This is a personal letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Dear Prime Minister:
My name is Jim Schutze. I am a columnist for the Dallas Observer. I write about local things here. My politics are sort of all over the place, but I have always considered myself a great friend of Israel, and I like to think Israel would be a friend of me, if Israel knew me.
I did know already that you and Mitt Romney were personal friends from way back. I read a piece in The New York Times several months ago about how you have known each other for years and share a lot of views and talk all the time.
The story quoted Romney as saying, "We can almost speak in shorthand. We share common experiences and have a perspective and underpinning which is similar."
It quoted you as saying, through an aide, "So despite our very different backgrounds, my sense is that we employ similar methods in analyzing problems and coming up with solutions for them."
Until a few days ago, however, I did not anticipate you might even be willing to jump in and actually help us Americans choose our next president. I did definitely see that whole "speaking in shorthand" thing in the last few days when you said your piece about "those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran," and then Romney came back right after yesterday's attack in Libya calling the Obama administration's response "akin to apology."
Sir, if you would just hold on for one second and bear with me, I am getting to my point right now.
There is a lot of speculation going on over here right now about how you may view our presidential election as your "window of opportunity" to win some important concessions for Israel and how you may even be planning an "October surprise." Maybe that's all nonsense, but on the chance it could be true, I would never forgive myself if I failed to at least make an effort to get in on it.
If this election season is truly your window of opportunity and if you are going for some important concessions in return for your support for Romney, is there any small chance you would be willing to toss in a couple of local things here in Dallas? I know how busy you must be, and I think it would be rude of me to take your time with a lot of details. We have a road project here called "The Trinity River toll road" that is truly a bad idea. It's dangerous. It's stupid. It would be ugly. I can't tell you how terrible an idea it is.
You could tip the balance here in the direction of prudence and ... well, really, just justice for all ... if you would toss in the tiniest little reference to it next time you're making a campaign speech for Romney. All you would have to say is, "... and I also think the Trinity River toll road in Dallas is a bad idea."
Mr. Prime Minister, you have so many fans here in Dallas. People have enormous respect for you. It could make all the difference.
Now I risk going too far. I know that. But here's the thing. If you were already directing your attention to Dallas anyway -- and I can assure you that you would have rapt attention here -- it really wouldn't add that much of a demand on your time if you would just barely mention one other somewhat smaller matter.
We have an outfit here in Dallas called "the Dallas Arboretum" that a lot of people absolutely love. They're fine people. But, like all people, sometimes they sort of go off their nut, if you know what I mean.
So recently they proposed building a big parking lot right on top of a lovely green meadow called "Winfrey Point" next to a lake where a lot of people I know like to walk their dogs and have picnics. If you could toss in a simple phrase, it would help us so much here in resolving this additional difficult issue.
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Here it is: "And also, don't pave Winfrey Point."
One last thing, and I want you to just scratch this right off the list if you think it's too much. I would die of embarrassment if I were to come across as trying to taking advantage.
I'm not going to bore you one bit with all of the petty background. But maybe as you were leaving the podium, you could sort of mumble something like, "When a man has already agreed to install new under-cabinet lighting in his wife's kitchen, and when all of that lighting is already in place and set up to operate on one switch, it seems to me it goes too far to ask that man to go back in and install a separate switch for the part of the lighting that's right over the oven." If that's too much, absolutely forget it. I just tossed it in there in case.
In any event I want to sincerely thank you again for your willingness to use the power and prestige of your office to help us make up our minds here in America. Even if you can only do one part of this, it will be hugely appreciated, I assure you. The toll road thing is the important one.