By Barry Rubin*
April 1, 2010
"President Obama! President Obama," said the aide in a cheery voice as he entered the Oval Office, "we just heard that Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to stop all construction in Jerusalem and give in to all your demands!"
"That is wonderful news," chortled the chief executive. ''And as you know I never waste a moment. Quick! Get me my friend Mahmoud Abbas on the phone."
With the magical swiftness of the White House communications equipment, within moments the leader of the Palestinian Authority was on the line. Quickly, Obama explained to him what had happened, adding, "and now we can move quickly to a comprehensive peace."
"Not so fast," answered Abbas. "Since you got the Israelis to back down on that issue-and a great job you did, Mr. President-- surely you can now get them to agree to a return to the 1967 borders, accept all the Palestinian refugees who want to go live in Israel, and drop all the demands they have on us to do anything. Oh, and they have to agree that if we sign a peace treaty that doesn't mean the conflict is over so we can then launch another round to get everything."
"But you said that's all you needed to make a peace treaty!"
"Oh, yes, Mr. President, it's all I need. But then there are all those Fatah leaders who have the real power and they have their heart set on a Palestinian state from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean. Then there are those Hamas leaders, and you know how unreasonable they can be! Why if I settled for anything less they'd have my head! Oh, yes, that reminds me, unless Hamas agrees do keep in mind that anything I accept doesn't apply to the Gaza Strip and Hamas. They can just go on fighting. Hope you don't mind."
After a bit more discussion, Abbas said, "Sorry, Mr. president but I must go now as my favorite show, 'Do You Want to Marry a Suicide Bomber,' is coming on Palestinian television right now."
The president hung up, fuming. But then he brightened up, realizing that since it wasn't the Israelis he couldn't possibly have been insulted. Still, he needed something to cheer him up so he telephoned Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran.
Obama explained what had happened, and added, "So now that the Israelis aren't building in Jerusalem will you reconsider your nuclear weapons' program?"
"Oh yes, Mr. President," said Ahmadinejad in a soft voice, "of course we're going to reconsider it." Then he screamed at the top of his lungs-if you know the comedians Gilbert Gottfried or Sam Kinison you can imagine them doing it-"We're going to double our speed, you dummy! Since we see you're so weak and the Zionist entity is about to fall apart!" Ahmadinejad hung up.
Once again, Obama was a bit miffed. But since it was an enemy he couldn't stay angry for long. Instead, he dialed up Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, asking if this news would make Syria stop paying, arming, and training terrorists to kill Americans in Iraq. Asad sounded like Ahmadinejad but just a little more polite.
"Ha," thought Obama, my concessions really are moderating him and splitting him away from Tehran. But the president was still a bit down. "I know," he decided, "I'll call my good buddy King Abdallah. That should cheer me up."
"This is wonderful news, Mr. president," said the king respectfully. "Of course we will need a bit more. If I ask the Arab League to support talks the Syrians will try to veto it but you have done a very good job. Please feel assured that the Muslim and Arab people really love you and appreciate you."
By the time Obama was finished with that call he was in a much better mood. "I did it," he thought, "I'm a great statesman."
But as soon as the king hung up the phone he called his finance minister. "Quick," shouted the king excitedly in a panicky voice. "Sell as many dollars as you can and buy Iranian war bonds!"