Judy Halper
Left is not a dirty word

Bibi’s newest hat trick

Wikimedia and own work
Wikimedia and own work

Watch, my friends, as I pull a new Middle East out of my back pocket. Whoosh! With a wave of my hand, you can see I’ve turned the pale states of Egypt, Jordan, Sudan and Saudi Arabia a lush green! A red line, here, drawn with this ordinary marker, turns into the longest charmed handkerchief, ever. Note the never-before-seen railway pattern, the Arabian Peninsula here at this end, Europe on the other. Have you ever seen anything so magical? Thank you for your applause.

For those of you watching at home: There’s nothing up my sleeve. I know you thought you heard me say we’d make significant concessions to the Palestinians. What I actually said was we’ll allow Palestinian concession stands. What? I’ve dropped something? Impossible! Keep your eyes on the magic marker, please.

For the next part of my act, I’d like to blindfold an audience member. Actually, let’s blindfold all of you sitting right there, in the middle. Those on the right, you’ll find some rose-colored glasses under your seat. You may put them on now. Those of you on the left, take a good look. I dare you to try to guess how my magic trick is done.

I’d now like to bring out my lovely assistant. Give it up for my wonderful right-wing coalition. Right here, coalition, please lie down in this box. Is it properly secured? Won’t close over her belly? I know she’s gained a bit of weight recently, but please ignore her unsightly shape. The show must go on. Here, in my other back pocket, I have a saw, and I’ll now proceed to saw my lovely assistant in half. No screaming please! This trick takes immense concentration!

What’s that you say? The lovely coalition is now missing a leg? Don’t worry! All will be revealed in the end.

How will the brave Bibi wave his magic wand to waft a pile of glowing uranium into this beautiful green New Middle East? Can he do two tricks in one: making Israel’s court system disappear as he pulls a democracy-shaped rabbit (don’t worry if it looks a bit like a large rat) out of his hat? Can his rope trick produce multiple pieces of settlement and – at the very same time – an unbroken Palestinian entity? Will he shuffle the deck so quickly; will we be so dazzled by his tricks, that we fail to notice plants in the audience, the marked cards and misdirection until we’re left scratching our heads? The Saudi plant forgot their lines? No worries! We’ve got other, better ones in the wings!

Can he do two tricks in one: making Israel’s court system disappear while pulling a democracy-shaped rabbit (don’t worry if it looks a bit like a large rat) out of his hat?

And don’t forget to stay for his signature trick: juggling mixed messages, in Hebrew and English, keeping dozens of balls in the air with just the gas coming out of his mouth!

He’ll take a bow and wait for the writers and critics to marvel over his skill and dexterity. That stain on the back of his jacket? As long as he remains facing you on the stage, you’ll barely notice it. For those of you watching at home who are confused, he’ll explain in English.

How does he do it? It’s all magic, or all an illusion, depending on where you’re sitting in the audience.

About the Author
Judy Halper is a member of a kibbutz in the center of the country. She has worked as a dairywoman, plumber and veggie cook, and as a science writer. Today she volunteers in Na'am Arab Women in the Center and works part time for Wahat al-Salam/Neve Shalom.
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