By Stanley Walinets
January 26, 2011
Explanatory Comment. These notes, code-named ‘Cast Dread’, are the secret record of a political Party meeting which took place in late 2008. All names have been disguised to prevent identification. The notes are prefaced by an anonymous reporter, who for unknown reasons records the meeting in present tense:-
Funny things, elections, aren’t they? I mean, take US Presidentials. The US procedure, roughly, is that each candidate spends huge amounts of money, the aim being that the one who spends most, wins. Doesn’t always work, but that’s their system and that’s the way they run it.
Another Election process is underway now, in a Middle East state. This state has many close kinfolk all around the world. So let’s call this country the State of Usrael. It’s December 2008, the Nation will vote next February. Election customs and practices are different in Usrael of course. But the various Parties fight for victory as eagerly as in any other country, using the Usraeli rules. These rules are, that each Party has to be seen as the strongest. Strength is the currency. All the Parties compete to show they’ve got the most.
So how’s it going? The current ruling Party, CODIMAH, decides, after several months of meticulous PR planning, to show just how strong it will be if re-elected. It terminates a truce which, everyone agrees, the neighbouring government of GEEZA has maintained for far too long. It does so by quietly sending a crack mission to eliminate six or seven Geezas. Its clever calculation provokes retaliatory rockets from the Geezas. Then, free to display righteous fury, it sends Usrael's fighter planes flashing across the skies in SELF-DEFENCE.
Does this impressive display of electoral strength impress LIKHED, the main opposition Party? No way! Party Leader Nutiyahoo shouts to the electorate “No! You must vote for us! Look – all Codimah promise is they’ll silence the Enemy’s rockets. Then they’ll leave ’em alone. Leave ’em alone? Feh! When our Party’s in power we’ll make sure none of these Enemies will be left alive, cluttering our Promised Land! That’s what WE’LL do. Vote for us!”
“Tee hee hee!” comes a tinkling chorus from the tiny, ringlet-cheeked, big-hats-over-little-skull-caps, DEEPLY PIOUS PARTY. They’re small in number but very powerful, because of Usrael’s proportional representation system. “We may be small”, they shout, “but by Adonoy (aka G*d) we’ll make these others listen to us! Whoever gets to be the Government, they’ll need our support. So they’re gonna have to do what we tell 'em. We’re strong too!”
The Codimah Party’s getting worried. Prime Minister Ehud Goldmert (who is on his way out of office, for reasons we cannot disclose under the Official Deceitcrets Act), calls another Cabinet meeting.
“Send for the Generals!” he orders, “We’ll show ’em who’s the strongest Party!”
The Generals attend, to the relief of the Electorate, who’ve all been brought up to admire these Strong Honest Men.
“OK,” advises one General, “We’d better send some tanks to surround them.”
“Yeah,” says another, “and we’d better call up some Reservists, we might need them.”
“Hmm,” says a third General, “OK... But I’m a bit worried… There’s a new bunch of crazy youngsters who’ve joined together as Conscientious Objectors, would you believe? Say they won’t join the Army, for Adonoysake!”
“Oh no…!” cry the Cabinet Members, aghast.
“No problem, friends,” purrs Defence Minister Ehud Ballacks, “I’ve had a word with the Judges… We’re putting them in Prison, as an example to the rest…”
“Right on!” applauds a Member of the Laborious Party, “Our youngsters look forward to their Army stint – it’s part of our national culture.”
Foreign Minister Tslippi Luvmi agrees, “Yes, everyone knows that. The people love the Army. They want it to be strong, to protect our Adonoy-given Nation. We love our brave soldiers. The polls prove it.”
“Except for maybe the 5% dissenters, those messhugganahs who don’t read the right papers…” snarls the Defence Minister.
“Mmm… Yeah…” murmurs the rest of the Cabinet and the Generals.
“So we can ignore them.” says Prime Minister Goldmert, “So, what do we do next, gentlemen?” .
“Well,” says one of the Generals, to nods from the others, “We up the air raids, don’t we? And then we invade.”
“Isn’t that rather … er … excessive?” mutters a rather pathetic Deputy Minister, “I mean, quite a few nations round the world – well, all of them, actually – say we’re going too far…”
“Except America, stoopid!” says Development Minister Musselman, “THEY know we’re doing the right thing. And the EU and the UK – well, they’re not going to disagree, are they?” Confident nods around the table. “So don’t worry, ok?”
But Deputy Minister Worrier is still unhappy. “We HAVE killed a lot of their people, haven’t we? I mean, what is it – 1,000 or so, if we count the children?”
“More,” says a brusque General, “We’re not in there to waste our time.”
Tslippi Luvmi is a little uneasy.
“I do agree, General, but – I know it’s a nuisance, but they are civilians…” she says, “We do always say the last thing we want is for civilians and children to suffer… I am very concerned for them…”
The General looks to his colleagues for support. One of them steps in.
“You’re right of course, Foreign Minister. But what people don’t understand is, they use them as shields… They give the kids, like, hand grenades and stuff, probably wrapped up as Chanuka presents, and tell them to hide them in the cellar when their parents aren’t looking… ”
“He’s right!” says Defence Minister Ballacks, “So what else can we do, faced with these evil swine who’ll shelter behind innocent families like that? It’s unfortunate. But, ce le guerre, as the Frenchies say…”
The other Ministers nod sad agreement. One adds “And we all know Nutiyahoo wouldn’t worry about so-called ‘innocents’, would he?”
“No, he wouldn’t.”
“Right, that’s agreed,” says Defence Minister Ballacks, “So when’s the Election?”
“Only a few weeks now…” says Tslippi Luvmi (who hopes to become Prime Minister if Codimah wins).
But Deputy Minister Worrier interrupts again, still worrying.
“Er – just a minute, chaverim… I’ve just had a note from my secretary – she says there’s an awful lot of organisations and websites all over the world, criticising what we’re doing – saying we’re cold-blooded murderers, all that sort of thing … I’m beginning to feel a bit … well, uncomfortable…”
The assembled Cabinet Ministers stare at him, astonished. The Generals turn to each other, rolling their eyes in disbelief.
“Get real, Worrier!” groans Defence Minister Ballacks, “Can’t you understand? They’re all just anti-Semites!”
“But – but a lot of them are Jews!”
“SELF-HATERS!!”, screams Tslippi Luvmi. Then she pulls herself together. “Listen dear – we’re fighting an Election, right? Just concentrate on the main task, yes? Please?”
“Sorry, Prime Min – er, Foreign Secretary…. You’re right of course … Sorry…”
“OK dear – I know, we’re all under stress – but we have to get on with it – we’re a Democracy aren’t we? Elections are very important to our chosen way of life … ”
She turns to the Generals. “OK, thanks a lot for your assistance, gentlemen – we … er … won’t forget you…. you’d better leave now, while we finalise plans…. No, wait! I’ve had an idea. To comfort our friend here and all those nutters he’s worried about, we’ll give the civilians a break, right? A three-hour cessation of bombs etc, every afternoon, once you’ve got the tanks in. So they can – oh, y’know, have something to eat, go to the loo, whatever those people do with their spare time….”
The Generals look doubtful.
“Really.” she goes on, “It’ll look good if we do that, get all these ignorant critics off our backs, yes?”
“Alright,” say the Generals, “You’re the boss – or will be… We’ll do it – but so long as we can keep the tanks and the guys’ guns pointed at ’em, so they don’t try anything funny.”
“Oh, certainly. And keep the helicopters circling, of course…”
“Right folks,” says Prime Minister Goldmert, “It’s getting late, I’m calling the meeting to a close. And it’s Shabat tomorrow so we’ve got to be up early for Shull.”
The Ministers leave the Knuthouss building, by a side door. As they disperse, one Minister murmurs to a colleague “Y’know, I just wish the rest of the world would realise, we’re under threat here…”
“Yeah,” says his friend, “Nuti’s closing in on us… We just have to keep on doing what we know is right … This Election’s important. I think the Electorate will understand …”