Saturday, March 13, 2010

Joe Biden in Jerusalem

"We have no solution, you shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave, and we will see where this process leads." Moshe Dayan on the Palestinian "problem"
David Seaton's News Links
Reading about US Vice-President Joe Biden's humiliating pilgrimage to Jerusalem I had a Proustian flashback to a short conversation I overheard in the cafeteria of  Beit Sokolov, the government press office in Tel-Aviv, way back in the '70s, when I was a photojournalist there.

The then Prime Minister, Golda Meir, had just made a major speech in the Knesset and Jim, a Canadian, and Eli, a Dutchman, were translating it from Hebrew into English before telexing it to their papers, this while Suzi, the ├╝ber-sexy, Hungarian hotty who tended the bar, plied us all with steaming glasses of Wissotzky tea.

The dialog went like this:
Jim: I just counted them, Golda used the word "Shalom" fourteen times!

Eli: So?

Jim: So, how do I translate that?

Eli: Huh?

Jim:  Well, Shalom means "peace", but it also means "hello-goodbye"... What do you thinks she meant?

Eli: "Hello-goodbye" probably.
To me, Eli and Jim's short conversation sums up perfectly the entire Israeli meaning of the word "peace", just as Moshe Dayan's quote at the top of the page sums up the entire Israeli meaning of the word "process" and  taken together they explain all the Israeli strategy and tactics that go into the words, "Peace Process". Vice President Biden's trip is simply another chapter in the saga. DS

1 comment:

Sami D said...

Very accurate description indeed; thanks!
You might also want to note this article from 13 years ago: Any difference in US-Israeli actions and reactions, after replacing "Biden" with "Albright"?

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/27/world/netanyahu-brushes-off-calls-to-halt-settlements.html