16 Mar

A warning to Mr. Biden: We (Israel) negotiate like we drive

Memo to Mr. Biden: Everything you need to know about these people, my friends, the Israelis, you’ll see from your motorcade window.

By Bradley Burston,

You may see the garbage piling up alongside the streets, the consequence of a relatively new observance on the local Jewish calendar: the annual pre-Passover municipal strike, meant to coincide with the traditional pre-Passover spring cleaning.

The lesson: We have come to believe that the only way to have our grievances addressed is to do something intentionally offensive at the worst possible time.

Your motorcade will offer you a broader lesson as well, one which may also come in handy farther down the line:

We negotiate like we drive.

For us, the rules of the Roadmap are simple. They a direct extension of the driving principles that have made a simple motoring excursion statistically far more hazardous and immediate a threat to Israelis than terrorism, Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah rolled together.

Let’s begin with signaling:

1. Signal Left, Veer Right. Also known as the Ehud Barak Lurch.

Not to be confused with its increasingly rare counterpart, the Ariel Sharon Feint [Signal Right, Veer Left], which is its mirror opposite in every sense.

2. Signal Left, Do Nothing. Also known as the Benjamin Netanyahu Freeze.

3. Avoid Signaling, Except By Means of Rude Gestures and Vulgar Outbursts. Better known as: Avigdor Lieberman. This driving maneuver tends to have a ripple effect, causing collisions, near-misses, and road rage, while leaving Lieberman curiously unscathed.

Other Common Advanced Driving Maneuvers:

4. Arbitrary Highway and Street Driving in Reverse Characteristic of both Israelis and Palestinians at the wheel. Also known as, when you’ve missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity, put yourself in a position of even greater disadvantage and potential danger to yourself and others.

5. My side Is Right. In all collisions and violations, the side the U.S. happens to be talking with at the moment will not only explain, but will itself be absolutely convinced, that it had the clear and indisputable right of way.

6. When I Am Clearly In the Wrong, See Rule 5. Even in cases where the side the talking with, was in obvious and unequivocal violation of the right of way, and/or took actions which directly led to collision, pileup, logjam, or verbal or physical outrage, its conscience will be antiseptically free of all culpability, and will immediately and in detail explain why the other side was and remains entirely at fault.

7. Offensive Driving Inevitably, the wrongful turns, sudden stops, reverses, refusals to yield, refusals to heed the instructions Do Not Enter, Wrog Way, or Stop on the part of one or both of the sides may embarrass you and your government. You will quickly be advised that it was not at all intended to embarrass you or your government.

It will be pointed out that all cabinet vehicles here are built with a separate steering wheel and horn for each passenger, and no brakes at all. It follows, therefore, that the designated driver cannot be responsible for the actions of everyone in the car.

Then, of course, there is the explanation given Monday by the Defense Ministry for the decision to give a green light to 112 settlement homes whose construction had been frozen under an understanding with the United States:

‘Issues of Safety.’

Next visit, Mr. Vice President, you may want to think about taking the train.

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