Whosoever Blesses Them
The intifada and its defenders.
12:00 AM, Apr 22, 2002 • By LARRY MILLER
I WAS WATCHING Greta Van Facelift on Fox the other night, and she and her guests made me talk back to the TV. Shout back, actually. Nothing witty or trenchant, you understand, just something like, "Oh, come on!" Now, to be honest, it was late, and I was downstairs alone, and I was a little, what's the word . . . loaded, yes, that's the word. I was a little shined up. A little spiffed and a little miffed, and I shouted something and angrily turned off the remote. I don't know exactly how angrily a remote can be turned off, but as angrily as you can push a pfennig-sized piece of round plastic, that's how angrily I did it. Then I walked back to the bar, made myself one-for-the-stairs (as opposed to one-for-the-road) and read some P.G. Wodehouse to restore my cheery nature. But back to the freshly-tightened Greta.
Her guests were (INSERT INDISTINGUISHABLE ARAB NAME), from Hamas, and their attorney, Stanley Cohen. No, that's not a joke. Would that it were. Stanley Cohen, the attorney for Hamas. Check that handle again: Stanley Cohen. I mean, if you tried to make up a better name than that, you couldn't do it. Let's give it a shot, though, shall we? Irving Lefkowitz. Nah, too obvious. Lew Fishman. No, no, sounds like a carpet salesman. Isaac Bashevis Singer? Now I'm reaching. Nope, you just can't beat good ol' Stan Cohen. Yes, Stanley Cohen, folks, a hard-left, righteously indignant true-believer, an honors graduate from the William Kunstler School of Just-Not-Getting-It-And-Never-Will, who had flown all the way from New York to sit next to his wonderful client over there in not the land of milk and honey. Stanley Cohen. A man who, if he listened very carefully, would no doubt hear voices in the next room planning to blow the eyes out of more of his nieces and nephews. Stanley Cohen, and even typing that name right now and remembering this horrible man damning his own people again and again and again, I crack a nervous smile, because they're my people, too, and, God help me, if I didn't laugh, I think I might cry.
Oddly enough, out of the three of them, the homunculus from Hamas didn't bother me at all. I mean, if you think about it, why should he bother any American? We know exactly who he is and, in a way, we should be grateful for that. Because if we're only willing to absorb their own words--nevermind their demonic deeds--he and his brethren have a perfectly uncomplicated point of view and agenda, and their clarity should give us our own clarity, and wouldn't that be refreshing? You want us dead? Well, now, isn't that a funny coincidence. Guess what we want?
My point is, if American TV calls up and wants to put these philanthropists on, who could blame them for saying, "Sure!" I can just see them bursting out laughing and slapping each other on the back. ("They're going to put us on Fox TV! I told you terror works! And I'll bet their Green Room beats the snot out of Al Jazeera. I mean, please, how many olives can you eat?") If we're stupid enough to do that, I don't blame them for taking us up on it. All they have to do is take a few minutes away from packing rusty nails around the C4, pick one of their guys who looks, relatively, the least like a vicious scumbag, borrow a suit, and send him forth to smile for the cameras. With Stanley Cohen.
But let's leave the newly-stretched Greta for a moment, as well as our friends Stanley and Ishmael (no joke, his real name). A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need. Don't thank me. I'm a giver. Here we go:
The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, and there were no "Palestinians" then, and the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians" then. As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the "Palestinians," weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation." So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: "Other Arabs From The Same General Area Who Are In Deep Denial About Never Being Able To Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death." I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters."