The Scene: Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and his aides have just entered to Oval Office for his meeting today with President Obama. The Israelis are determined to avoid a repeat of the last White House session, when Obama stiffed them for part of the time and refused to take a picture with Netanyahu. The Israelis fear Obama is tilting toward the Palestinians but hope that, at the very least, the need for Jewish votes will help tilt him back.
As Netanyahu and his aides walk in, they notice an surprising presence. Netanyahu wonders briefly if she is here to ask him some questions.
Obama: Mr. Prime Minister, welcome, it is a pleasure to have you here at the White House. I promise not to have any more snit fits and to spend a little more time with you today. First, I’d like to call on Secretary of State Clinton to present you with the Reset Button. Hillary?
Clinton: Mr. Prime Minister, the Israel desk at the State Department has built a special Reset Button for you and I to press together. I so enjoyed pressing the Reset Button last year with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. As you are aware, the Reset Button has provided tremendous benefits to Russia, including President Obama’s willingness to forget all about Russia taking a bite out of Georgia and his decision to place defensive missiles that were supposed to be put in Eastern Europe into the country of Lichtenstein instead.
As you can see, we’ve written “reset” in Hebrew in order to make you feel more comfortable. So please, let’s go ahead and press it so that we can begin the meeting.
Netanyahu: It says, “Shalom.”
Clinton: Well, frankly Mr. Prime Minister, that’s the only word I know in Hebrew, and no one on the Israel desk speaks the language. I thought Shalom meant like seven things in English – “peace,” “hello,” “goodbye,” you know – are you sure none of the meanings is “reset?”
Netanyahu: I’m sure.
Clinton: Well, in that case, let’s just press the damn button and get this over with. OK, put your hand next to mine, not too close . . .
Netanyahu: Look, I don’t mean to be a stickler for details here, but shouldn’t I be pushing this with President Obama? I mean, I’m the leader of my nation, and the president is my counterpart.
Obama: Listen, you want to press the reset button or not? I can get Abbas in here tomorrow and press a button in Arabic with him if you’d like. I can translate that one myself.
Obama: Of course not! Just yanking your chain. You pressing?
Netanyahu: Okay, I’ll press.
Clinton: Okay, put your hand over here, that’s right and . . . PRESS! Great job! Doesn’t that feel good?
Netanyahu: It feels okay
Obama: Well, now let’s get down to serious business. Mr. Prime Minister, as part of our reinvigorated outreach to your country and our stepped up focus on the Mideast, I’ve appointed a new White House assistant for Israeli policy. Some will call her the “Israel Czar.” Mr. Prime Minister, please meet Ms. Helen Thomas.
Helen: Hi Bibi!
Helen: Well, Bibi, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m the new Israel Czar at the White House and I’d like to outline for you my pogrom – I mean my program – for Israel.
Netanyahu: “This is an outrage! Where’s Rahm? I like to deal with Rahm when I’m here!
Helen: Rahm is just a little tied up right now. Bwahahahahaha!
Netanyahu: What does that mean? What have you done with Rahm?
Obama: Don’t worry, Mr. Prime Minister, Rahm is just attending to other important matters.
Obama: Helen, cut it out.
Helen: Sorry, Mr. President.
Obama: Now, Mr. Prime Minister. Helen is one of the most knowledgeable people in Washington about Israeli-Palestinian affairs. I’m sure you will find her easy to work with. Helen, please outline our strategy.
Helen: So, here’s what I’ve got it so far. First, we relocate the Jews of Israel to Tanzania. We do that by sending all the Tanzanians to Uganda and so forth.
Netanyahu: You’ve got to be kidding me
Obama: Do you have a problem with East Africa?
Netanyahu: No, it’s just that –
Helen: Also, when you leave Israel, please be sure to leave behind your nuclear weapons as you won’t need to defend yourself against the Arabs once you get to Tanzania. The Iranians have agreed to come in and dispose of them for you.
Obama: Yeah, you need to get up off of those nukes, Bibi. It’s not fair that you’ve got them and nobody else does. Iran is going to convert them to provide electricity for the Hurricane-ravaged people of Haiti. Ahmadinejad himself told me.
Netanyahu: Mr. President, this has been really great, but I need to be going . . .
Helen: To Tanzania! Bwahahahahaha!
Netanyahu: Thanks for the meeting. We’ll call you if we need anything else.