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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 12, 2003

LETTER TO MY PREZ: A CASE FOR A YIDDISH STATE IN AMERICA

BY BRUCE S. TICKER,
Philadelphia

HEY, AMERICA'S TOP GOY...

When you endorsed the concept of a Palestinian state, I was ready to question why the Arabs who live in Israel's territorities cannot live under Israeli rule. Then I abruptly stopped myself.

Rather, George, this gave me a great idea: Let's form a Yiddish state in the United States of America.

You will surely ask: Am I mad? I ask: Are the Palestinians mad? Nah, what's so mad about suicide bombings, brainwashing their kids to hate Israel and cheering by the thousands when Israelis get blown to bits?

I digress. Look, us Yiddish only comprise 2.4 percent of the population of the United States. Since we're just a few weeks beyond the Christmas season, I'm tired of hearing all these songs praising that dude Jesus and explaining to Christian colleagues the context of Hannukah.

That's not enough reason? Okay, to take a page out of the Palestinian playbook, the reason is self-determination. What was that, George? Oh, you're asking if this is the same kind of self-determination that other Arabs are allowed in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria.

I know, you're going to say that in America us Jewish-Americans take full advantage of our right to vote and we prosper in greater proportions to the rest of the population. All this is true, but we are concerned about preserving our identity.

Yes, there is already a Jewish state known as Israel. What makes Jews in America any different from Jews in Israel or elsewhere?

Well, heck, those Palestinians claim they're different from other Arabs.

I'll explain some distinctions, anyway. One thing for sure: Israeli Jews are far more athletic since most of them serve in the Israeli military. Us American Jews send lots of money to them, but when did they ever send us money? We also have a wider divergence of religious expression within Judaism.

If you grant us a Yiddish state in America, I make this promise: We'll be peaceful. So here's the deal: Land for peace.

Oh, yes, where will a Jewish state be located?

Hmmmm...I would like something coastal. I love Maine...during the summer. So that's out. Southern Florida might be a good spot. Lots of Jews there already. Trouble is, I imagine you don't want your brother to lose a big chunk of his constituency. Besides, it's too hot on July 4.

How about the West Coast? Too much pro-Palestinian sentiment in San Francisco. Los Angeles is okay, but that's about it. I like Monterey, but there are no direct flights to the big East Coast cities. If you insist on setting us up inland, I'll consider Colorado. Love that mountain scenery. However, you can keep Dallas.

The East Coast is probably the best bet. New York City seems the most obvious choice: Heavy Jewish population as is, a Jewish mayor, plenty of good delicatessens, lots to see.

But who needs to live there? New York is a quick trip for a visit if the Yiddish state replaces New Jersey. The Garden State also comprises a heavy Jewish population, Jewish leaders and delicatessens. Plus many great malls, restaurants and movie complexes, and good transportation. We'll also get a city with casinos, just as Israel established a casino for the Palestinians. We'll make certain that visitors to the casinos will be able to travel in safety...which is not the case in Israel.

Most importantly, Israel is almost always compared to New Jersey, so for that reason alone people will be able to identify with New Jersey as the Yiddish state.

To sweeten the deal, we'll allow your fellow Christians to continue taking off Christmas, Good Friday and Easter.

Best of all, we'll eliminate all tollbooths on the Garden State Parkway. That will be as popular as ending the checkpoints in the West Bank. If that doesn't get New Jerseyans to embrace the idea, nothing will.

Bruce Ticker can be reached at Brucetic@aol.com