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Mark Twain, Bibi and Barack

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Natanyahu and Obama Meet for Tea

It is possible to write the meeting between Barack Obama and Binyamin Natanyahu was cordial but reserved. They avoided fisticuffs.

Obama urged Bibi to surrender the West Bank Settlements. Israel gave the USA to the end of the year to eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat.

Observers who remember the Cuban Missile Crisis recall the Americans threatening nuclear war if the Russians failed to withdraw. The major difference between 1962 and 2009 is that the Jews are the ones within missile range. If the Jews are decimated, Barack might even gain in popularity.

Notably, the Palestinians did not take part in the discussions. They have a negative attitude according to the Hamas Charter. "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

Twain, Bibi, Obama and the Jews

Tom Segev, HaAretz

Mark Twain despised the Arabs and Islam in general. He thought they were "filthy, brutish, ignorant, unprogressive [and] superstitious." That is a good reason for Israel's prime minister to give Twain's book as a gift to the president of the United States.

Netanyahu took historian Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador-designate to Washington, with him on his trip. Oren wrote a fascinating book on American attitudes toward the Middle East, in which he says the Muslims disgusted Twain: "No number of negative adjectives, it seems, could express Twain's disgust." (Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present).

Netanyahu and Ambassador Oren evidently thought Barack Hussein Obama would like that. It is lucky that they did not buy him Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, which David Ben-Gurion read in Hebrew before he turned 13.

The creator of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn visited the Holy Land in 1867. He hoped to realize one thousand and one nights of fantasies on his travels, but instead found himself in the company of dull middle-aged Americans, which made him describe the trip as "a funeral excursion without a corpse."

Had his words been written today, it is doubtful whether Twain would be counted among Israel's friends. In his own humorous way, he did not like Jews very much, either.

Twain met Theodor Herzl twice, and even considered translating his play, "The New Ghetto," into English. In Vienna, where he met Sigmund Freud, Twain encountered anti-Semitic incitement. Some people scorned him there, mistakenly believing him to be a Jew. The rumor was based on his first name, Samuel, and his big nose. Twain responded with an acrid essay in which he denounced the Dreyfus affair, among other things.

Ambassador-designate Oren wrote with extreme caution that in his essay, Twain "nearly defeated his purpose by mentioning the Jews' alleged love of money and their reluctance to serve in their country in war."

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Born a month before Pearl Harbor, I attended world events from an early age. My first words included Mussolini, Patton, Sahara and Patton. At age three I was a regular listener to Lowell Thomas. My mom was an industrial nurse a member of the (more...)
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