A new cyber-acquaintance who seems to know whereof he speaks offers two versions of history, Israeli and Arab, that not only amuse but also throw some light on the conflicts in the Middle East.
On a list in which I participate, Kal offers the following Israeli version of the story:
[peaceful flutes playing...]
Palestinians do not exist. Geographical Palestine was empty. Jews on the other hand existed, and they had no homeland (they were floating in the air I suppose). So the UN offered them Palestine as a gift, and they gratefully accepted it. There were no rightful citizens of it to object to that peaceful transaction.
[Insert video clip showing UN officials handing over ownership papers to smiling Jewish leaders...]
And then evil Arabs came out of nowhere. [horror music roars...]
Upset by the peace and liberty that their new neighbors enjoy, they were determined to spread fear and destruction.
[Insert images of destruction and Arabs on horses...]
The New Israelis were determined to defend Freedom and Good against the forces of Evil. [marching drums and nationalistic music...] A new Israeli Army was formed, consisting of Doctors, Philosophers, Artists, and other beautiful people to resist
the toothless Arabs' invasion.
[Insert clip of masked Arabs shooting babies...]
Kal offers the disclaimer that he was born in Jerusalem to a Christian family and has an Israeli birth certificate (but not citizenship) as well as an expired Palestinian travel document.
Now the Arab fantasy history:
[sad violin background...]
In the beginning, all inhabitants of Palestine were perfect Muslim people. They treated the Christian and Jewish minorities with great respect, and gave them more rights and less duties than the average Muslim citizen. These People of the Book lived their Golden Age under Islamic Rule, and they all greatly enjoyed their trouble free life.
[show clip of a priest drinking coffee with an imam...]
Then the Jewish Elders of Zion, on a mission to take over the World, and the Christian Crusaders of the West, conspired to destroy the Arabs. [tanks, bombs, and airplanes sound effects...] They decided that Palestine was a good entry point in the Middle East, towards creating Greater Israel, consisting of lands from the Euphrates to the Nile. And without any provocation of any kind, they continuously murdered Arabs throughout the second half of the last century, in order to eliminate them from their lands.
[show dirty crying Arab boy standing under Israeli flag... make sure you skip the part where his mother spanked him for playing soccer in his new outfit, which is really why he's crying...]
Arab Muslims, backed by the good Christians and Jews of Palestine, rose up to the challenge. [piano...] Their mission is to restore superior morality and to end the rule of corrupt Crusader culture, and to recreate the Islamic State of Palestine, where Muslims, Jews, and Christians can relive their Golden Age of happiness, morality, and prosperity.
[show rabbi walking next to priest, skipping the part where it's obvious they're in New York, not in Palestine...]
Perhaps if such stories could be swapped and edited there might be some hope for peace. Meanwhile, we can at least enjoy a good, dark laugh.