While America debates whether to take Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump seriously, one Palestinian cleric responded with unintentional seriousness and outspoken vehemence to a satirical “Trump Solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The parody news site The Mideast Beast reported on a fake “controversial peace proposal” by the colorful Trump to “give the US island territory of Puerto Rico to the Palestinians as compensation for surrendering to Israel.”
In an article titled “Donald Trump: Move the Palestinians to Puerto Rico,” the made-up plan is described thus: “the US would fund the relocation of all four or so million Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the Caribbean archipelago, and offer them ‘free housing, job training and a lifetime supply of deodorant.'”
In response, a visibly angry Palestinian cleric, Issam Amira, who the MEMRI research center identified with Hizb ut-Tahrir, devoted a Friday sermon earlier this month to slamming the plan. MEMRI posted a translated clip of the sermon on Sunday.
“The Republican presidential candidate, the American businessman and billionaire Donald Trump revealed his ‘Trump Plan’ to resolve the Israeli-Arab conflict,” Amira said in the sermon, which was broadcast online.
“He said: ‘Give the American island of Puerto Rico to the Palestinians, and build them a replica of the Al-Aqsa Mosque there.’
“We say to that Trump: Palestine is not the same as Puerto Rico! And the al-Aqsa Mosque is not a mere building made of stone.”
Amira might have been spared the embarrassment if he’d taken a closer look at the website. The Trump article, festooned with the unlikely byline of one “Boaz Bulbulovitz” (“bulbul” is Hebrew slang for penis), sits alongside articles with headlines such as “Hezbollah Leader Undergoes Breast Reduction Surgery,” “Saudi Government Torn Over Whether to Let Caitlyn Jenner Drive,” and “Tel Aviv Declared Second Holiest Site in Homosexuality.”
A closer reading of the Trump article also includes hints at its satirical underpinnings, and a glimpse at the many different targets of The Mideast Beast’s parody.
It mocks Trump’s racist comments against Latino immigrants: “Unlike native Puerto Ricans, however, the so-called ‘Puertostinians’ would not be able to relocate to the US proper if they don’t like their new homeland: ‘We’re overrun by Mexican criminals as it is.'”
And in one dense paragraph, both Trump’s penchant for over-the-top real estate projects and some Americans’ stereotypes of Muslim extremism: “‘There’s a fortune to be made by fulfilling people’s jihadist sex fantasies on a Disney-scale,’ he said, outlining some of the main attractions of ‘Trump Gaza’: a topless ‘72 Virgins Casino,’ ‘Safari-style’ tours to mock refugee and jihadist training camps, ‘Shoot Your Own Rocket’ and ‘Dig Your Own Tunnel’ workshops, ‘Catch a Zionist’ competitions, ‘Torture a POW’ sessions, as well as underground ‘Abu Ghraib-themed’ BDSM parties. ‘Let the Puertostinians both preserve and profit from their native culture,’ Trump said.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is quoted by The Mideast Beast responding to Trump with “some humor-laced advice:”
“From one old man to another, it’s time to age gracefully – all that fake tan, collagen and Viagra are rotting your brain.”