Saturday, January 03, 2009

Screw You, Israel and Palestine

Brothers and Sisters, please excuse me for a moment, as in the next several paragraphs I will eschew rational argument and analysis in favor of something more visceral. It's something I've had churning in my gut for a couple days now, and it's time to get it out:

Israel and Palestine can go fuck themselves. Both of 'em. I've had it.

Oh, sure — solving the Israel-Palestine problem is "the key to peace in the Middle East." Oh, sure — the West has a duty to roll up its sleeves and vigorously mediate this intractable problem to resolution, given the role it played in causing it. I've heard the arguments, and I've bought into them. This is something that needs fixed, and we need to do what we can to fix it.

But fuck all that. Israel and Palestine have to want peace. Until they want it, anything anyone else does — anything we do — is a waste of energy and resources. If I were Barack Obama, I'd personally call representatives from Hamas, Fatah, and the Israeli government to Camp David on January 21, just so I could tell them, in no uncertain terms, that my Administration would have no further dealings with them. Ever. My prepared remarks:

"Glad you all could make it here. Hooray for you. Now I'm going to cut to the chase. Do any of you watch The Office? Did you see last month's Moroccan Christmas episode? Toward the end of the show, Michael Scott makes a pretty pithy observation — one that I think holds true here:
As it turns out, you can't just check someone into rehab against their will. They have to do it voluntarily. They have to hit rock bottom.

"Now all of you SAY you want peace. Oh, you can't stop talking about it. You writhe around in agony over the violence. You summon the news crews, and they descend on the bombsites in hordes. You cry out for justice. You command more headlines than all the other conflicts raging in the world — wars that kill and displace millions, while your measly rockets, bombs, and air raids have killed fewer than 1500 in four years — put together. Kings, lawyers, diplomats, and academics fall all over themselves to resolve your problems.

"How many years has it been now? How much ink has been spilled on this conflict? How much time, money, and effort has the international community expended trying to get your idiotic constituencies to come together? And what have we got for all our trouble? More rockets, more air strikes, more pointed fingers, more bullshit. You SAY you want peace, but you don't. You never have. You've just been wasting OUR time, OUR effort, OUR sanity. For years now you've been diverting our precious resources away from problems we might be able to fix, if anyone attended to them — from people we CAN save.

"But not anymore. I'm the 44th fucking President of the United fucking States. I've got four, hopefully eight years ahead of me in this job, and I have a chance to do some good in this world before I'm done. And I'll be GODDAMNED if I waste a minute of that time on you people, when I might be focusing on folks who really want our help. You're all a bunch of narcissistic fuck-ups, and the best thing we can do for you is let you go on killing one another until you get tired of the drama. So from now on and henceforward on our part: no more mediation, no more diplomatic initiatives, no convivial dinners and hospitality, no weekend invites to resorts like this one. No more back-channel message-routing, no more humanitarian aid. The only thing you'll get from us is weapons. And for a price.

"Once you all have hit rock bottom, and you want to talk, let me know. In the meantime, go fuck yourselves. Your cars are waiting. Get out of here now."

To be fair, I don't think Hamas claims to want peace.

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