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By Israel Adam Shamir

The most recent massacre in the Holy Land, this time of fourteen men, women
and children near Gaza, was described by our Prime Minister, General Sharon,
as "a necessary and successful operation". He also promised more of the
same, and there is no reason to doubt his word. There is no reason to doubt
the reprisals, promised by the relatives of the murdered folks, either. This
war will go forever, and an anonymous IDF colonel advised the NY Times
correspondent amidst ruins of Nablus that 'we are in the middle of Hundred
Year War'. Thank you for the good news!

An ancient Greek farmer, the main character of the funniest comedy by
Aristophanes, Acharnians, found himself in a similar predicament. His
country was run by a General Lamachus, an early version of General Sharon,
hell-bent on waging war of domination. Tired of endless struggle, of ruined
economy, of war drums instead of music, of funerals instead of weddings, the
farmer-hero Dicaeopolis strikes a separate peace treaty with the Spartans.

It makes a world of difference. On one end of the stage, the General asks
for more swords, on the other end, the Farmer calls out for more sausages. I
want a new system of air-to-air missiles, bellows the general. Bring me more
wine and blondes, yells the Farmer. In the apotheosis, Dicaeopolis chairs a
great feast, while beaten up Lamachus heavily slumps down.

This solution, offered in 425 BC, is still valid. I signed a separate peace
treaty with all my neighbours in the Middle East. As far as I am concerned,
Syrian children may come and swim in the Sea of Galilee, and children of
Palestine are welcome to amusement parks of Tel Aviv, while I shall sip
Lebanese arak at Bardaouni in Ramallah. The refugees of Gaza may come back
to the fields they owned before 1948, and deal directly with the few old
Polish Jews who "privatised" the lands. If Jerry Falwell wants to have a
Jewish state, let him build it in Alabama. They lived through Reconstruction, they will manage.

Keep me out of it. In Israel, there are no more lands belonging to all of
us. Every strip of land, every drop of water was carefully privatised. Now,
let the happy new owners pay for whatever they need, including new defence
systems, the army expenses, fences and other useful devices. Maybe when they
'll see the bill they rather would opt for a new soft armchair and separate

This vast undoing of collective property and dismantling of remnants of
socialism should be completed. It is right time to bring more hard-nosed
neo-liberalism into daily use. While an increasing number of unemployed
Israelis took to stealing food from public hospitals, the Army still gets
what it wants anytime it asks. This socialist easy-going approach should be
stopped. If generals want new aircraft, let them chip in and buy one, on the
free market, without government subsidies. Sharon can barter his sheep for
the bright new state-of-art toys from McDonnell-Douglas. And if it would not
suffice, I can offer him the advice of my wise late grandmother: if you have
no money, do not buy arms.

The same advice could be given to our American friends and allies. They
calculated the war in Iraq will cost 800 billion dollars. In my opinion,
until the people of America will see at least double this amount in ready
cash produced up front by Richard Perle and other Zionist warmonger agents
of influence, they should not bestir themselves. And do not take personal

Even better advice: join Separate Peace, and if Sharon calls upon you, reply
him as I do:

"General, if you want war, please wage it personally. And do not call us, we
shall call you."


Israel Shamir is an Israeli journalist based in Jaffa. His articles can be
found on the site www.israelshamir.net In order to subscribe to this list or
to be removed from it, please write to info@israelshamir.net You may freely
display this article on the Web or forward it, but ask for permission in
order to publish as hard copy.

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