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 Mr. President, if you do not bring an end to this bloody conflict, you will be asked to do something else: return that Nobel Prize given to you when you started out.

Salman Masalha ||
Barak and Hussein are waiting for Obama

To Barack Hussein Obama, greetings: When you were elected four years ago as president of the greatest power in the world, the whole world was filled with hope. The whole world looked on in amazement and admiration at America, which knew how to overcome the residue of racism, and put a dark-skinned man of mixed race in the White House as the number one citizen, not only of the United States but of the rest of the world. The world was so happy that before you lifted a finger, the Nobel Committee awarded you the Peace Prize.

Once again you have been elected to hold the office of president of the greatest power. The world is still expecting you to stand tall and finally do what is needed. You have no excuses left. From this point on, you hold all the cards. This is precisely the right time to devote a few moments of thought to what your name symbolizes. Because the sound of the names "Barak" and "Hussein" are known in this part of the world. These are two booby-trapped names, two ticking bombs. These are the bombs, in Israel and Palestine, which you are required to dismantle. Not only for the sake of Israel and Ishmael, but for the sake of the entire world.

Here, in the cradle of monotheism, the situation is almost terminal. On one hand, the run-of-the-mill Israeli Zionist dreams of waking up and not being surrounded by Palestinians. On the other hand, the run-of-the-mill Palestinian Islamist dreams of waking up and not being surrounded by Jews. These two sick people, with their unattainable dreams, will continue to bring disaster down upon the flock that cheers them in the squares. One says the entire land is sacred to me and the other says the entire land is sacred to me. And between one sacredness and the other, these two dance their dance of swords and death.

That is the essence of the tragedy of this booby-trapped land. Nationalism is a virus that attacks peoples and cuts them down. When this virus sits on the religious infrastructure and feeds on myths, it becomes even more deadly. The spread of this plague must be stopped. To do so, political preventive medication is required. The division of the land into two nation-states is the only medicine that will stop the plague. Vaccination with the virus itself is the only way to stop the decline into a Balkan situation.

Mr. President, around here among Israel and among Ishmael, the wise have disappeared. And so you must be the wise man. What is more, you are king of the world. And so, as Solomon once did, please impose your justice upon the two harlots from the East. This land is so small that it cannot contain its own name on a world map. To print it, the blue must be expropriated from the sea. Please unleash the sword of your wisdom and set it down on the map of this bereaved land so that the two harlots will fear it. Do indeed cut this land in two. If not, unlike the baby in the biblical story, it will not be a living country, but a land of blood.

You can make the peace, and it will make you one of the greatest leaders in human history. Then all of Israel, and all of Ishmael, and all inhabitants of the world will see "the judgment which the king had judged - for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do justice." ( 1 Kings 3:28 ).

Mr. President, if you do not bring an end to this bloody conflict, you will be asked to do something else: return that Nobel Prize given to you when you started out. Because without making peace, you, Barack Hussein Obama, will not have earned it.
Published: Opinions-Haaretz, 2.12.2012

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