How Many Pounds of Flesh Will It Take to Kill Israel?

The first time I heard reference to a "pound of flesh," I was only a young teenager. At the time, I was not privy to the whole Merchant of Venice story. All I knew was that a criminal was to be punished by forfeiting a pound of his flesh.

Silly me, what did I know? I thought he was to select his own pound. So in my mind, I began to picture myself as the unfortunate criminal deciding what pound of flesh I would sacrifice. I decided that the first thing to go would be a pound's worth of my buttocks. Then I wondered, if convicted of the same crime a second time, what I would turn to next, and so on. Eventually I created my own sacrifice priority list: tuchus, appendix, kidney, foot, hand, etc.

It was only later that I discovered what Paul Harvey called "the rest of the story": that in The Merchant of Venice, you do not get to pick your pound of flesh. Someone else does it for you -- even if it means cutting out your heart.

For years, the world has been clamoring for Israel's pound of flesh. Ariel Sharon, thinking himself clever and insightful, thought that he could appease the hungry lions of the world with the pound of flesh of his choosing: Gaza. No doubt, in his mind, Gaza was the tuchus of Israel that could be removed with the least amount of pain.

As a consequence of Ariel Sharon's misguided Gaza surgery, however, Israel came away with three hard lessons. The first lesson learned was that even safe and simple surgeries could result in bloody and disastrous complications. The second lesson learned was that Israel's one pound of flesh was not enough. The third lesson learned was that Israel was not entitled to choose her own pound of flesh.

Just as I believe Ariel Sharon was coerced into his Gaza tuchus surgery, I am convinced that the Obama administration is doing what it can to get Netanyahu to perform a West-Bankectomy. (Do you remember how George Mitchell and Hillary Clinton nodded with approval over Bibi's ten-month construction freeze last November?)

Of greatest concern, however, is that the Obama administration will not be happy until they get to decide Israel's pound of flesh. And based upon the unprecedented verbal chastisement and outrage from V.P. Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the poorly timed announcement of the building of 1,600 housing units in the NE Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, it is becoming clear to everyone that the president's mind has been made up in advance: Operation Jerusalem is on the menu.

Jerusalem is not only Israel's capital, but her heart as well. Jerusalem, the City of David, was founded as the capital of the Jewish nation almost three thousand years ago. David's son Solomon built the First Temple there. Jerusalem references can be found hundreds of times in the Hebrew Bible. And every year during the Passover Seder, Jews from around the world lament, "Next year in Jerusalem." Despite all of this, Jerusalem is the one pound of flesh that the world and President Obama must have.

In order to perform heart surgery, Dr. Obama has to make his patient, Israel, ready. Such outbursts of indignation from a suddenly thin-skinned Obama administration over the announcement of 1,600 housing units in Ramat Shlomo are part of the patient preparation. Considering how candidate Obama once told a cheering AIPAC conference that "[Jerusalem] will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided," I can only wonder why President Obama doth protest so much.

Of course, there will be kissing and making up with Israeli leaders between this and future outbursts -- but the die has been cast. Unfortunately, the real prep for Israel's heart surgery will fall not with just "outbursts," but witih getting Americans and American Jews to help coerce the unwilling patient along. These willing Obama-helpers are the ones already telling themselves that America can work with a nuclear-armed Iran, but there will never be peace in the Middle East until there are enough pounds of flesh extracted from Israel, including half of Jerusalem.

The wise of America (and Israel) know that one pound of flesh leads to another, and that eventually, Israel's last pound of flesh will be Jerusalem. Of course, President Obama will one day assure his patient and explain that only half of Jerusalem needs removing. But what man can survive with half a heart, or what nation?

With Passover just around the corner, I was thinking about all the hoopla that took place last Passover regarding Obama being the first president to ever host a Passover Seder in the White House. My fear is that one of these days, President Obama will host another Seder, but with an altered script:

"Next year in half of Jerusalem."
The first time I heard reference to a "pound of flesh," I was only a young teenager. At the time, I was not privy to the whole Merchant of Venice story. All I knew was that a criminal was to be punished by forfeiting a pound of his flesh.

Silly me, what did I know? I thought he was to select his own pound. So in my mind, I began to picture myself as the unfortunate criminal deciding what pound of flesh I would sacrifice. I decided that the first thing to go would be a pound's worth of my buttocks. Then I wondered, if convicted of the same crime a second time, what I would turn to next, and so on. Eventually I created my own sacrifice priority list: tuchus, appendix, kidney, foot, hand, etc.

It was only later that I discovered what Paul Harvey called "the rest of the story": that in The Merchant of Venice, you do not get to pick your pound of flesh. Someone else does it for you -- even if it means cutting out your heart.

For years, the world has been clamoring for Israel's pound of flesh. Ariel Sharon, thinking himself clever and insightful, thought that he could appease the hungry lions of the world with the pound of flesh of his choosing: Gaza. No doubt, in his mind, Gaza was the tuchus of Israel that could be removed with the least amount of pain.

As a consequence of Ariel Sharon's misguided Gaza surgery, however, Israel came away with three hard lessons. The first lesson learned was that even safe and simple surgeries could result in bloody and disastrous complications. The second lesson learned was that Israel's one pound of flesh was not enough. The third lesson learned was that Israel was not entitled to choose her own pound of flesh.

Just as I believe Ariel Sharon was coerced into his Gaza tuchus surgery, I am convinced that the Obama administration is doing what it can to get Netanyahu to perform a West-Bankectomy. (Do you remember how George Mitchell and Hillary Clinton nodded with approval over Bibi's ten-month construction freeze last November?)

Of greatest concern, however, is that the Obama administration will not be happy until they get to decide Israel's pound of flesh. And based upon the unprecedented verbal chastisement and outrage from V.P. Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the poorly timed announcement of the building of 1,600 housing units in the NE Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, it is becoming clear to everyone that the president's mind has been made up in advance: Operation Jerusalem is on the menu.

Jerusalem is not only Israel's capital, but her heart as well. Jerusalem, the City of David, was founded as the capital of the Jewish nation almost three thousand years ago. David's son Solomon built the First Temple there. Jerusalem references can be found hundreds of times in the Hebrew Bible. And every year during the Passover Seder, Jews from around the world lament, "Next year in Jerusalem." Despite all of this, Jerusalem is the one pound of flesh that the world and President Obama must have.

In order to perform heart surgery, Dr. Obama has to make his patient, Israel, ready. Such outbursts of indignation from a suddenly thin-skinned Obama administration over the announcement of 1,600 housing units in Ramat Shlomo are part of the patient preparation. Considering how candidate Obama once told a cheering AIPAC conference that "[Jerusalem] will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided," I can only wonder why President Obama doth protest so much.

Of course, there will be kissing and making up with Israeli leaders between this and future outbursts -- but the die has been cast. Unfortunately, the real prep for Israel's heart surgery will fall not with just "outbursts," but witih getting Americans and American Jews to help coerce the unwilling patient along. These willing Obama-helpers are the ones already telling themselves that America can work with a nuclear-armed Iran, but there will never be peace in the Middle East until there are enough pounds of flesh extracted from Israel, including half of Jerusalem.

The wise of America (and Israel) know that one pound of flesh leads to another, and that eventually, Israel's last pound of flesh will be Jerusalem. Of course, President Obama will one day assure his patient and explain that only half of Jerusalem needs removing. But what man can survive with half a heart, or what nation?

With Passover just around the corner, I was thinking about all the hoopla that took place last Passover regarding Obama being the first president to ever host a Passover Seder in the White House. My fear is that one of these days, President Obama will host another Seder, but with an altered script:

"Next year in half of Jerusalem."