Jews and Muslims Negotiate Peace in Bronx and West Bank

The Peace Process is stalled. Iran looks nukier every day and it’s only a matter of time before Israel retaliates in the hummus wars. But just when you think there’s no hope for Jewish-Muslim relations, a couple of stories come along that suggests maybe, just maybe, there’s some hope for these crazy kids.

In the Bronx, the Chabad of East Bronx, in a sort of weird metaphor for what Israel could have been, a dwindling congregation in a once Jewy neighborhood, has found a new home–in a nearby mosque. Don’t worry, though, our preconceptions don’t have to be too challenged. The imam isn’t an Arab. He’s West African and he himself had earlier been the beneficiary of Jewish charitable largesse, so now it’s even steven. Still, lunatic Jewish obsessiveness aside, this is a heartwarming tale which, if there were any justice in the world, would eventually be made into a movie starring Jonah Hill as the rabbi and Djimon Hounsou as the imam. Working title–A Rabbi and an Imam Walk Into a Room…

The next isn’t quite as heartwarming, but also with tremendous box office potential, is a new story coming out of the Holy Land. It seems that settlers in a number of communities have a taste for herb, and not the bitter kind. Unfortunate for them, the communities in which they live don’t have drug dealers, so they have decided to set aside their differences and turn to their fellow descendants of Abraham in the nearby Arab village of Hawara. Aside from the delightful inversion of traditional Jewish economic roles (now the Jews are turning to the minority to purchase goods not otherwise accessible), there’s the notion of settlers buying drugs from people doubtlessly connected to assorted groups that advocate Jew-killing and Israel-wiping out. While in New York, there are right-wing Zionist types who won’t even buy a paper from the Arab store on the corner for fear that the money will go right to Hamas. As for the cinematic potential, it speaks for itself, but, Jewdar’s going to have to take a little more time on the casting. Just consider this–Mel Gibson in a redemptive role as the Israeli narcotics officer whose wife was killed by drug-funded terrorists and who hates drugs almost as much as he loves Israel, and maybe that guy from Slumdog Millionaire as Palestinian Pookie.

So what does all this mean? Is this the beginning of a bright new era in Jewish-Muslim relations? Only time will tell, but for now, this crazy world of ours is looking just a little brighter to Jewdar. Perhaps Ahmadinejad friending Israel isn’t so far-fetched after all…

What do you think?

About The Author


The Tel Aviv-born, Milwaukee-bred Jewdar has a bachelors' from the University of Wisconsin, a Masters from NYU, and an Honorable Discharge from the US Army, where he spent two years as an infantryman in the 101st Airborne Division. He's the co-author of "The Big Book of Jewish Conspiracies", the Humor Editor of Heeb Magazine, and a watcher of TV. Smarter than most funny people, funnier than most smart people, he lives on the Lower East Side with his wife and two sons.

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