I used to throw up on airplanes. Consistently.
It all started on a flight back from Baltimore after eating some bad pizza the night before. Oddly enough, I didn’t heave on that specific flight, but I spent the entire six-hour journey pacing up and down the aisles and slowly sipping ginger ale, trying my best to keep it all down. Adding to my problem was that the restrooms were constantly occupied and I knew I would be mortified if I had to yak into a doggie bag in front of everyone. This made me more nervous and subsequently more nauseous.
I made it back home without vomiting but a strange thing happened to me. I got it into my head that I get nauseous on flights. I threw up the next six times I flew.
I am not sharing this uber-pleasant anecdote to gross you out but simply to illuminate the great ironies of life. I am currently typing this article while sitting on an airplane that is saving me from what would have been 50 hours of constant nausea and yes perhaps even some heaving.
Just hours before I departed my home for Ben-Gurion Airport, Barack Obama landed on the very same tarmac, embarking on his first visit to the Jewish State since being elected President of the United States (running for re-election can really put a crimp in your travel plans…unless, of course, those plans include luscious green golf courses or, naturally, the luxurious amenities of Cairo, Egypt).
I began to feel queasy the Sunday before the esteemed leader arrived, as I headed into Jerusalem for a few errands. Firstly, every single street in the city Obama has pushed for the Jews to divvy up and deal away in good faith, as well as refuse to officially recognize as the capital of Israel, had been lined with American flags interspersed with Israeli and Jerusalem flags.
The second thing I noticed were billboards every few streets declaring in both English and Hebrew “Unbreakable Alliance: President Obama in Israel 2013”
My stomache began to churn some more.
Two days later I woke up to a red, white and blue Jerusalem Post at my doorstep.
Not exactly a Folgers-style wakeup.
Finally, I read a detestable article by “veteran tour guide” Jackie Feldman in the Jerusalem Post entitled “Obama, Show ‘em your stuff!”. I won’t bother to point out all the misinformation, distortions, and truly offensive comments made in the article (you can click the link if you dare) but here are a few lowlights.
The entire article is predicated on Feldman’s hopes that Obama’s ability to utilize his “knowledge of the situation and of history” will inspire “not only a new vision of peace but a new vision of Israel.” Excuse my childish language but…BARF. The Jewish people have no desire for anyone else in this world to tell us how to run OUR country and the pathetic desire by some Jews, including Feldman, for an outside savior to rescue us from ourselves is a tragic display of self-hatred and twisted liberal thought.
Furthermore, Feldman lauds the President for having the “good idea” to “address Israeli students directly at a mass assembly.” He fails to mention that the students of Ariel University were prevented from qualifying to attend this speech despite being home to some of Israel’s best and brightest Jewish AND Arab students in the country because the campus is located beyond that dastardly green line.
Feldman then sickeningly suggests Obama draw comparisons between Israel’s current situation with the destruction of the Second Temple as well as insinuating that Israel is carrying out “a holocaust” against the Palestinians. There is no shortage of barbs at President Bibi Netanyahu for good measure.
The irony of Feldman accusing Netanyahu of “orchestrat[ing] the grand propaganda tour” for Obama truly makes me want to puke.
I do agree with Feldman on one point however, Bibi will no doubt “dust off” his standard speeches on “the greatness of Israel.” Something Feldman refers to with great disdain apparently.
I am a politics junkie and I could not be less interested in this pathetic visit by a President as disastrous in the Middle East as there has ever been (congrats Jimmie Carter you are no longer in a league of your own!). Bibi WILL make those same speeches about the urgency of backing Israel in a region that is growing more tumultuous by the day (with the help of the visiting US President I might add). POTUS will respond with a plastered on (and always slightly smug) smile and if we’re really lucky an empty response about unbreakable bonds and money for the Iron Dome (funded by US Congress NOT the executive branch…but I understand Obama has trouble distinguishing between the powers of the two in general so perhaps this is an unfair criticism on my part).
Then comes the photo-op filled visit the great star-spangled savior will make to the West Bank and meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, an unabashed anti-Semite and no partner in any way shape or form in peace. I am sure Obama will feel more at ease in the confines of Abbas’s company despite being surrounded by hospitals, playgrounds and kindergartens serving as missile silos.
But yes Mr. Feldman, peace will obviously be a closer prospect by Obama “adding a short excursion to the Separation Wall with a coffee break in the house of a divided village.” While your background in anthropology and tour-guide(dedness?) may show your impressive handle on Israeli history, it does not qualify you to assess the security measures of the Israeli defense community. Even as a second-semester MA student in Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security student I know and understand the countless amount of Jewish lives the wall saves on a daily basis no matter how inconvenient or ‘oppressive’ it may appear to the Palestinian community. It doesn’t even take a BA to know that a nation’s first and foremost responsibility is the safety of its citizens. Perhaps Obama will take notes and apologize to Arizona governor Jan Brewer upon his return to the states but we won’t hold our breath.
As my belly grumbles while I re-read Feldman’s offensive column I propose he would be wise to re-title his article “Obama will make us show him our stuff…literally!”
So here I sit, in an my cramped ElAl seat with eight more hours free from watching what I am sure will be a revolting newsreel of the “anointed one” healing the sick, feeding the poor and ending the (fictional) plight of the (fictional) Palestinian people because the Israelis are either too dumb or have no desire to do it themselves.
But I must thank President Obama for two things. First, I will give him credit for bolstering the Israeli economy. Surely, if more people think as I do, then the influx of expulsions will greatly serve the plumbers of Israel. And secondly, knowing that I am missing this sham of a visit to Israel makes the turbulence we are currently experiencing really not too bad at all. No doggie bag needed on this trip! Thanks Prez! Four more years!
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