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Life and politics

Arafat’s shoes

President Bush was pressuring Arafat to do more to fight terrorism. Feeling harassed, Arafat picked up a phone and called Bush himself: “Put yourself in my shoes for a while.” Cheney was in an undisclosed location and Bush was caught off guard; being a heartfelt guy, he agreed. The military used the newest top secret beaming technology to send Bush to Ramallah in the blink of an eye, so it is hard to determine when and how long Bush was in Arafat’s shoes. In any case, he did not like it there. When the report came in that Israeli soldiers had smashed a soda machine looking for terrorists, he turned to Jesus for guidance. He patiently turned the other cheek when Israeli soldiers took some cash and computer games from a suspicious Palestinian store. But when they destroyed computer records at the Department of Education Bush, thinking about Laura, ran plum out of cheeks and Texan blood prevailed over Jesus: “Do not mess with Palestine!” Back at the White House, his speechwriters translated this into demands that Israel should leave Palestinian territory immediately.

The Israelis did not pay much attention; however, Cheney did. He reminded Bush that money would be needed for a second-term election. The speechwriters translated that one into the statement that Israel can do whatever it feels is necessary to protect its security.

It appears that Bush was not the first politician to wear Arafat’s shoes. How it was accomplished is still a mystery, but Sharon did it as well. At the moment he put his feet into Arafat’s shoes Sharon started thinking about what would be best for Palestinians. He came up with the clever idea that having an independent state would be great. After all, it had worked for Israel. Sharon is old enough to remember Irgun, the Jewish terrorist organization that fought for the independence of Israel. Irgun blew up the King David Hotel killing 91 people, attacked the fortress in Acre releasing 41 Jewish terrorists from the (then British) prison, set off bombs in Jerusalem railroad stations and in the officers’ club, killing 17 British officers. And finally they got what they wanted, an independent Jewish state. From within Arafat’s shoes, Sharon contemplated doing for the Palestinians what had worked for the Jews. Realizing that the Palestinians have no arms, he made a few calls and arranged for a whole vessel of weapons and explosives. Had he ordered just a truckload, it would have been smuggled in within a few days and quickly dispersed. However, ships travel agonizingly slow and Sharon was back in his own shoes in Tel Aviv before the arms arrived. Naturally, he intercepted the shipment. The investigation that followed pointed to the barracks in Ramallah, but no one dared to say that it was the Sharon’s military genius behind this shipment.

Arafat’s shoes enjoy a great deal of traffic these days, by parties both willing and unwilling. President Bush, leader of the greatest power ever on Earth, was a little resentful over his failure in little Ramallah. The good thing about being a chief is that one can take credit for the successes of subordinates. So Bush decided to put Donald Rumsfeld into Arafat’s shoes. Rumsfeld, a straight shooter, was definitely against risky experiments, but Cheney was at the heart clinic so there was no one to appeal to. Rumsfeld took the famous shoes on as a challenge. He got right down to work and soon pinpointed some terrorist leaders that should be arrested. However, Israeli troops had just killed the Palestinian policemen who would have been responsible for carrying that out those arrests. Rumsfeld said nothing; but he did not forget it either. Soon after, just before the next round of arrests, an Israeli rocket annihilated the car containing the suspected terrorists. What was Rumsfeld to do? A practical businessman, he got the idea that killing terrorists might be not as important as preventing from new being recruited. Immediately following this reflection, Rumsfeld was struck by the thought that a rocket launched at the car carrying Sharon might meaningfully put an end to all that Palestinian terrorism. And if, with God’s help, Netanyahu was also in the car… At that point he realized that he could identify at least one terrorist, took a rocket launcher and fired it straight into a mirror. Later the media blamed the Israelis for that big hole in Arafat’s bedroom wall. The press does not usually get it right.

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