Hype of the Century
Hype of the Century

Waji runs the news shop up the corner. It’s where we all go to buy the papers and gather to solve the world’s problems and smoke cigars where there’s not a snitch in the crowd.  Waji -- every morning he waits to rub it in when I come in for the New York Post. He is always right. So he says. Today he has thrilling news.

“I told you this day would come,” he gloats with that friendly twinkle in the eyes. “My fellow Arabs are sending messages of love and peace to Israel.”

“Oh really.”

“I predicted this, my friend. I predicated everything.”

He also predicted the Mayweather win over Pacquiao, termed “The Fight of the Century.”

I kept calling it “The Hype of the Century,” a catch phrase that covers practically everything these days.

“So now what happens to your cynicism?” says Waji. “No more books to write, no more columns. You’re out of business.”

So Fukuyama was right? The End of History is upon us? Nothing more to say? If peace breaks out – then what?

No more war, no more suffering, no more injustice. What a spot to be in for a writer. Without anger, there is no writing,

“Not so fast,” I tell him as he uses even me for proof, the column I wrote about an Egyptian journalist who gushed, “Go Israel. We are with you.”

This was a plea to take out Iran’s nukes. The shadow of Iran looming over the Arab world has supposedly convinced the Arabs that for all this time they had it wrong when they chose Israel as the enemy. It was always Iran, -- and so tweets keep coming in from all over avowing reconciliation and friendship with the Jewish State.

It’s coming mostly from the young who want no part of the old hostilities. They view Israel as indeed a beacon of liberty – even as their savior.

An amazing trend -- Arabs dancing to Hava Nagila.

“So now what do you say?” asks Waji.

“I call it hype is what I say. Everything is hype.”

Or is it just me? I see nothing but rage and hatred from the Muslim world. Am I talking to the wrong people? Reading the wrong newspapers? Speaking to the wrong campuses? Should I forget the beheadings, the chants of Death to America and Israel and what keeps happening to Pamela Geller when she tries to speak the truth?

“You’re impossible,” says his wife with the usual smile.

They arrived as infants during the PLO brutalities in Beirut and since coming to America -- life is good. Waji calls me his brother.

Waji and his family are practically Zionists. At least this: They believe the Arab wars against Israel have been a waste of time and blood. “Listen,” he says. “The change has come. My Arab customers, more and more they see what’s going on, ISIS, Iran, Obama, and they want Israel. They love Israel.”

Tough sell considering our leaders who parade us down the path of ruin as they beguile us with hype and fatten themselves with our misguided trust.

Bill Clinton makes $500,000 per speech and Hillary makes her own fortune by exchanging gifts and favors with Arab oil billionaires.

Mayweather raked in more than $180 million to exchange a few punches in the boxing ring. The unpopular champ spoke the truth about everything when he said it’s all about MONEY. He has also been known to hit and knockout women. This he reportedly does without gloves and for free.  

I explained this to Waji, how Mayweather knows us for what we are – suckers, a world of suckers, and I am not buying.

“We need you to accept change and to tell Israel to get ready for a new day,” says Waji.
But this I had to admit, getting back to his point, yes about the jitney driver in Atlantic City who drives around with an Israeli flag fastened to his windshield. That takes courage, I thought. I asked him if he gets any reaction. I expected the worst. “It’s all positive,” he said. “Thumbs up. Even the Arab passengers.”

“When will you write about that?” says Waji. “You know I’m reading you. So be careful.”

I used him (or a facsimile) to be Jay Garfield’s improbable Arab buddy in The BathshebaDeadline, a novel his wife half-jokingly calls the most scandalous book she has ever read, which is one reason she recommends it; the other reason is that her husband serves as a co-star in a book that takes pity on no one – especially the Arabs and most spectacularly the media. 

“You will have to re-write your hard-hitting unforgiving messages,” says Waji. “Even the book, starting with Jihad Watch.”

“Not a chance.” Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch stays in the book, as does Kahane’s Dear World, though Pamela Geller came too late. Next time, perhaps.

“We need you to accept change and to tell Israel to get ready for a new day,” says Waji.

I will, when that day comes.

Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. The new thriller from the New York-based novelist, The Bathsheba Deadline, a heroic editor’s singlehanded war on terror and against media bias. Engelhard wrote the int’l bestseller Indecent Proposal that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. Website: www.jackengelhard.com