“America’s commitment and my commitment to Israel and Israel’s security is unshakeable. It is unshakeable. I am proud to say that no U.S. administration has done more in support of Israel’s security than ours. None. Don’t let anybody else tell you otherwise. It is a fact. We are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And that’s why, rest assured, we will take no options off the table.” – US President Barack Obama, December 17, 2011


A war-weary gentleman holds his young, tempestuous, and fiery lover close, in a warm, yet slightly too strong embrace, not only out of mutual respect and love but, lately, mainly out of real concern that his young lover could break his grip and dash across the room to attack the ugly man standing in the corner; that smirking stranger playing with himself, growing larger and larger, panting, frothing, disgusting, taunting the young woman, threatening to explode all over her. That ugly man has been making lewd gestures at her, and she is frightened that he will come and take her when her lover is not looking, when he’s distracted or asleep. The beautiful young one tells her older lover that she will not leave him, will not just disappear into the night, that she won’t, out of fear and desperation, lash out at her tormentor alone, that she will always remain close, always in contact, that she will keep her cool, and that if she goes out for the night, she’ll tell him where she’s going and when she’ll be back. But she also says that she has to go out into the night; it’s coming, it’s calling her, that she’s been hurt before, deeply hurt, that she’s afraid of the ugly man in the corner; she can’t sleep because of the ugly man in the corner; she wants him gone, gone now… he’s coming to get me, he’s promised to do terrible, horrible things to me….I can’t live, I can’t breathe as long as he’s out there…playing with that thing…that disgusting thing…I can’t take my eyes off it, and he is not taking his eyes off me…I can’t stay with you if you don’t take care of him….I won’t….take him away from me forever…and if you can’t, or won’t, then let me go. Now.

And while holding onto his young lover, stroking her jet-black curly hair, looking into her large brown eyes, the elder lover speaks softly into her ear: I love you, I will protect you, I have done more than any other to protect you, haven’t I always protected you? I will always protect you, don’t ever doubt my comittment to you and your safety, [he raises his head and shouts at the ugly man in the corner] let nobody doubt it! [and again softly to his lover]: the bad man will never touch you, I won’t let him, I promise. And if he does touch you, I’ll kill him, I promise.

But the young lover, who has been deeply hurt before, hurt like no other, looks across the room at the ugly man, playing with his ugly, dangerous thing, and he looks back at her and wants to do ugly things to her, she knows it; and she finds it hard to trust, hard to give herself over completely to her lover’s safety. She wants to believe that he will protect her, but she isn’t sure. She can’t take such a risk. Not with this bad man. Not him. Never again!

She knows what people are saying: they’re saying that the old man’s lover has herself become ugly, and that she is always getting the old man into trouble, that she’s more trouble than she’s worth, that there are other young lovers out there for the old man…there are other fish in the sea, it’s a big sea and he shouldn’t let this one drag him into the swamp. It hurts to hear these things. The young lover is worried by these voices; she shuts her ears to them, won’t listen to them. She feels all alone in the world. Alone with this mad, mad, mad man in the corner….getting bigger and bigger.

So this is where they stand, this is how they embrace, this is how they move, slowly gripping each other tighter, slowly letting go.

And the elder gentleman worries. What will become of us?