo of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II received recently) have indicated to me that I am also a damn good writer. Almost 70 years of published articles and one book on the masterpieces of Israeli poetry are proof positive !!!

I am not a damn fool but I am a positive one. And I know full well that Prime Minister Lapid’s rumor was more a sense of his humor! He doesn’t have to worry. He’ll get my vote in November.

Happily for Israel’s new leader, he is an authority on our history, pre-state and present. He is also a scholar on matters concerning the Palestinian issues, delicate and dangerous issues.

And if anyone in the world could approach the Palestinian issues, none could be better than Yair Lapid.

He would send me as one of his spoke-persons to the halls of the UN in New York and would convey to me his words… honest words, truthful words, historical words. And these are his true words:

In 1918 at the end of the Turkish Ottoman rule in Palestine, the League of Nations, father of the present United Nations, gave a mandate to the British Government (the British Mandate, obviously) to take full legal control of Palestine. It was a bitter mandate that would last for forty hard years prior to our independence.

Prime Minister Lapid would have me say that when the mandate was handed to Britain, the question of Palestine became the turbulent situation which we inherited from 1918 to the present unhappy day.

What are the facts? The British partitioned Palestine giving 77% to the Arabs and 23% to the Jews.

As a reward to the Arabs for their support in the Great War on the side of Britain, a king to be named Abdullah I was chosen to become head of the new Arab state to be called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The new kingdom consisted of 77% of Palestine, which had been promised to the Jews in the Balfour Declaration.

The new Hashemite kingdom of Jordan, therefore, is the real and only Palestinian state. Jordan IS Palestine and there is no denying it !

The Jordanian arabs and the Israeli arabs are brothers speaking the very same language, worshipping the very same religion, sharing the very same culture and the very same history. Jordan IS Palestine and is therefore the rightful place for a future Palestinian state.

What needs to formalize it is to demand the abdication from the Jordanian throne of His Majesty, Abdullah II, thereby opening the leadership to an elected Palestinian president.

Once there is an established and recognized state, the Palestinians will have no future claim to land or territory in Israel. A happy state for Palestinians and a happier state for the Jews.

I imagine that Prime Minister Lapid had these thoughts in mind when he considered appointing me as a spokes-person at the UN New York headquarters although I would much prefer the charms of Geneva.

In spite of everything, his Rumor does not fit in to my Humor. But who knows? If Prime Minister Lapid reads this article, perhaps his conscience would put humor aside and have compassion upon an approaching 90 year old.

Ani maamin b’nissim. I still believe in miracles !

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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