(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
By Yuval Weiss
Last Updated 12/31/2016 at 3:00 PM
Jerusalem: People around here have seen a lot, but something is different this week. On Wednesday, something happened that was so profound that it very well may have been a modern Hanukkah miracle. Ketchup heiress/Navy Veteran/Dude who lost to Dubya/Diplomat John Kerry spoke for 75 minutes without actually having anything to say. With only enough relevant ideas to fill a 5 minute chat, Kerry somehow summoned enough J-Street talking points, Senate anecdotes, and Thomas Friedman clichés to make his talk last 75 minutes. Nes Gadol Haya Sham! So the Daily Freier hit the streets to find out the word. On the streets.
As the Daily Freier exited Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station, we ran into a familiar face: Alert Local Ronit S., who was on her way to the Ministry of Education to get a scuba diving certification from Cancun translated into Hebrew so she could be a dive instructor or something. We asked Ronit if she heard the speech.
“Yeah. They played it on the bus the whole way here. Seventy. Five. Minutes. It was so bad that the driver actually had to pull over to get some fresh air near Latrun. I made a bet with the guy next to me on how long it would last. He said 90 minutes, I said 70. So I won. 50 Shekels. The guy was mad and insisted that if Kerry was allowed to also speak in French that the speech would have hit 2 hours.”
The Daily Freier said goodbye to Ronit and proceeded onto the Light Rail toward the Illegally Occupied Western Wall. On the Light Rail, we saw Historian Yoni K. who went on to explain the significance of Kerry’s speech. “What Secretary Kerry did was like transporting me back in time.” explained Yoni as he looked into the distance. “It was like I was in Barack Obama’s Columbia University Dorm Room bull session circa 1983. Imagine a reality where Israel never offered the Palestinians a State in 2000, 2001, and 2008. A reality where Ehud Barak never completely withdrew from South Lebanon in a UN certified move in 2000, and Hezbollah never promptly moved in and kidnapped an Israeli patrol. In this Alternative Universe, Ariel Sharon never removed every Jew from Gaza and handed it over to the Palestinian Authority in 2005; and Hamas never evicted the PA from Gaza in 2007…. You know, for a minute while I was listening to his speech….. I thought that I was high.”
The Daily Freier jumped off the Light Rail and walked over to city hall where several children sat in a circle playing dreidel.
“Gimmel” shouted one boy as he grabbed a handful of candy from a pile in the center.
“Hay” shouted another, as he too grabbed some candy.
“Nun” mumbled another boy as the other kids started to taunt him. “Ha Ha!” They shouted as they handed him the headphones of an I-Pod. “Now you have to listen to Kerry recount his special friendship with Shimon Peres.”
“That’s OK, I guess.” muttered the boy. “At least I don’t have to listen to him talk about his yacht trip to Martha’s Vineyard.“