548 Bibi The Ham
Schlomo Tzedaka, the last Bronx Jew is sitting in his kitchen with the proverbial sugar cube in his cheek and the glass of tea on the table before him. Today finds him in a mood of contemplation. "You know," he says, "there are only like ten or 15 guys in big time Israeli politics. On any given day any one of them can be Prime Minister or Foreign Minister or President, or ambassador without portfolio or special envoy, and they all keep rotating in these jobs until one of them dies and someone else takes his place in the batting order."
"What brings this on?" a visitor asks.
"It's Bibi. He's here in America trying to figure out what Obama has up his sleeve about the middle east."
Bibi is the current Israeli "at-bat," Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister De Jure who had lunch the the American President. Bibi has had the job before. No surprise. As Schlomo mentioned, these guys rotate the jobs. This time it's different because America's leadership is different. Or it isn't. Different because the Israeli leader will turn 60 this year, a milestone, and he still hasn't used that MIT sheepskin in architecture to build anything lasting yet. Except maybe a settlement or two on land claimed by others.
Schlomo points out that a lot of his tax money goes over there and what do we have for our money so far? "Maybe," he says, "there's no way to bring peace to that area. The people are too much alike to agree on anything.
Likudnik Bibi hasn't drunk the "two state Kool Aid," at least not yet. Will he? Does it matter.
Washington insiders say the term never came up during lunch. Scholmo says "to this guy, the two state solution is like a ham sandwich. He'll eventually eat it if he's hungry enough, but not where anyone can see him do it."
This sandwich will not sit well with the peaces of bread surrounding Bibi the ham. (Note: the neighbors, Muslims, do not eat pork, either. At least not where anyone else can see it.) But they'll go for it, at least, says Schlomo "until the next war."
The Israelis may be worried about the amount and kind of support they'll get from the Obama administration, which is less inclined to Likud than were most of its predecessors.
Schlomo takes a sip of his tea and wonders aloud "who's going to bring the mustard?"
--Congress has voted to crack down on credit card abuses. In retaliation, the credit card industry is retaliating against customer abuses. Some examples: paying in full, paying on time -- something they say has given us a "free ride" all these years.
--Nixon had a "secret plan" to end the Viet Nam war. It didn't work. Now Obama has a secret plan to close Gitmo and the secret is he's got to panhandle the money to do it.
--The postal service is losing money hand over fist. But maybe they'd lose a little less if they fixed their website. Then we could enrich them by buying stamps on line.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®