Monday, October 17, 2005

Jewish Palm Fronds Are MIA in Egypt

This article addresses the shortage of palm fronds in Egypt.

The article has perhaps some of the worst quotes ever to appear in the Washington Post. The writer, Xtopher Lee, was left with very little wiggle room, or as my old chevruta would say it, wiggle woom.

Here are a few excerpts:

"I said, 'Let my palm fronds go,' " Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.) recounted lightheartedly. "We've been using reason and logic and cajoling and friendly persuasion to get them to agree to this. . . . We're trying to avoid the Egyptians from looking like the grinch that stole Sukkot."

"We very much respect the religious practices about this," said Hussein Mansour, head of the agricultural office of the Egyptian Embassy in Washington. "For this year, we made an exception, just to cut two leaves from each tree in order to satisfy the need for the religious people in Europe and the United States and Israel. But next year we're going to have a full plan, and we're going to plant special trees."

Because it's a Jewish article quoting Jews about what non-Jews are doing to affect them, there has to be at least one quote theorizing some Anti-semitic ill will. Thank you for providing that, Eliot Engel:

Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) said the problem is that the Egyptians did not announce the restrictions until shortly before the holiday. "I'd like them to start protecting their trees in November," he said, "and then we can have a whole year to talk about it for next year."

But the best by far is the last one which speaks for itself.

Mansour said his country was "very much keen" to ensure adequate supplies of palm fronds in the future. "At the same time, we are very much keen not to damage the tree," he said, "because we think that religion also is made to keep the environment good."

How poignant.



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