In my native Leeds, outsiders associate us with cloth caps, horrid weather and whippets. Less known is, we are world famous for Rhubarb. Leeds is the world’s centre of Rhubarb. Ironic it may be for the plain speaking ‘a spades a bloody shovel,’ Leodensians to bequeath the world rhubarb. Rhubarb, when said twice, implies a nonsensical background noise. The kind of sound aspiring politicians make. We are also big on homing pigeons. Take a pigeon where you will—he’ll come home. You can take a lad or lass out of Leeds; he’ll always know his way back.
So let’s call a spade a shovel:
 In my native Oranit, we have birds. Birds who signify who we are and what we’ve done. Twice a year the birds of Europe flock above us. Like the pigeons their navigation is superb. Like the Jews, they always return. For them, as it seems for humanity our narrow strip of land is of profound significance. The land obsesses birds and man alike. Without it, they’d get lost. The strip is an essential component of birds and mans’ orientation.
The Jews are a combination of the birds of Leeds and Oranit. They flock, and they come home.
In Oranit we planted 1,200 trees—I know, I planted them. Now we have our birds singing to us every day. They do not fly away. Why should they?
Oranit, part of the Land of Israel, is not part of the State of Israel. We know the distinction—so do our Oranit based birds.
High above us are our the birds of the world.
High above us floats our leader, Bibi. Bibi, once an aspiring rhubarb-rhubarb politician, has metamorphosed into a barrage balloon. He hovers above us inflated by the gas of self-importance and blown by whim and wind of fortune.
Bibi was meant to be PM of the State of Israel. However, like so many barrage balloons, he lost his moorings and his bearings. He is so far in the stratosphere he can hardly see anything. He can see the Land of Israel, but he can no longer see the borders of the State—he sees a vast area, which he believes is all his to rule. From up there he cannot see roads, traffic jams and houses. As there are no new houses, he is at one with us all; we cannot see them either. Homeless and a generation doomed to pay rent are flecks on the landscape. From up there, he can see the Land of Israel— a land which is rapidly becoming a nature reserve. A new breed of aggressive, expansively territorial penguins inhabits the Land of Israel nature reserve. They peck to death anything and everything. The Penguins believe they are parrots with the ability to speak. They express themselves in the name of the maker.  
Bibi, by rights, should be a very lonely man; a real Major Tom, alone in his tin can. But fate played a whimsical trick. As in the Garden of Eden, the Penguins’ sponsor created a partner. The consequences were as unforeseen. A young man with an ego to match Bibi’s rose. Barak, a man so vain he had written two autobiographies before the age of forty, floated into the skies of the USA. Very soon he too lost his moorings and floated through his stratosphere with occasional stops in Oslo and Cairo. Barak, the pole opposite of Bibi, saw everything clearly. He understood what no other could. He dispatched missives and contradictions. In no time, he wrecked and caused havoc on two continents.
Every so often the Tweedledum and Tweedle-dee of inflated egos would meet. They loathed each other. Each convinced that the other was full of hot air, incompetent, untrustworthy, a waste of time and dangerous. The ever-heightening positive feedback of reciprocated projective-identification was uncanny, bi-laterally accurate. The two balloonists, meant to be friends became the worst of enemies.
Bibi floated into Barak’s launching pad and was blown away. Bibi was too high to notice.
The hot air seeped out of Barak’s balloon; he started falling to earth. His time was over; a very self-centered peacock who believed he was an Eagle, was to replace him. In one last jaunt Barak threatened the Penguins’ nature reserve. Bibi consoled himself, the peacock- Eagle was his friend. Bibi was sure peacock-eagle would love and spoil his penguins and pay the costs.  
There are many of us, myself included, who believe, Bibi is wrong, yet again. Bibi noticed the peacock’s tail and didn’t realise how sharp the eagle’s talons are.
Barak has gone, and Bibi drifts.
Having been so long cut off from reality, he forgot. Our intrepid aviator forgot you do not light cigars in barrage balloons – they can explode. Maybe it was the champagne.
As they say back in Leeds, ‘Bibi, lad, t’pigeons have come home to roost. You are about to find yourself in the rhubarb patch.’


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