Jewish Pho

February 27th, 2013 § 0 comments

HG and BSK have spent these last evenings watching PBS’ Vietnam: A Television History This balanced (but very moving) account of that dreadful, wasteful, almost endless horror made HG and BSK relive the turmoil of the 60’s and early 70’s when the couple marched and protested against the war. BSK recalled HG’s comment as they blocked (under the gaze of Secret Service agents and sneaky FBI photographers) New York’s Whitehall Street draft board headquarters: “After thousands of Americans and millions of Vietnamese are dead and billions and billions of dollars are wasted this is going to be the end result: We’ll get out. The North Vietnamese and the Vietcong will win. And, the United States will get a lot of good Vietnamese restaurants.” A very prescient HG. The recent wasteful (in lives and dollars) war adventures of our peace loving (???) country seems to have produced few benefits (outside of killing Bin Laden). Aside from everything else, where are the Iraqui mezze and Afghan barbecue restaurants that should be opening throughout our fine land?

HG was alerted (through Wikipedia, so maybe not historically impeccable. But, it makes a lovely story ) to a little known sidebar regarding Vietnam history. In 1946, David Ben-Gurion, one of the remarkable founders of Israel, and Ho Chi Minh, the indomitable leader of North Vietnam and fighter for the unification of that nation, were both staying in a Paris hotel. They liked and admired each other and became very close friends. Ho made a remarkable offer. He would turn over a portion of Vietnam as a Jewish homeland. Ben-Gurion thanked him for the offer but said he would drive the British out of Palestine and establish a Jewish state. HG has mused. What if Ho’s offer had been accepted? Would matzo balls now be floating in brimming bowls of tasty pho?

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