New Year Kisses from The Kibbitzer

President-elect Donald Trump will kiss himself at midnight tonight precisely, a senior source in the presidential transition team told The Kibbitzer.

“You’re meant to kiss the person you love most to welcome in the New Year,” the source said, asking to remain anonymous.

“Well in Donald’s case that’s Donald,” the source added. “Of course, he’ll also kiss Melania afterwards, but he’ll make sure to do it in front of a mirror so he’ll be looking at himself.”

“And he’ll tweet a kiss emoji to Putin for hacking him into the White House.”

A source close to John Kerry said he was considering stopping to speak about settlements long enough to kiss whoever is closest to him at the time.

In Jerusalem, meanwhile, a source in the prime minister’s bureau said that Benjamin Netanyahu would be spending a quiet evening at home, building a settlement with his Lego Christmas present.

“He’s not really a kisser,” the source said, “though he wouldn’t mind having the nation kiss his ass.”

Kerry Doesn’t Understand the Problem

US Secretary of State John Kerry summed up the international consensus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday, when he enunciated the Obama administration’s principles for a peace settlement during a speech in Washington.

Of the western countries, only the UK begged to differ from Kerry’s prescription, and that was more about emphasis than essence. And Australia was unable to stop itself from poking its neighbor and perennial rival New Zealand in the eye. But the rest of Europe, China, Russia and even the Sunni Arab states went along with Kerry’s approach.

Trump is likely to put a speedbump in the road of US Middle Eastern diplomacy, which Israel will rush through with alacrity and glee. More damage will be done; more lives wasted. But Trump, too, will eventually come up against the immovable reality of the conflict and return to the traditional approach.

The fact remains that there has rarely, if ever, been such global consensus on a local issue, albeit one with tremendous emotional and geopolitical impact.

But what if the world is wrong?

After all, it has happened before. Slavery, colonialism and even communism were once global endeavors, supported at one time or another by the current western powers and wide swathes of people around the world. Yet they eventually became anathema. It is entirely reasonable to at least ponder whether the world is not on the wrong path this time as well.

There are probably numerous grounds on which the Kerry doctrine can be questioned, but the three keys ones are a) whether Israel’s position is valid, b) whether the two-state solution as proposed by Kerry is fair, and c) whether it is viable.

I don’t doubt the importance of the land to many Israelis and even Jews who don’t live in Israel, but colonial occupation of a land and its people and the resulting brutality, oppression and denial of rights that are necessary to sustain that occupation are not, and can never be, a solution to the conflict. Israel has had 50 years to come up with a plan, but it hasn’t done so. And the simple reason is that there is no way it can both control the land and do justice by the people. Fifty years of occupation and settlement put Israel in the wrong.

Secondly, is the Kerry doctrine fair? Clearly not. Security Council Resolution 181 (from 1947), which Kerry quoted in his speech as the unavoidable basis of a solution, actually went a lot further than Kerry let on. For instance, the resolution allotted some 43% of Mandatory Palestine to the Palestinians (excluding Jerusalem, which was to be shared); the Kerry doctrine gives them only 22%.

It also envisages the Palestinian state as being demilitarized, while Israel would retain its army. And it includes land swaps, in which the Palestinians will have to give away some of their best land. Not to mention that the creation of the state will only follow a transitional period; the Oslo Accords taught us all we need to know about Israel and transitional periods. Needless to say, Israeli sovereignty would not be contingent on a transitional period. The Kerry doctrine doesn’t meet the test of fairness.

Which leave us with the viability of the two state solution. The US, the European Union and much of the rest of the world believes that the establishment of two sides living side-by-side in peace is the only rational and fair solution. The Palestinian Authority is officially committed to the two-state solution and even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on record as saying that it his preferred goal, though he is doing everything in his power to ensure that it never comes about.

But the two-state solution will not solve the problem and is therefore not viable.

To understand why the two-state solution will not solve the problem, we first need to understand the problem itself. For a world that is tired of the conflict and wants to move on – a world that has been trying to stop Palestinians and Jews from killing each other for 50, 70 or even 100 years, take your pick – the two state solution is a godsend. It determines the starting date and place of the problem – June 1967, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip – and attempts to solve the problem as so defined in place and time by reverting to the status quo ante. Presumably that will make everyone happy.

But it won’t. The first reason is that the territorial dispute did not begin in 1967. It didn’t even begin in 1948, though that was the year of the greatest upheaval. The dispute began when the first Zionist settlers arrived in Palestine with the goal of acquiring land on which to build the future Jewish state. That was over 100 years ago. Since then, Jews and Arabs have been locked in a struggle for the land, with much bloody water flowing under the bridge long before the 1967 war.

Nor did the problem begin in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinians don’t commemorate the Nakba (the expulsions of 1948) just because they know it pisses off the Israelis. They remember it because it left some 700,000 Palestinians as refugees and over 400 villages as rubble – all of the latter in the area defined as Israeli in the Kerry doctrine. And there’s really not much point in debating whether the refugees were expelled or fled. The salient point is that they weren’t allowed back. The fledgling state of Israel prevented the return of the Palestinian refugees to their land and homes as deliberate policy, creating a body of refugees and their descendants that today numbers in the region of five million.

Israel also dynamited and covered over most of the villages and towns from which the refugees had fled, just for good measure.

Kicking the Israeli settlers out of the West Bank and returning to the so-called ’67 lines won’t solve the problem of the refugees. It won’t even tickle it. And without a solution to the refugee problem, there will never be peace. It is far too essential a part of the dispute to be ignored. Nor will it resolve the dispute over the land, much of which was seized or otherwise acquired by the Jews before 1967.

The second reason why the two-state solution won’t make everyone happy is that it ignores national aspirations which, like the refugee problem, are too dominant to be ignored. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Jews regard the West Bank as being the heartland of the territory promised to the Jews by God and are unwilling to see it under foreign, never mind Palestinian, sovereignty.

Personally, I don’t believe in God or the bible, so depriving messianic Jews of their heartland is no skin off my own nose. But I recognize their belief as an insurmountable problem to any peace effort that doesn’t take their national aspirations into account.

Likewise, many Palestinians are just as determined as the messianic Jews to return to their previous homes, lands and “national sanctuary” within the so-called ’67 borders. Kerry spoke vaguely and without much enthusiasm of “compensation,” but what precisely does he have in mind? Jews are not the only ethnic group or nation attached to a specific piece of land. Few of them would be satisfied with monetary compensation and the same goes for the Palestinians.

The unfortunate fact is that both Palestinians and Jews are attached, emotionally, religiously and as former owners, to land on both sides of what Kerry would like to see as the border between the two.  A separation agreement will only exacerbate those attachments. It certainly won’t stop true believers on both sides from trying to return to land they regard as their own.

The final reason why not everybody will be happy with the two-state solution is more prosaic. There are too many Jews now living in the West Bank and they are too well connected politically and too much part of the Jewish-Israeli mainstream for it to be feasible to move them. And even if Israel were to maintain the settlement blocs, as they are called, the large and militant settler community simply won’t accept the evacuation of God-given territory, irrespective of whether or not they live on it

It will mean civil war and no conceivable Israeli leader will take that risk. It was traumatic enough when Ben-Gurion fired on a few hundred militants, crew members and passengers on the Altalena. Doing the same to a sizeable chunk of the population, with its emissaries in every Israeli institution, including in the senior echelons of the army, is simply not on the cards.

I don’t have any easy solution to offer, but it’s perfectly clear to me that the two-state solution as enunciated by Kerry doesn’t even begin to deal with the real core issues – Israel’s colonial history, the Palestinian refugees of 1948 and the national aspirations of both Jews and Palestinians. If the two-state solution were ever implemented, it would be only a finger in the dyke. Trouble will begin rushing through soon enough, because neither side will give up on its claims or aspirations to what’s on the other side.

The place to start is in acknowledging reality and understanding the true nature of the problem. The Kerry doctrine, by treating June 1967 as Day Zero, doesn’t do that. It mistakes only part of the problem for the whole. It’s a real pity that smart and well-meaning people like Obama and Kerry are so blind.

 

Global Chaos as 2017 Chickens Out

The world was thrown into existential chaos last night, after 2017 tweeted that he had decided not to take office in three days’ time, as planned.

“Been thinking about what a fuckup @2016 made of things,” 2017 tweeted. “Don’t think I want to pick up his mess #screw2016.”

In a subsequent tweet 2017 wrote that if the world thought he would play Obama to 2016’s Bush, it had another thought coming.

The United Nations Security Council went into emergency session immediately after the tweet went public. “We’ve never had a year refuse to take over from the previous one before,” America’s UN ambassador Samantha Power told The Kibbitzer. “This is an entirely new ballgame.

Contacted by journalists, 2018 said that he had no intention of filling in for 2017. “I still want to enjoy life while I can,” he said.

Responding to 2017, Donald Trump tweeted that he understood how 2017 felt and suggested that he begin the year on January 20.

“That way you won’t have to suffer 20 days of you-know-who and we can get off to a good start together,” the president-elect said. He also invited 2017 to visit him at Trump Tower to discuss things.

2017 has yet to respond to Trump’s proposal.

Ballistic Bibi Lights up Heavens over Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM – Numerous witnesses reported seeing a fiery star in the heavens over Bethlehem just before dawn on Christmas Day, The Kibbitzer can report.

The star appeared to come from the direction of the holy city of Jerusalem, just beyond Israel’s concrete security wall that separates the two cities.

“It erupted suddenly into the late-night sky, making the heavens eerily bright,” one of the many witnesses said.

The star was also visible in the holy city, where several eyewitnesses reported seeing a number of foreign envoys leaving the warm comfort of their homes to follow it. “I personally saw the ambassadors of New Zealand, Senegal, France and Britain hopping onto their camels to follow it,” one eyewitness said.

Sources in Jerusalem said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, still incandescent with rage over Friday’s anti-settlement vote in the UN, had called in the ambassadors of the countries that voted for the resolution for personal reprimands.

“Bibi just went ballistic,” one of the sources said. “It was like a Christmas Day fireworks display.”

 

Old Nazi Hunters Set Their Sights on Obama

The World War II-era Jewish hit squad known as the Nokmim (Avengers) was officially revived on Friday night, only hours after the United States declined to veto an anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council.

With the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem lit by a single, sputtering candle, the three surviving members of the squad, all now in their nineties, took an oath over the bible before cutting into their palms with a dagger and letting the blood drip on a portrait of President Barack Obama.

“It was incredibly moving,” said one of the prime minister’s aides who was present at the ceremony. “Seeing these old fighters who had killed so many Jew-haters swear to once again take up arms against the Nazi in Washington brought tears to my eyes.”

The Nokmim undertook revenge operations against ex-Nazis after the war. Their most famous exploit was poisoning 3,000 loaves of bread destined for former SS guards in an American prisoner of war camp. They also planned to poison the water supplies to some of Germany’s largest cities, but the plan was aborted.

In Washington, meanwhile, a scheduled Obama press conference was cancelled after the president drank a celebratory half-bottle of Wild Turkey and was found wandering around the White House in his underwear shouting “Fuck Bibi!”

 

 

Satirists Say Netanyahu Hurting Their Business

The Association of Israeli Satirists has launched a class action lawsuit against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of appropriating their income and causing grievous emotional distress.

“For some time now, the prime minister has been practicing self-satire rather than politics,” the association said in its suit, which was filed with the Tel Aviv District Court yesterday.

“By making himself appear ridiculous, Mr. Netanyahu is depriving us of our rightful role and therefore damaging our earning ability.”

The association added that Netanyahu’s “unprecedented influence with the media in his capacity as Minister of Communications also constitutes unfair commercial competition.”

Sources in the association told The Kibbitzer that the trigger for the lawsuit was the prime minister’s recent comment to settlers facing eviction that he felt their pain because he, too, had been evicted from his home (the official residence) following his loss in the 1999 election.

In a statement issued in Baltimore, the American Association of Satirists (AAS) said that it was watching the case in Israel closely, with an eye to filing a similar suit against president-elect Donald Trump.

 

Kapos Call on Trump to Withdraw Friedman Nomination

The Hamburg-based Former Untermensch Kapo League (known as the FUK League)  has protested to President-elect Donald Trump about his nomination of attorney David Friedman as the next United States ambassador to Israel.

Friedman is known as a supporter of Israeli settlement in the occupied territories. Last June, he described supporters of the liberal Israeli lobby J Street as being “far worse than kapos.”

“We resent being compared to molly-coddled Jews who have never even seen a Nazi, much less kissed the ass of one,” the League wrote in an email to Trump. “After a slur like that, the yid Friedman has proven himself unsuitable for the role.”

“As proud former kapos, we request that you appoint Dave Duke or another of your many neo-Nazi supporters to the ambassadorial position.”

Mr. Friedman was unavailable to respond. His adviser on kapo affairs told The Kibbitzer: “I think they’ve got the wrong end of the shovel. Some of the nominee’s best friends are kapos.”

 

AIPAC Expected to run Israel Under Trump

When they take office, President-elect Donald Trump and his Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson intend privatizing American foreign policy for all non-oil producing countries, The Kibbitzer has learned.

The non-oil countries, which comprise over 90 percent of the total, will be bundled in batches of between five and 10 and awarded to the highest bidder. Trump and Tillerson will continue running US foreign policy toward Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia and the other oil producing countries.

No decision has been reached yet regarding Israel. Trump is said to be eager to retain foreign policy toward the Jewish state due to its natural gas reserves, but Tillerman is reported to have said, “It aint oil if you can’t see it.”

Sources have told The Kibbitzer that, in the event that Israel is not included among the oil-producers, US foreign policy toward it will be subcontracted to AIPAC.

“We’ve been running American foreign policy toward Israel for the past three decades,” AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr told The Kibbitzer. “So, there won’t be much change there.”

 

Trump Confuses Palestinians with Pakistanis in call with Abbas

United States President-elect Donald Trump showered Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with compliments in a telephone call yesterday before realizing he was talking to the wrong person, The Kibbitzer can report exclusively.

“As I am talking to you, Mr. President, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long,” Trump told Abbas, acccording to the transcript of the conversation, which is being reported exclusively by The Kibbitzer.

“Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities,” Trump continued. “Palestinians are one of the most intelligent people. I’d love to visit your fantastic country and fantastic people.”

At that point, another voice is heard, though the words are unintelligible.

Trump then says, “Whaddya mean Palestinians and Pakistanis aren’t the same thing?” The voice speaks again and Trump is heard saying, “You’re shitting me!”

After a bit more unintelligible conversation with his interlocutor, Trump returns to Abbas.

“Listen, Mr. President,” he says. “You gotta meet my buddy Bibi. A great guy. A really great guy. I’ll get the two of you talking, OK?” Trump then hangs up.

Abbas doesn’t say a word throughout the conversation.

The Prime Minister’s Bureau in Jerusalem issued a statement saying: “If that’s the sort of person Trump thinks is amazing, he can forget about our building the wall against Mexico for him.”