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January 11, 2017 5:59 am

Monty Python’s Take on the Two-State Solution

avatar by Barry Shaw

Opinion
The Monty Python 'dead parrot' sketch. Photo: Screenshot.

The Monty Python ‘dead parrot’ sketch. Photo: Screenshot.

It is depressing to hear supposedly informed and influential global figures continue to tout a failed two-state “solution” as the only way to resolve the Palestinian dispute.

This idea has been promoted, pushed and practiced by the finest diplomats since 1967. For 50 years, they have been flogging this dead bird and selling it to the public as if one day it would become a wondrous peacock.

When will they admit that this idea is dead?

When discussing the two-state issue with stubborn diplomats, I get the depressing feeling that I have become a character in a famous Monty Python sketch. You know the one: in which a customer, brilliantly portrayed by John Cleese, takes an obviously dead parrot back to the pet shop where he bought it, and the pet shop owner, played by Michael Palin, stubbornly denies that the bird is dead.

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Similarly, the impotent diplomats of the world refuse to admit this obvious fact: The two-state solution is deceased.

We know it is dead. Yet they insist that it is only stunned — or dormant. They insist that the total lack of movement from this dead parrot derives only from Israel not giving it enough sustenance or oxygen — and that if we just did that, the bird would quickly revive and begin to impress us with its natural beauty.

We have reached the point where we must forcefully point out to the global pet shop owners that this parrot really is dead, that it has finally gone to meet its maker. It is deceased, it has passed on, it no longer exists, it’s pushing up the daisies, it has run down the curtain and joined the invisible choir. It is bereft of life, it is no more, it has ceased to be, it has kicked the bucket and shuffled off its mortal coil. It is history.

And when you are pausing for breath, do not be deceived when the pet shop owner tells you that he has an equally good two-state peacock in his storeroom to sell you.

Barry Shaw is the Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.  He is the author of ‘BDS for IDIOTS’ and the new best-seller ‘1917. From Palestine to the Land of Israel.’ 

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