The United Nations took a special interest in the high unemployment rate of Palestinians, which has led to feelings of despair and hopelessness, leaving many to resort to violence against Israelis. As such, the UN held a meeting in October 2015 in Vienna to listen to various leaders of the Palestinian community describe their occupations to see if the global community could help advance their livelihoods.
Here are some of the presenters:
Pest Control: The UN was impressed with the first presenter, the owner of a pest control company. According to the businessman, there was a large infestation in the region that guaranteed a significant amount of work for many unemployed people.
Stone Masons: A cleric from the West Bank described the incredible blessings of the holy land to be filled with stones of many sizes. He described the various types of rocks in the region and how they could be used in different situations. Qatar pledged $100 million for a new quarry on the spot.
Casinos: The casino in Jericho was reported to be doing very well. The owner described “making a killing” in various games of chance. He was happy to report that the gaming industry was actively hiring more people.
Butchers: While the amount of available meat for food consumption declined since Hamas took over Gaza, butchers continued to hone their skills. A cleric showed off tools of the trade and urged others to get involved.
Ranchers: As described above, the meat business has not been great, but Palestinian leadership was confident in their ability to corral enough when the market improved.
Outdoor Activities: Gaza developed a range of sporting centers with special backpacks, belts and other gadgetry for time outside. While repelling has been around for a few years, preachers were just starting to advocate the activity.
Indoor Activities: The owner of one of the few Middle Eastern bowling alleys discussed “spares and strikes” and hoped to educate the community about fun “date-night” activities.
Teachers: The Palestinian schools always need new teachers with new methods to teach the young. A teacher presented an innovative method of teaching religion and history via a game of hide-and-seek with the children.
Cheerleaders and Sports: The UN was impressed with the progressive nature of the Palestinian schools that had a very large percentage of male cheerleaders.
Doctors: The healthcare industry was still in shambles, particularly in Gaza. However, the United Nations was heartened to listen to Palestinian doctors promoting their profession to the young.
Vets and Zoo: The UN heard Palestinian requests to refurbish their zoos and teach veterinary medicine. Apes and pigs were the primary attractions.
Arms Dealer: Well, it is the Middle East. The UN blessed Iran’s nuclear weapons program, so Palestinians thought they would have an easy time advancing an arms dealership in the region. Turkey pledged to send a boat right away.
Journalism: Palestinians have taken to social media like African bees to a sweaty field worker. The United Nations promised to not only promote their posts, but to pay Palestinians for the news stories as well.
Vocational Schools: This was a hot topic in Vienna. By teaching older adults new skills, more people would be able to earn livelihoods. The graduates of Palestinian Charm Schools have a reputation of being so endearing, that they get speaking engagements paying handsome sums, even when they have little to say. The University of California school system has speakers booked through May.
Retail: Clothing was historically a tough business in the territories, as large family sizes ensured a good supply of hand-me-downs. This year, the UN promoted celebrating Halloween and paid for advertisements selling ghost and other costumes to stimulate the economy.
Shape-shifters: This occupation stumped the members of the UN commission. They had heard of Jews controlling animals and sharks with their minds, but they were unsure about the nature of changing physical form. The panel agreed to meet again later to learn more about the phenomenon and how it could be used to help the Palestinian cause.
Shoe Repair: The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority spoke about the basic needs of shoe repair and foot hygiene. His display of humility left the committee speechless. One member of the committee from Ecuador commented that Abbas reminded him of the new pope.
The United Nations concluded the day-long session with a statement of support from Fodé Seck (Senegal), the Committee Chairperson. The US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power remarked that the session showed a way forward for the Palestinian economy. “As Obama says,” remarked Power, “once economic and political despair is overcome, peace will prevail.“
In Middle East parlance, it is called putting the cart before the rocket launcher, a tried-and-true method of controlling the population.