America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)




(a Play in One Act)

Cast of Characters

Barack “Barry” Hussein Obama. . . .President of the United States of America

Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu . . . .Prime Minister of the Jewish State of Israel.

Sol, a Waiter . . . .An older Jewish man, who probably looked this age at 23. 

John Kerry . . . .Secretary of State, USA, erudite man with roots in Provence, France and husband of ketchup heiress Theresa Heinz.

Three Secret Service Agents . . . .Archetypal – dark suits, short hair, bluetooths

Diners of all ages



The famous Katz’s delicatessen on NYC’s famous Lower East Side on a busy Sunday afternoon.

Act I

Prime Minister Netanyahu, seated at table in back. Sol, the Waiter, approaches.

WAITER:  Nu?  We’re busy today.  No time for schnorers – order already.

NETANYAHU:  I’m waiting for someone.

Netanyahu’s cell phone rings.

NETANYAHU:  (to waiter) Excuse me.  I hope it’s not one of those tweeters… Today, everyone’s Oscar Wilde.

He speaks into phone

NETANYAHU:  Hello?  You must be kidding.  What do you mean he can’t find a spot?   He’s the President of the United States… Fine.  But there are muni-meters all over the neighborhood.
He turns to waiter.
NETANYAHU:  My – uh- my “plus one” is running late.  I’ll take a Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray.  And a glass with ice.
WAITER:  Big shot.
Several Secret Service agents enter together.  One agent turns his head to talk into blue-tooth.
AGENT:  Copy.  We’re checking it out right now.  No one suspicious.  Very Jewwy.
Salamis hanging everywhere.  Looks better in the movies.
He approaches the Prime Minister.
AGENT:  The president will be here in a minute, Prime Minister.  And… (whispering to Netanyahu) He’s not in a good mood.  It’s the first Sunday he’s missed a golf game in – well – forever.
NETANYAHU:  We’ll sit shiva for him.
SSA:  This is just between us, Prime Minister –  it’s my job to protect him, so this is off the record.  (whispers)  I don’t think Obama’s a big fan of your people. I don’t like him but – what can I say?  It’s a job, with good benefits.  Well, except for that Obamacare…
NETANYAHU:  You don’t have to tell me how he feels about the Jews.  Did you see him in The Atlantic Monthly?  Wearing a yarmulke, looking pensive…
SSA:  (perplexed) What’s a yarmulke?  What does “pensive” mean?
NETANYAHU: (under his breath)  Putz…
Waiter retreats. President Barack Obama, flanked by security, enters.  Every diner turns, sees it’s Obama – turns back to his food.
Waiter approaches Obama.
WAITER:  Eating in?  Taking out?
OBAMA:  Really?  Do you know who I am?  Who’s the owner?   Whoever he is, tell him that just because he has a business, it doesn’t mean he built it.  In fact, he didn’t build it.   I did.  I’m sure of it…
WAITER:  You tell him.  I got a two extra-lean pastramis-on-rye and a couple from Great Neck looking to meet each other.
Obama heads toward Netanyahu’s table, then stops at table of family of four.
OBAMA: (to family) And if you like your pickles, you can keep them.  Period.
He reaches into Dad’s plate and takes his pickle.
OBAMA: (to Dad) Executive privilege.
Secret Serviceman brings him to Netanyahu’s table.  Netanyahu stands and extends his right hand.  Obama places hands in his pockets.
OBAMA: (to Netanyahu) You’re early, I see.
NETANYAHU:   If we were having lunch in Geneva, maybe. ..
OBAMA:  (whispers) You’re lucky I’m here at all.  I’ve heard the food is over-rated.  And extremely Jewwwy.  Is the “k” in “knish” silent?  Is it “kinn-ish” or “nish”?  And no kasha.  I don’t even know what it is, but it sounds nasty.
NETANYAHU:  You’d prefer a lamb kebob, instead?  Perhaps we should take our meal, not at a table and chairs, but on cushions on the floor?  What are we missing here – caviar?  Pistachio nuts? An Islamic Republic flag?
OBAMA:  I’d ask what your problem with the Iranians is, but I don’t have all day.
NETANYAHU:  One?  I get to choose just one problem?  Hmmm – let me think… How about that little man, Ahmadinejad?  His denial of the Holocaust.  His calling Israel a “cancerous tumor”?  Those awful white jackets he always wears --  looks like a busboy in the Catskills…
OBAMA:  And he’s very short. (He tries to sit taller in his chair.  Bibi one-ups him.) So is Jon Stewart, but I pretend to not notice.
Waiter approaches.
OBAMA: (to waiter)  What do you recommend, my good man?
WAITER:  That you resign and move back to Hawaii? (to Netanyahu)  He asked.
NETANYAHU: (to waiter)   We’ll have two corned beefs on rye – lean.  French-fries,  Cole slaw, pickles, couple of Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry.
OBAMA:  Dr. Brown.  Black Cherry.  Very progressive, Bibi.  But not inclusive enough – no more aid for Israel.
NETANYAHU:   You’re not really going to go through with this Iranian nuclear deal? 
OBAMA:  Why don’t you trust them, Bibi?   Because they want to wipe you off the face of the earth?  Come on.  You’re bigger than that… 
NETANYAHU:   Iran’s less than 2,000 kilometers from Israel so with all due respect – or with the little amount of respect the diplomatic community forces me to exhibit – it’s a problem for me and for the people of my country.
OBAMA:  For your country, or for the lands you appropriated and now mistake for your country?
NETANYAHU:  Oh, Barry – I don’t think you want to go there.  How about the land you Americans – and see, I’m including you when I say Americans – took from the Native Americans?  I don’t see you giving Oklahoma back to the Apaches…
OBAMA:  Well, just let me say this about that.  I could do that.  I have executive privilege and I have Boehner and McConnell eating out of my hand.  Pelosi – just have to let her use a government jet to take her family to Italy again.  Think she gets Botox?  Me too – her forehead never moves…  Deal!  I’ll have HUD move some of our indigenous folk into New Mexico!
Waiter approaches with tray of food and practically slams their lunches on table.
NETANYAHU:  (to Obama) And that’s if I agreed that we “appropriated” any land.  And I don’t.  I hope they forgot to trim the fat off your corned beef.
OBAMA:  Vetoed!  And, while I’m at it, I’m vetoing your kosher wine.  And you say I do nothing for the Jews…
NETANYAHU:  The American people have had it with you, Barack.  Except for George Soros, Harvey Weinstein and those poor, misguided Emmanuel brothers, you lost the Jewish vote. 
OBAMA:  Last term!  Tried to sign an executive order to name me Chief Potentate and Emperor of America.  Couldn’t get Congress on board, but it’s all a big game of “Chicken.”   And, as you know, I don’t budge.
Obama opens sandwich and holds out to Bibi.
OBAMA: Look at all this fat.  Like those chubby school kids Michelle hates. She hates fat people.   Sure --  she was hospitable to Mo’nique when she came to a state dinner, but after she left, Michelle was all about the “Yo momma’s so fat …” jokes.
He looks at Netanyahu, who takes a big bite of his sandwich and smiles.  Obama does likewise, trepidatiously at first, and then with vigor.
NETANYAHU:  You see?  Nothing like good Jewish deli.
John Kerry enters.  He wears an expensive suit.  Suit pockets are bulging.  He walks to table and pulls scores of Heinz Ketchup packets from every pocket.  Kerry sits.  The waiter is behind him.
KERRY:  (to Obama) The sanctions have been lifted, the Iranians get to keep over 5,000 nuclear centrifuges spinning, they’re only a couple of months, at the most, from building nuclear weapons after our deal expires, and now that the embargo’s been lifted, they have access to the world’s most advanced weapons.  How’d I do, boss?
OBAMA:   Well, compared to Hillary – let’s put it like this -- you’re like a comic whose warm-up act is Carrot Top.  We’re all proud of you, John.
WAITER: (to Kerry) You ordering or what?  And, (he sweeps all ketchup packets off the table) …see that sign? 
Waiter points to “No Outside Food” sign on wall.
OBAMA: (to waiter)  Do you know who he is?
WAITER:  Think so –  the one who got the Purple Heart for a splinter back in Viet Nam, right?
KERRY: (to Obama)  Those four hostages Iran’s holding – no problemo.  They’re gonna keep them.
NETANYAHU:  They like to do that, those Iranians. It’s on their resume under, “Special Skills – Hostage-Taking.”
OBAMA:   So?  They get to keep our hostages.  In 1979, they held 52 Americans hostage.  We’re down to four – I’d call that a win-win!
NETANYAHU:  (to himself)  Not one, but two mishuganah kups
KERRY:  Mr. President – he’s doing it again – talking in that Jewish Pig Latin.  Make him stop!  (to Netanyahu)   You’re in America, Hymie – speak English.
NETANYAHU:  (to Kerry) Nice deal you made with Iran.  I’m surprised you didn’t throw in Disney World, Mount Rushmore and a 401(k) plan for the entire population.
OBAMA: Mount Rushmore – what’s that – a big rock carving of four white oppressors?  Iran can have them. But Mohammed won’t come to the mountain so…
NETANYAHU:  I am sitting here trying to play nice to a couple of Jew-haters who, by the way, have done nothing to hide their anti-Semitism…
OBAMA:  (to Bibi)  Me?  Anti-Semitic?  Did you not see me in a yameki in the Atlantic Monthly? (to Kerry)  It’s like a beanie, a Taqiya…
KERRY:  A Kufi? 
He pulls a chair over and joins them.  The waiter approaches.
KERRY:  What have you got that goes well with ketchup?
WAITER: Hotdog?
WAITER:  Roast beef?
WAITER:  Burger.
KERRY:  No.  Fois gras?
KERRY:  Boeuf Bourguignon?
WAITER:  What?
KERRY:  Cassoulet?
Waiter walks away.
OBAMA:  (to Kerry)  Well, that was rude.
NETANYAHU:  Rude?  Him?  I don’t think you understand the definition of rude.  Rude is when someone is your guest at the White House, and you leave him sitting like a pumpkin for hours, by yourself,  while he goes off to have non-kosher dinner with his wife and children. Daughters.  Two daughters. Sound familiar?
Obama thinks for a second, then shakes his head.
NETANYAHU:   How about when the president tries to undermine your re-election and, despite his attempts to help the opposition, you win anyway, and – no “congratulations call.”  Really?  Really, Barry?
OBAMA:  What if the president used all of his data and minutes for the month? Could happen.
NETANYAHU:   You know, in 10 years, your Iranian “friends” will have the green light to build a nuclear bomb. You think they’ll pass on that? It’s like giving Walter White methylamine, and expecting him to pour it down a drain.
OBAMA: More White privilege.  You just don’t get it, Bibi, do you?
NETANYAHU:  (to himself)  Momzers.
Netanyahu motions to the waiter for check. Waiter places it on table.
KERRY:  (to Obama and Netanyahu) You gentlemen can work it out. I didn’t eat anything.
OBAMA:  I’m not allowed to carry money.  I’m the President.
NETANYAHU:  (to both) I implore you -- re-think this Iran deal.
OBAMA: Nope. It’ll work out fine, Bibi.   And if Congress tries to veto this, well, I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone. 
WAITER:  (to Netanyahu)  They’ve got a bomb and they’ve got an Ayatollah. They win.
NETANYAHU: (to Obama) There’s nothing I can do to make you change your mind?
OBAMA:  (he ponders for a moment) Lifetime free golf privileges at the Caesarea Golf Course?  Wait  -- they don’t restrict Jews there.   Forget it.  Maybe there’s an awesome course in Gaza or the West Bank.  But you wouldn’t know because it’s not yours anymore.
NETANYAHU:  (stands, throws some bills on table) You’ll never get Jerusalem.  You’ve got a year left and will go down in American history as the worst president ever.
OBAMA:  Not if it’s written by guilty white liberals.  I wonder if there’s a fourth Emmanuel brother… And if that doesn’t work, I’ve got a pen and a phone.
NETANYAHU: (muttering to himself)  A pen and a phone, pen and a phone, pen and a…
Waiter picks up check and the money Netanyahu has taken out of his wallet.
OBAMA: (to waiter)  Say, good man – do you think I could get a few pounds of that Jewish corned beef to take back to Michelle and the girls?  I must admit, it was delicious.
Waiter glances at Bibi and Bibi nods.
WAITER:  Um – that wasn’t corned beef you ate. 
OBAMA:  Okay.  Jew Pastrami. What’s the difference?
WAITER looks meaningfully to Netanyahu, who nods again.
WAITER:  (to Obama)  It was Carolina Pulled Pork – ordered especially for you from the BBQ place across the street.
Obama looks panicked for a second, then smiles.
OBAMA:  Oh, I get it.  Mock-pork.  You Jews are so great at taking non-kosher food and coming up with some dummied recipe that emulates the flavor yet doesn’t break any of your silly dietary laws…
NETANYAHU shakes his head.  Obama grabs his own throat.
OBAMA:  Pork?  You tricked me into eating pork???  You could not have possibly… Quick!  Get the Syrup of Ipecac!
KERRY:  I’ve got ketchup.
OBAMA:  You’re an idiot.
KERRY:  (to Obama) Why can’t you eat pork? You’re not kosher… (long pause)  Ohh….
OBAMA:  (longer pause)   Um…well…. I know!  Michelle says you can die from undercooked pork –  Trichna…Frickanos… …something “osis.”
KERRY:  I think you mean ISIS, sir.
OBAMA:  I think you mean that I mean ISIL, you moron.
NETANYAHU:  Trichinosis.  Don’t worry. It was fully cooked.
OBAMA:  It doesn’t matter!  It doesn’t matter because…because I’m a vegan!
SECRET SERVICE AGENT :  Uh – no, Mr. President.  Remember that burger run you sent us on last month?
OBAMA: (in futile attempt to cough up meat he ate minutes ago)  Do something! 
SSA:  Don’t worry, Your Majesty… (to Netanyahu)  He makes us call him that sometimes… (to Obama) I’ve been eating pork my whole life and I’m still here.
OBAMA: Michelle is going to kill me.  She warned me to stay away from you, NetanyahJew…
Obama grabs one glass of water after another and guzzles.
SSA:  (to Obama) Pork’s great!  It’s the other white meat.  There’s pork chops and pork loin.  Pork sausage and moo-shu pork.  Braised pork and pork ribs.  Chirizo and bacon and Canadian Bacon and…
KERRY: (laughing dumbly) Hehe – he’s like that guy in Forrest Gump. Instead of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co,  we could have the Obubba Gump Pork Co.!
OBAMA:  (to Kerry) You’re fired.
KERRY:  No, no… That doesn’t sound right coming out of your mouth. (He pauses)  Of course!  That’s what the next president says.  “You’re fired!” And then the celebrity takes the Trump elevator down and gets into a taxi…
NETANYAHU grabs Kerry and gives him a big hug.
NETANYAHU:  (to Kerry)   Even a broken clock is right twice a day,  even a shmegege like you, Kerry.
He heads to the door, then turns back to Obama, who is now sticking his finger down his throat in effort to throw up the pork.  Netanyahu smiles and exits.  Kerry starts to attempt the Heimlich Maneuver. 
OBAMA: (pushing Kerry off of him – to Kerry)  Idiot!

Mollie Fermaglich is a satirical essayist who has written for Glamour, New York Times, London Times, Mademoiselle, Village Voice, King Features Syndicate and several other magazines and newspapers.  She is the author of Mollie's Rules for the Socially Inept, and two blogs, and her political satire column for The Times of Israel.