Sometimes I get a bit obsessed with numbers, but on the other hand, they can be important.
For instance, 190. That’s the number of nations whose representatives sat in the UN General Assembly Tuesday and listened politely to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talk about, “solutions for achieving sustainable peace and expanding love, compassion, and cooperation” and “a brilliant, desirable and beautiful future in the hearts of men.”
My next number for the day is 7. A lucky number? Not this time. That’s the number of times I’m-a-Dinner-Jacket said the word “Zionist.” They are the “criminals” and “murderers” responsible for “60 years of carnage and invasion” in Palestine, of course, “displacing, detaining, and killing the true owners of that land.” You knew that.
But I bet you didn’t know that the victimization of “the peoples of Georgia and Ossetia” is also the result of “the underhanded actions of the Zionists.” These Zionists sure get around. I guess they weren’t busy enough killing “the true owners” of Israel.
And did you know that, “The dignity, integrity and rights of the American and European people are being played with by a small but deceitful number of people called Zionists. Although they are a miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner.”
Did Dinner-Jacket actually read The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and find out this secret about us? Or did he just read the coverage? Or maybe God clued him in. We just can’t keep our Zionist secrets any more.
How else would he know that “the great people of America and various nations of Europe need to obey the demands and wishes of a small number of acquisitive and invasive people. These nations are spending their dignity and resources on the crimes and occupations and the threats of the Zionist network against their will.”
Now that the cat is out of the bag, I guess the world will rise up and, under Dinner-Jacket’s leadership, crush the Zionist enemy that causes every problem in this warm-hearted, glorious world, and bring about permanent world peace—with a Caliphate centered in Tehran, of course. When this ancient curse is removed from the decent people of this planet, the lion will lie down with the lamb.
Okay, it’s not really funny. I can hear my Shoah-survivor friends whispering in my ear, When Hitler said these exact same words, everybody laughed. I remember the cartoons that made him seem so ridiculous. I remember Charlie Chaplin’s hilarious parody. I remember they called him “The Ducktator” and “The Carpet-Chewer.” And then I remember everyone I loved going up in smoke.
So let’s get serious. Shimon Peres called this speech “the darkest anti-Semitic libel” and "an attempt to bring to life one of the ugliest plots of history.” He pointed out that Iran has undermined and divided not only the Palestinian people, thus delaying their dreams, but the people of Lebanon and the people of Iraq.
Ahmadinejad’s strategy really is just like Hitler’s: Talk about world peace, relentlessly build your weapons, lull people into believing you are just another little nation trying to get along, consistently undermine and foment conflict among your neighbors in order to dominate them, repeat again and again the big lie about how the Jews run and ruin the world, and prepare the groundwork for a final solution to the “Zionist” problem.
What did the 190 nations do? Many of them applauded. Tzipi Livni, elected by the Kadima party to replace Ehud Olmert, said, "[Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's speech makes the situation absurd for an organization that raised the banner of 'Never Again' upon its establishment."
Some other numbers: 431: the number of votes by which Livni won the primary, out of some 40,000 votes cast; 42: the number of days allotted for her to pull together a coalition government; 29: the number of Knesset members in her party; 61: the number she needs; 90: the number of days to a new election if she fails.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party would probably win such an election, which would be huge setback for the peace process. The nations of the world are disunited, but so is Israel itself, and so is its best friend the United States. It is not reassuring at the moment that the world is facing the worst financial and economic crisis since the 1930s, the last time half the world decided to blame the Jews.
700 billion: the number of dollars American taxpayers must lay out to avert that crisis; or is it 1.8 trillion?
40: the number of days until those same taxpayers decide which of two flawed men will take responsibility for the world’s economy, for fostering peace in the Middle East, for the containment of Iran, and for the protection of Israel against a nuclear Holocaust.
And then there is that other number, always in our minds, the number that needs no explanation: 6 million.
How breathtakingly astute, how incredibly sad. I wish those leaders sitting in the UN or watching from their various capitals could see as clearly as you.
One more number for your list…zero, the number of Israelis who will be left alive after Ahmadinejad gets his bomb, while the world sits by in silent complacency. Ironically, he will poison the region for everyone else as he rains his nukes down on Israel. I wonder if former president Carter will applaud this liberation for the Palestinians.
As we approach a new year in the ancient Jewish calendar, I pray (without much hope) that all of us have anything to celebrate next Rosh Hashanah.
Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I’m hoping that next year at this time we are celebrating either peace with Fatah or peace with Syria.
As for Iran, I’m not so sanguine. But if there’s no Tel Aviv, there’ll also be no Tehran. Is the crazy Iranian that crazy? Let’s hope not.