Thursday, June 20, 2002
Ripped From Tomorrow's Headlines Dept.
Yasser Arafat Phones Ariel Sharon, Flushes Toilet, Hangs Up
JERUSALEM--In the wake of the recent outbreak of Palestinian suicide bombings and Israeli military reprisals, PLO President Yasser Arafat extended what he called "an obvious, heartfelt olive branch to my Israeli brothers" early Friday morning. Following the news that five Israeli settlers were cut down by Palestinian gunmen in a raid on their Itamar home, Arafat immediately took his satellite phone into the commode, pressed the number eight on his speed dial, and peacably flushed the toilet once Sharon was on the line. A surprised Sharon remarked, "I kept asking, 'Hello, hello? and could only hear the sound of rushing water and someone giggling." Sharon rubbed his brow and continued, "I know it was Yasser. I have the Caller-ID." In response to Arafat's communique, Sharon ordered a force of 1,500 Israeli soldiers to surround Arafat's bunker headquarters as a team of specialists disconnected the structure's plumbing. "If this is the way Yassir wants to play, he can urinate in a terracotta pot in the corner of his office."
Arafat decried Sharon's retaliation as "totally contrary to the spirit of reconciliation that I am so fervently trying to foster. If Sharon cannot recognize an outstretched hand when he sees one, an agreement for an autonomous Palestinian state may never be reached and a lasting peace will continue to elude us." Arafat shook his head grinly before continuing, "I mean, we are trying to drive the Jews deep into the Red Sea, but that doesn't mean we can't meet over a hot cup of Turkish coffee and hammer something out."