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Billboard Envy

Sam Steinreich[1] of Unlimited Diamonds, Ltd. called to congratulate Abie Foxman of the Anti-Discrimination League (ADL) the other day.

Sam: Abie, I just saw those billboards with the maps of Israel. They’re great! Thanks for putting those up. Why didn’t you call me? I would have been glad to help get them wider distribution.

Abie:What are you talking about, Sam? We didn’t put those up. And we’re trying to get them taken down. They’re anti-Semitic.

Sam:I don’t understand. Don’t they show the success of creating and expanding the state of Israel? Isn’t that what we’re about?

Abie:We’ve got to be careful with this, Sam. Those billboards also point out that there are 4.7 million registered Palestinian refugees. Some people might think Israel had something to do with that.

Sam:That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows that there’s no such thing as a Palestinian and that we’re happy to let some Arabs live temporarily on our land as long as they leave when we say so.

Abie:Not everyone, Sam. I’m not sure it’s wise to say it’s all our land and that the Arabs have to go.

Sam:Hello? Hello? Who is this and what have you done with Abie Foxman? I know a lot of Jews living in what the anti-Semites call the “West Bank” that would be very ashamed to hear that you don’t want people to know that it’s our land. Why should we not be bragging? Except for the annoying fact about the refugees, I like the billboards.

Abie:Sam, sometimes it’s better to brag behind closed doors amongst ourselves and to say publicly that we’re stuck with a tiny, worthless patch of desert that no one wants until after we make it bloom. How else can we explain the policy of evicting the native inhabitants and taking the land?

Sam:I thought you were a student of history, Abie. We Europeans have never had a problem justifying the expulsion of non-Europeans. You just have to give it the right spin.

Abie:And what would you call it, Sam?

Sam:Well, in Israel’s case we’ve called it “liberating the land” (from the people living on it). The Americans called it “taming the frontier”. But the Germans used a term that has a nice ring to it.

Abie:What’s that?

Sam:Lebensraum.[2]

[1] German for “filthy rich”
[2] “living space”; a Nazi concept used to justify conquest and annexation

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One Response to Billboard Envy

  1. who_me July 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    nice one. :D

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