One of Israel's Barking Mad lectures MERC on the dynamics of the Middle East conflict:
"Let me help you understand this, MERC.
"Imagine that you're a big bully who believes that the swings in the playground are yours. You're sure that since you got to the playground early, it all belongs to you. Then, along comes some little kid who is new to the playground, but seems to believe he used to live here once and wants to play on a swing.
"You, the bully, keep pushing him away when he tries. He fights back a little, learns some tricks to get around you, and sometimes pays you to go on a swing. Finally, watching this, a parent comes over and tells you, the bully, and the little kid to share the swings. You mouth some unmentionable words to the parent, and when he walks away, you walk over menacingly to the little kid.
"He, already practised in your violence, prepares himself by picking up some sand and stones. Threatening to kick him out of the playground, you attack with your lumbering, out-of-shape bulk only to learn, once you get too close, that the kid knows karate. The runt is suddenly beating the crap out of you and you run away as he chases you out of the playground.
"Afterwards, you, the bully, keep trying to come back, but he blocks you every time, knowing the consequences to himself of losing the swing. After all, on those days when you do get into the playground, you have a tendency to go after his private parts instead of fighting fair.
"And so it goes, except that you, the bully, keep complaining for years and years about what a dickhead that little kid is (he's grown up now and is handsome, but still has acne) for keeping you out of the playground. 'It's a crime!' you, the bully, say. 'I'm a victim of an unfair crime; of theft! I want my swings! They're mine! He came along and stole them from me! I own this place and he's an intruder!'
"And while you do this, the boy grows up, becomes a man, adds protection to his environment and sometimes, when he has to fight you, makes you pay a heavy price for just not being willing to accept that he's here to stay. He'll share a swing with you, but you won't agree unless you can have all 4 so you can invite your friends, and you absolutely refuse to share that really nice one called 'Jerusalem'.
"Did that help, MERC? Bet you didn't read that on Electronic Intifada."
No, that's for sure.