The Sunken Synagogue
pa vezer o vageal e kreiz e klever a-wechoù un trouz iskis:
kleier ur sinagogenn a zo o seniñ dindan ar mor...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I've only written satirical pieces on this blog so far, and I wish this were another one, but it's not.

If the exit polls are correct - and they are probably pretty close - the Israeli public today has democratically elected to destroy itself. The parties they've chosen have Hebrew names and Jews running them, but the policies they espouse belong to another people (actually, a לא עם, a non-people, in the words of the Torah).

The Arabs who call themselves Palestinians have made it clear that they want the State of Israel to disappear, and that they mean to accomplish this in stages if not all at once, and by any means necessary. The principle means have been:

1) A massive disinformation campaign in which they have portrayed themselves as a distinct nation whose land was stolen, and whose people have been systematically abused and murdered by Jews. This has been wildly successful, turning not only the world against Israel, but Israel against itself.

2) Violence against Israelis, carried out on a scale large enough to get under every Israeli's skin, but small enough to preclude effective retaliation.

So Israel began to acquiesce to the Arab demands, giving them land, money, and weapons galore. This was once referred to as land for peace, though today I don't hear that phrase often. In fact this policy has mainly brought more violence, and though it has not yet been completed and technically could still bring peace by the end, logically it's near impossible. When dealing with an enemy who refuses to compromise, as long as you're giving in, he sees his tactics working and has every reason to continue them. I think Israelis are actually realizing now that land for peace is at best land for nothing but they just do the same thing anyway because they're convinced that there's no other option!

All of the larger parties and most of the smaller parties in Israel are committed to creating a Palestinian state on a portion of Israel's current territory. But this will not end the conflict. Whether it's bilateral or unilateral, it can serve only to achieve some of the Arabs' territorial goals, give them confidence that they can achieve more, weaken Israel physically and spiritually, and send more Jews to their graves, whereupon the process will repeat itself. That is exactly what Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, et al. want. Kadima, Labor, and Likud (or Israel Beiteinu) may have gotten the most votes, but it's the Arabs who have won this election, and their desires will continue to dictate Israeli policy for the foreseeable future. مبروك / Congratulations!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Olmert sings the opening bars of his own entry
Israel is to hold a contest of its own in response to Iran's Holocaust cartoon contest, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert proclaimed today. The Iranian contest was itself a reaction to the Danish cartoons of Muhammad published this past September, and pundits around the world have been anxious to see how Israel would retaliate to its own cartoon calamity. Olmert explained:

"The Iranian call for cartoons poking fun at and denying our greatest national tragedy—until the time when I caught my reflection in a puddle and realized that my combover couldn't fool a blind man in a dark alley—hurt us in our deepest place. Yet, I can see the logic in Mr. Ahmadinejad's decision. One strikes his enemy by striking at that which the latter holds most dear. The Jews and Europe have always had a special relationship, filled with love and understanding. Europe feels our pain like no one else and there is no surer way to get to her heart then to cook a Jew alive. So there's no question that Iran did the most appropriate thing in attacking Denmark through us; it is as natural and unimpeachable as the sun setting over the Moab Mountains, or an incumbent prime minister launching a siege of a Jericho jail two weeks before elections. No, we cannot object to Iran's course of action in the slightest, but we can fight back, and hit Iran where it hurts them the most. Therefore I have decided that Israel will hold a contest for five-act tragic operas on the subject of Tibetan floor tiles. In this way we hope not only to scathe the Iranian psyche, but also to test their tolerance for fine art, which they claim to support so wholeheartedly. Jejune cartoons they can take, but will their resolve melt when the fat yaks begin to sing? We shall soon find out! Take that, Ahmejumbyjebab!"

[Yes, this is another satirical post. Purim may be over, but Adar it remains.]

Sunday, March 12, 2006

What all Israelis have been fearing for fifty-seven years has finally come to pass: the country has run out of sunflower seeds. President Moshe Katsav announced the bitter news in a live television interview this evening.

"We urge everyone to remain calm and not to panic," the president said. "All governmental bodies are working as I speak to find an alternate supply, but it may be some time before their efforts come to fruition."

The president did not explicitly mention any causes for this catastrophe, but analysts have put forth a number of educated guesses:

1) Global warming may have weakened this year's sunflower crop;
2) In such a weakened state, the plants may have contracted bird flu;
3) A vast worldwide Arab conspiracy may have stolen sunflower seeds in order to frame the Jews;
4) A vast worldwide Leftist conspiracy may have stolen sunflower seeds in order to frame the settlers;
5) The settlers did it.

Whatever the cause, Israeli residents have had difficulty coping with the new situation they find themselves in, even as they try to heed the president's advice. Angry torch- and pitchfork-wielding mobs are massing outside the acting prime minister's office. Several planes have already been hijacked, and the Ecuadorian embassy has been burnt down. The discovery of a small cache of 47 seeds in a Holon warehouse led to a mortar and rocket fight, and many have injured themselves trying to climb the security fence in a vain attempt to find more seeds in the Palestinian territories.

Residents have, in desperation, begun to chew on other items, including erasers, bubble gum wrappers, and cats. Jerusalem police chief Ilan Franco told us, in between spitting small clumps of orange fur from his mouth, "We don't expect the cat supply to go down for a long time, so we might as well adapt."

Olmert describing his vision for the new Likud HQ
In a surprise announcement today at a press conference in Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert declared that the Likud National Headquarters in Tel Aviv would be demolished later in the week.

The acting prime minister explained, "I was browsing through the National Archives yesterday, when I came upon the original building permit for the Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv, and saw out of the corner of my eye that permission was given to begin construction on the 18th of June, 1973. I was as shocked as anyone would be when I happened upon a convicted drug dealer about to be sentenced who happened to have been at the scene on the very day when the HQ's construction began, and according to his reliable testimony that we received in return for a significant sentence reduction, that date was the 17th of June. Ladies and gentlemen - that is an entire week ahead of schedule! Now, through all my years of service to the Israeli people, I have always promoted and defended, both in word and in deed, the rule of our democratic law as created and interpreted by the Supreme Court. This violation, committed by the foreman hired by the Likud's former secretary's temporary assistant's cousin, is a grave offense and a blot not only on the Likud, but on the entire nation, and it must be rectified. Therefore, I have ordered the building to be deconstructed in the coming days."

A reporter from Haaretz asked the acting prime minister who would be carrying out the demolition, and if they would enter on horseback, as in another recent building code enforcement at the Amona outpost. "I'll answer your second question first," replied Olmert. "Elephants, I think, covered in pink and purple sequins. We'll have a light force of 20,000 policemen, 40,000 soldiers, and 105,000 drooling Egyptian mercenaries." He checked his notes and added, "The Israeli forces will vest themselves in black Darth Vader cloaks and masks, and the Egyptians will naturally be styled as Amir Peretz, down to the last man. With these gentle, non-threatening appearances, we hope to allay any fears felt by Likud members in the final hours as they huddle in the darkened corners of their doomed edifice."

Another reporter queried as to whether arrangements had been made for a replacement headquarters. "We've certainly thought of that," the acting prime minister assured the press. "In fact, we've been involved in negotiations for the past two months with the current mayor of Jerusalem to build a replacement right here in the capital, a perfect replica of the original, but with carved Italian marble walls, cathedral ceilings, French doors with diamond- and emerald-studded knobs, and a white dome worthy of the Taj Mahal, but we're having trouble understanding the mayor's Yiddish, and you know how hard it is to find quality craftsmen these days. So in the meantime, the chief of Easter Island has generously offered, in return for IDF protection from the numerous enemies massing on his borders, an alternate location, complete with prefabricated bungalows and a functioning well not ten minutes' walk away. I saw the location myself in a photograph and it's really some choice real estate. The whole thing should be ready in five to ten years maximum, but I'd advise the Likud members to start moving in ASAP."

The press was silent for several moments, until a correspondent from the Israeli Society for the Protection of Civil Liberties spoke up. "Is there any possibility," he asked, "that you may have cooked up this entire story in order to insult the dignity and electoral chances of Amir Peretz by comparing his personal grooming habits to those of his former countrymen and our current neighbors, the Egyptians?"

The acting prime minister replied, "Amir who?"

Friday, March 10, 2006
"Song of coast artillery women" and other Korean zemiros

Are the Koreans into Purim spielen too, or is this serious?

"North Korea Sings The Praises Of Its Women"

The continent of Europe, long thought to be merely fatigued, is actually in a "persistent vegetative state," according to an international team of top physicians. They made the announcement earlier this morning from the Hôpital Avoir-la-Pêche in Paris.

According to the team head, Dr. Jambi Bindapuri, "A persistent vegetative state is one in which the patient is awake but completely unaware of his or her surroundings. He or she is unable to speak coherently, comprehend the words of others, or put together a consistent foreign policy. The patient can do little more than appreciate art, smile, grind the teeth, grunt and moan, and scream like a spoilt small child who expects the younger generation of overburdened taxpayers, I mean his or her parents, to provide for every need."

Reactions from world leaders came quickly.

US President George Bush said in a telephone interview from his vacation home in Fiji, "This is a happy day for Europe, a happy day for the world. We've always looked up to our European brothers and sisters for their strength, moral dedication, and unwillingness to compromise. Now we welcome the new state of Persisenant Vegetational with open arms and look forward to its entry into the United Nations of America. I mean the United Nations."

"When life gives you a vegetable," offered Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, "make vegetable soup."

According to Russian premier Vladimir Putin, "It happened because they drank too much. I met with fourteen prime Italian prime ministers in three years, and tried to warn them. But you know those sissy Latin types, they don't know how to be sober like a real man. Jacques Chirac would down bottle after bottle of Pinot Noir as he whined to me under the moonlight."

North Korea's Kim Jong II would only say "Roses are red, viorets are brue, I bomb you."

Neither King Mohammed VI of Morocco, nor President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia could be reached, nor could any other residents of any North African country, as they were all away on cross-Mediterranean cruises this morning.

Except Muammar al-Qaddaf, who was tied up at his hair stylist's.


Tuesday, March 07, 2006
בראשית / In the beginning

Beginnings are tough. The white space ahead stretches to the horizon. So many possibilities. So few restrictions. (So many clichés.) I could write anything right now, really, because there's no one here yet to read it.

I could begin my blogging career with thievery, and quote the opening of a book, a song or a movie. Or all three.

"I am a sick man. I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased."

That's wonderful, Dostoevsky.

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

Whoops, that's not right. Let's try again:

"aqua. esh. amulai. ah, haya mulai! sukwanatarrakwasikator! asukwata. eh. wek! A ma ma ma, ma ma ma..."

Much better. That's Shlomo Bar of Habreira Hativ'it babbling at the beginning of an album. Or is he just speaking Arabic? Looks sort of Indo-European actually. Anyway, it's a good beginning. It combines the mystical/oriental with the happy/playful, and puts the listener in a cheery but curious mood. We start with the lone voice, and our interest grows as the instruments slowly come in, the voice grows more melodic, and free improvisation gives way to shape, rhythm, and complementarity. A good beginning does not have to be profound or even well-defined.

And to round things out:

"Thanks, old pal."

The very frum first words of that classic flick, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Because it's always good to begin with some gratitude.


OR, I could force myself to write some haikus. That always gets my mind going.

pers'nally he said
i've no need to sell or rent
money's good as spent

towards the bright'ning shore
sailing through the open sea
he lingers

my favorite persian
said today he likes his eggs
well done and glowing

city in slumber
children comb her matted hair
with the sun she wakes

sometimes in the night
trees will turn from daily light
to the silv'ry moon

camels cross the bay
every lovely month of may
pashas drug behind

prostrate or supine
no time to be saturnine
adar, month of joy!

And now that my creative juices have been stirred, I'm going to go to bed. Well, it's late.

But stay tuned for Purim parodies!

B'ezrat Hashem.

מי הוא זה ואי זה הוא

Name: Sabzi Aash
Location: Jerusalem, Israel

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"Song of coast artillery women" and other Korean zemiros


בראשית / In the beginning

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