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The Mediator

Boubileh, isn’t it amazing that Naftali Bennett, the prime minister of Israel, is mediating the war between Ukraine and Russian.”

“Yup.”

Did you know that he flew to Moscow to meet with Putin. And after he has talked to Putin, he called Zelensky?

“Yup.”

“Bennett is making Israelis kvell. Now they feel like they have become important actors on the world stage. Real big pishers. Who would ever have thought that would happen?”

“Not me.”

Boubileh, Bennett has got a pair of big ones. He knows he’s walking into a mine field.”

“Yup.”

But little old Israel with 9.5 million people is trying any way to mediate a war with Russia and its 146 million citizens and Ukraine with its 41 million inhabitants. That’s chutzpah.

“Yup.”

“I bet Bennett is already seeing that Nobel peace prize in his trophy case.

“Yup.”

“Do you know how much money Bennett would win?”

Boychick, I think the laureate receives over a million bucks, a diploma, a fabulous banquet in their honor, a fully paid trip to Oslo plus the gold medal. The laureate meets the King of Sweden in Oslo, who will present him with the Nobel. I bet you didn’t know that the peace prize is awarded in Norway and all the other prizes are received in Sweden. They’ll shake hands. He’ll smile for the cameras as he is handed the gold medal and the laureate’s claim to immortality has been secured.”

“Do you think Bennett has already started to write his acceptance speech?”

“Nope. It’s way to early for that but I bet Bennett is already feeling the champagne bubbles running up his nose. And his taste buds are already craving those caviar blinis.”

“Boychick, you’re right. But I wonder if Bennett ever took any courses in mediation?”

“I doubt it, but I bet he’s a quick learner.”

“Well, no matter whether he has a degree or he doesn’t, Bennett better be careful.

Let me tell you a story about when I was on the force. Yup, NYPD. We handled lots of domestic violence cases. We’d try to be mediators between these fighting husbands and wives. We’d get into their apartment. Ya know, all those apartments smelled alike? Beer, cigarettes, old pizza and a touch of vomit. The wife or girlfriend seemed to always have a bloody nose and a black eye. She’s screaming and calling her husband every dirty word you can imagine.  Of course, he’s drunk or stoned or both. I order them to, ‘Separate! Move to different corners of the room!’ The husband doesn’t respond, so I yell, ‘Move your ass to the other corner of the room or you’re going to jail.’

The next thing I know the wife jumps on my back and starts choking me. The bitch yells, ‘Leave him alone! Don’t touch him or I’ll kill you!’

I body slam her to the floor, step on her neck and pull out my pistol.

My partner cuffs them and hauls them down to the squad car.

I think, ‘I’m so damn lucky. Here I am trying to be a good cop and mediate a family dispute. I could have ended up in the hospital or a funeral parlor.’

You don’t know how many cops have died trying to mediate those ‘family disputes.’

Bennett better be real careful or he and Israel will end up getting two black eyes and a bloody nose. If Putin and/or Zelensky need  a scapegoat to blame their failures on. Bennett will be their guy.

I’ve seen it a hundred of times, the mediator gets the crap kicked out of him and the husband and wife get back together. They move on with their lives until their next brawl. Bennett has got to be real smart and careful or he is going to get two klops on his keppie—one from Putin and the other from Zelensky.

Boychick, that’s a real life lesson for you. Don’t get caught in the middle and attempt to be a mediator. It’s way too risky and the pain ain’t worth it.”

“Yeah, but I bet Bennett knows another life lesson entitled, ‘No guts, no glory.'”

“Boychick, you know you’re right.”

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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