Intervening forcefully in Middle Eastern violence, Obama pardons turkey from Israel-Gaza border

22 Nov

WASHINGTON—stung by criticism that he has not done enough in response to the outbreak of violence in Gaza and southern Israel, but also needing to commemorate Thanksgiving, President Obama today announced that he was “preventing more bloodshed” by pardoning a turkey from the troubled region.

“America supports peace throughout the world, and will always use every means at its disposal to curtail violence,” said Obama in a Rose Garden address. “I am therefore using the full powers of the Presidency to ensure that cute little Khaled Sharon here, who grew up on the Israeli-Gaza border, lives a long and full life in a petting zoo.” The president always pardons a turkey on Thanksgiving, a tradition stretching back decades, but until this year it had always been domestic.

While some foreign-policy experts questioned whether pardoning a bird was really a sufficient response to the ongoing violence, most pundits agreed that Obama’s move had been politically shrewd.

“The Middle Eastern conflict is highly complex and extremely difficult to resolve,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. “Aside from a cheap gesture like this one, his only other attractive option was to give Hamas aid in order to build something large which we could then bomb.” Dean Slaughter went on to add that she would probably be quoted more often if she had a shorter title.

The President’s gesture was received with cautious optimism by both Hamas and the Israeli government. “I welcome America’s engagement in this conflict, as no one has been more supportive of President Obama than I,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Although apparently my evil identical twin said some pretty nasty things in the run-up to the election.”

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