The First Jewish President of the United States
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V April 20, 2004
Originally published in Nov. 1988 in Identity Magazine
The First Jewish President of the United States
“Yes, Syd, the scene here is typical of the seven inauguration balls this indefatigable president and his entourage have attended so far. It has been non-stop for the eight hours since he took the oath, and you know he has six more halls to visit before morning! He passes through the crowds as he enters, presses the flesh -- as his predecessor also might have, but without the selection by aides of who is allowed to get close. Then he, his wife, the Vice President and his wife, and several other leading figures position themselves around, sharing brief visits with ordinary citizens brought to have their say by aides who circulate among the crowds. There is a clear determination to find average citizens who have a special need to see the president, not the rich or famous or powerful. He appears to have a steno taking pages of notes.”
“Can just anyone get in, Kyle?”
“As you know, Syd, these are fund raising affairs, but the $25 to $100 range for tickets does put it in range of ordinary people. They even have free tickets for the unemployed and Wal-Mart employees. There seems to be no indication of which ticket you had, once inside, Syd.”
“Kyle, can we get in close enough to see what goes on in these meetings?”
“I think so, Syd. Our cameras are behind the Secret Service lines, but we can really zoom in. Camera Four! Chuck, can you follow the aide bringing a guest to see the president now? Sound, can you isolate them? Good, let’s watch and listen!”
“Chaim, can it be!”
“Mike, . . . Mr. President! It’s been a long time!”
“Then do I have to address you as Rabbi? . . . Jesse, Chaim, Rabbi HaCohen and I went to high school together. We were actually born in the same hospital on the same day. When we re-met as teens, our families became friends. . . . Chaim, do you remember when we snuck some sacramental wine? Come; let’s share a sip legally for the first time! Waiter? Can you bring that bottle! See, it’s even labeled Kosher!”
“And who am I to refuse to toast the President of the U . . . .”
“What is happening?! Kyle! Kyle! Did we lose our feed? Can you …”
“Oh, my God! Bomb! Syd! BOMB! Oh, God! It’s terrible! It must be terrorists! The Secret Service have grabbed a waiter – looks Middle Eastern! They’ve formed a phalanx around the vice-President and the two wives … they’re pushing them all together out of the hall. Oh, my God! You can’t even see the President! It’s such a mess! The president and that Rabbi he was talking to . . . bodies all covered with some kind of terrorist slime. I think I see two of the Secret Service agents, at least part of the body of one of the aides . . . They’re all in a hideous mass! Blood and gore all over, blood redder than ever I’ve seen! We’re being moved out while the medics do their job. Helicopters are taking some victims out!
“Somebody’s being wrestled to the ground! Who is he? . . . CNN says he’s the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations! Yes, he did it, Syd! I saw him and didn’t even realize it! The waiter put the bomb there just before they grabbed him! They’ve nabbed a German terrorist named Bader, too. Syd, I saw the ambassador walk by just before the blast and pull out a detonator and press the button! My God, he’s assassinated the President of the United States of America! He’s being beaten to a pulp! . . . Now a medic is treating him. . . . Good! Maybe he’ll talk about his government’s sponsorship of such terrorism at his trial! Probably not, though. You know they’re all fanatics – and they’re probably holding his family hostage! I hope they fry the son-of-a bitch! That may be editorializing, but I don’t care! What else would you do with a man like that who condemns innocent people to death without really knowing them, without giving it a second thought? Kiss him? . . .”
“You certainly speak for every American on that, Kyle! Even death penalty opponents will agree with you this time.”
“Oh, someone has just picked up . . . it’s the bible the rabbi was carrying. He’s running over to the crowd on the podium around the vice president . . . the Chief Justice is there . . . they’re swearing the Vice President in.
“Yes, Chuck? . . . Chuck here says the medics told a Senator that it looks awfully grim. The President hasn’t officially been declared dead, but remains unconscious. It’s such a mess they’re taking fingerprints for positive identification. They’re even checking DNA!
“Syd, we’ll try to stay live as our local affiliate, KKKA, takes us to the emergency facility on their Eagle Eye copter. Hal will stay here for any statements by the Vice President – or President if that is what he is, now. …
“Syd, we’ve arrived at the hospital and the news is coming fast and furious – and surprising! The best news is that while the President and others are suffering concussions, lacerations and superficial burns, none is critically injured.
“More confusing is that the massive explosion now appears to have been an accident rather than an assassination attempt. I repeat: this was a horrible accident. The stuff covering the victims that we thought was blood turned out to be a mixture of scorched whipped cream, meringue, caramel, fudge and maraschino cherries. We’ve dug into this for Americans concerned with this terrifying event and want to thwart irresponsible rumormongers before they get a chance to panic people. Here is what really happened, America:
“ An alert Secret Service agent spotted a nervous Arab in a waiter’s uniform with someone else’s face on his badge. He called for help, and when confronted with three agents who requested that he come with them, the confused man put the five-gallon pressurized container of whipped cream he was lifting down on the nearest shelf, which was over a fire for hot fudge sauce which another waiter set in front of it while he went to find out why there was a container already where he’d been told to put the fudge. Before it was discovered that the ‘Arab’ was an Israeli MBA student making some spending money in violation of his student visa, who’d accidentally put on the wrong jacket after a smoke break, the container had exploded showering all those nearby with the entire contents of the dessert buffet. It’s a miracle that no one was killed. The FBI is holding the student while it’s determined whether he’ll be charged for causing all this, or just deported.
“The hospital has just issued a press release saying that while some victims will be held for observation over night, the President and his party will be released within a few hours, but told to rest for the next few days.”
“Kyle, what on earth was the North Korean Ambassador doing, then?”
“It appears that he had just had what were intended to be a few discreet words with the president to indicate that his government hoped for a less confrontational relationship with the new administration. As he walked away he pulled out a pocket recorder to make a few notes.”
“What’s he saying now?”
“He’s still under sedation, but his government is reported to be demanding an emergency Security Council meeting over the incident.. . I suppose democracy’s enemies will as usual blow this out of all proportion to again raise the question of moving the Secretariat out of New York City.”
“And the German terrorist?”
“Well, it seems he’s a fifth-generation South Dakota farmer with an unfortunate name. He tells me that he’s been told he’ll be released if he signs a paper promising to ‘hold harmless’ the government and the agents who beat him.”
“Syd, there’s something even more bizarre. The hospital where the president and the rabbi were born was faxed the victims fingerprints for verification, and they identified them in reverse! That is why DNA was checked. It now seems that the rabbi was the baby born to the Greek family and the President was the baby born to the HaCohens. It seems that he has a genetic marker that identifies descendants of the old Israelite priesthood.”
“Kyle, . . . Are you saying the president is . . . a Jew?”
“The real question right now is who is President. The Vice President has already been sworn in as Acting President, and now he and several Congressional leaders are saying that he should remain in charge even after the President regains consciousness. The President’s party is divided, and the opposition says that the election needs to be held over since the American People were defrauded. If it goes to the Supreme Court the opposition appointed seven of the nine judges. I suppose that will be challenged. It’s a mess!”
“Has the rabbi regained consciousness?”
“Yes, Syd, and he’s very upset. When a doctor told him that he’s the President, he absolutely refused. Says he believes in separation of religion and government, and he’s even more upset to discover that he’s not really Jewish!”
“That’s kind of insulting, isn’t it? I’ve always been proud to be called a Christian!”
“Well, Syd, no matter how it turns out, Massachusetts has again broken new ground. However briefly, it gave us our first Catholic president, and now the first Jewish President of the United States of America!”