Roger L. Simon

Deadline in Israel (on to the "Jack Story")

I can’t think two reports from Israel this morning are unrelated. One is that the Israelis have accepted a proposal by the so-called Middle East Quartet to give aid to the Palestinians; the other that the Israelis have given Hamas the specific deadline of the end of 2006 to negotiate before Israel would act unilaterally on borders. Mr Quid meet Mr. Quod.

Hamas already responded by applying the “Jack Story”:

Hamas on Wednesday insisted Israel wasn’t really interested in negotiating.

“Haim Ramon’s assertion that Israel is ready for negotiations is no more than an attempt to trick the public,” Palestinian government spokesman Ghazi Hamad said. “They don’t want negotiations, and even if there were negotiations, they would not give us our rights.”

For those who don’t recall the “Jack Story,” it comes from the world of psychotherapy. A man gets a flat tire on a dark and stormy night. Sonofbeehivingblablabla, he mutters – and I forgot my jack on top of it. He glances up at a house with a light on a hundred yards up hill. Maybe they can lend me a jack. He starts off for it, but as he trudges up the hill he talks to himself- wonder if they will lend me that jack, maybe they won’t lend me that jack, I dunno – I doubt they’re going to lend me that jack. By the time the man reaches the house and the door opens, he shouts angrily at the person opening the door before a word comes out: Why the &$%#*@! didn’t you lend me your %$*&^#@ing jack?!

Sound familiar? Of course in the Middle East this has been going on for a thousand years, long before there were jacks. How about – Why the $%^&*# didn’t you lend me your @#$%>#ing mule?!