Presenting my peace plan to Barack Obama

Presenting my peace plan

By RAY HANANIA
December 1, 2009 21:44
4 minute read.
salahi white house 248.88 AP

salahi white house 248.88 AP. (photo credit: )

 
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I'm no dummy. I know that the Jews don't run the media and the Arabs have no clout. So who do I present my peace platform to where it might find some "legs" to make it happen? The White House, of course. As you know, I'm running for "president of Palestine." Not that I can win, of course, but I know I have better ideas on peace than any of those who can be elected president. The White House has pretty much run the Middle East conflict since the beginning, not always on the same side. If the White House wants to make a difference and push both Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, it can. So how do I get my plan to the one guy who can make a difference, President Barack Obama? Since announcing my candidacy and the Yalla Peace Party and platform, I've been contemplating that challenge. I figured that feat to be harder than compromising on Jerusalem. And I almost gave up until I read last week that a guy and his wife managed to walk right up to the president of the United States without having to worry about little things like "security clearances" and "background checks." To top it off, the guy, Tareq Salahi, is an Arab, though we all know that just because you have an Arab name doesn't mean you are actually Arab. The president's middle name is Hussein, and while he has a lot of admirers on the far Right who insist he is an Arab (and a few other choice four-letter-words that I won't repeat here), he's not an Arab. Still, Obama's the guy I have to reach to make peace happen. I could use my connections to Obama. He is a distant cousin 53 times removed, who I refer to in colloquial Arabic as khiyya, or cousin. OR I could just follow the Salahi lead and walk right past all the president's security to shake his hand, First Lady Michelle Obama's hand, the hand of some Indian dude who the black-tie party was called to honor, and even get to share a few laughs with Vice President Joe Biden and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. Who's laughing now? Just walked right in. Past the security gate. Past the Secret Service. Past the bodyguards. I always assumed that anyone who just walked up to the president uninvited would get tackled to the ground faster than a Chicago Bears quarterback. And that's fast, as many of you sports fanatics who are interested in America football (real football, not that fake kicking-stuff thing) know. But apparently, any Arab can just walk into the White House and see the president. That's the message the conservative Right, led by its new fearless leader (actually old former leader) Dick Cheney, is peddling. I'm Arab, or so I am told. So I had better get in there to see the president before Cheney gets into office, because Cheney won't just have me tackled to the ground. He'll use me as target practice for a new battalion of Blackwater and Halliburton contractors. Salahi's wife is one of those socialites. Hot looking, with blond hair. Nordic. My wife is hot-looking, too. Blond hair, European Jewish. Which reminds me, if I'm elected president, Palestine and Israel would both share something huge. They'd both have Jewish first ladies. My wife thinks I'm nuts, or meshuganeh in Yiddish. Magnoon in Arabic. If I'm elected president of Palestine, where am I going to get the gefilte fish? It's a big issue in my house, although I told her that she'd still be able to eat all those "Jewish" foods like mensiff, tabouleh, felafel and humous. Hey, I have to be strategic about my marriage - of course it's not called a marriage when a Jew and a Palestinian marry. It's called an "occupation." Still, she thinks my plans are the most imaginative presented so far. I'm just hoping President Obama has an imagination just like mine. He needs something, with all his big plans from health care to the Middle East in disarray. She did point out, though, that Salahi may have ruined it for me. "You ululate 'Allahu akbar' once in his presence and the Secret Service will be swarming all over you." I just shrugged and sighed, insha'allah! Like all Arabs do. Does Obama say that, I wonder? If I do make it past the security, I wouldn't just shake his hand. I'd give him a fist bump. And then hand him my plans for the "settler-refugee exchange program" - the heart of my campaign efforts. The plan is simple, really. For every Israeli settler that Israel keeps as part of the peace process, Israel has to take back one Palestinian refugee. There are some 500,000 settlers in the West Bank, including around east Jerusalem. Israel can take back all or none, depending on how many settlements it wants to keep. That's a lot of reasons to maybe trade in a few more settlements than they have been planning on, in exchange for real peace. For the Palestinian refugees, it just might be the answer, too. They've been held hostage by politics for years, living in destitution and despair for generations since the war started more than 62 years ago. In the end, in my plan, everyone gets a new life, Palestinian and Israeli. And that's all we can hope for in a two-state solution. I think Obama could like that idea. Of course, if it fails, maybe I can follow the lead of the Salahis and get my own reality TV show. A comedy. Along the lines of Survivor. The writer is really running for president of Palestine. His Web page is www.YallaPeace.com.

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