Saturday, January 29, 2011

Middle East Primer for Third Graders

Directions: Read this story about Izzy and Ishy. At the end see if you can answer the questions and help Izzy and Ishy decide what they should do.

Part I. Izzy

A long time ago, a man named Izzy was evicted from his house for no good reason. Izzy struggled mightily, but was forced out nevertheless.

Izzy moved down the road into another house. His new neighbors, however, also gave him a hard time and also forced him out. Izzy packed up and moved into yet another home. There, he worked hard, minded his own business, and figured that if he kept quiet all would be well. Izzy was wrong. Every so often, for what appeared to be sport, Izzy's neighbors took to beating up on Izzy and his family.

Izzy kept moving on. He wandered from place to place, but always, after he’d lived in a house for some time, he would get pestered, abused, and eventually he’d have to leave.

Finally, a madman tried to systematically destroy all members of Izzy's family and almost was successful. Izzy survived but made a decision,

"Enough is enough. I'm going to get my old house back."

So, Izzy complained to the powers that be. They listened to his case, considered the recent efforts of the madman to destroy Izzy's clan, and decided to give Izzy his old house back providing that he shared the space with the people who had moved in during the interim.

Izzy said "fine", returned to his former home, but wasn't in the place for one day before his neighbors attacked him. Izzy had been moving around too long and been kicked around too often to give in easily. Izzy mustered all his strength and survived despite severe odds. The battlefield victory allowed him to stay in his old house.

Nevertheless, periodically to this day he still has to beat off his neighbors who still are furious that Izzy was allowed to move into their property without their consent. Izzy has managed to fight off the neighbors every time, but the battles are taking their toll.

Despite the frequent warfare, Izzy has done a very nice job of redecorating his old house. The place needed some repairs and Izzy was willing and able to do the repair work. He has made the house look very attractive.

Part II Ishy

After Izzy was first forced out of the original home--the house he eventually returned to--a man named Ishy moved his family into Izzy's old house. Ishy barely knew Izzy. He wasn't taking Izzy's house away. The house was available, so Ishy moved in.

Ishy had been living in the house for a long time when a man came to his door and told him that Izzy wanted his house back.

"Who's Izzy?" said Ishy.

"Izzy," Ishy was told, "used to live here a while back."


"So, he's been kicked to hell and back, and now he wants his old place again."

"Yo. It's not my fault he's been kicked to hell and back."

"Well. He's moving back in anyway. Now look you can have the first two floors, Izzy is moving into the other floors…”

"Who are you to tell me to share my house with this Izzy guy, that I don't even know? This is my house, buddy. And Izzy or Dizzy, isn't moving in."

"That's where you're wrong Ishy. We took a vote and decided that Izzy gets two floors. He's had some tough times. People are always taking out their troubles on him and his people. Guy's gotta be safe."

"Let him move into your place, buddy. This is my place. Why does he have to move in here?"

"This is where he used to live. That's why he wants to move back in. Word is that if you go way back you two are brothers. Anyway, he wants to move back in. And he's entitled.

"He's entitled?!!!!! He's entitled?!!!!! What about me? I'm entitled too.”

"Look. You're just gonna have to share. Now get ready. He's moving in on Wednesday."

"Over my dead body…"

Part III Izzy and Ishy

Ishy proved to be correct, but his wasn't the only dead body. When Izzy moved in, Ishy got all his friends together and attacked Izzy. Somehow, as we've seen previously, Izzy survived.

Ishy became furious. Not only was he furious because Izzy had moved back in, but he felt terrible that he had lost the fight to Izzy.

Izzy was furious too. He finally had gotten his home back, and despite that apparent victory, every so often he had to fight this Ishy character who refused to live alongside Izzy in peace. Ishy will not even acknowledge that Izzy lives in the building.

Ishy, Izzy feels, is an ungrateful pain. Not only has Izzy cleaned the place up so that it now is very snazzy looking for everybody Ishy included but regardless Ishy continues to attack Izzy.

Izzy, Ishy feels, is a trespasser. Not only has Izzy come into Ishy's house, but Izzy's running the show, telling Ishy what he can and can't do, in what he, Ishy, feels is Ishy's own home.

Ishy decides, enough is enough. As long as Izzy stays here we're gonna play hardball.

Izzy decides, enough is enough. If Ishy is going to give me a hard time, I'm gonna play hardball.

Questions for Third Graders

Which of the following are appropriate things to do to solve the problem?

(1) Ishy should declare that he is determined to destroy Izzy and periodically behave like a barbarian claiming justification.

(2) Izzy should reduce Ishy to a second class citizen; make him feel like a conquered loser; and periodically behave like a barbarian claiming justification.

(3) Ishy should spend time listing the reasons why Izzy is a jerk and the instances when Izzy has behaved badly. Ishy should ridicule anyone who says anything good about Izzy.

(4) Izzy should spend time listing the reasons why Ishy is a jerk and the instances when Ishy has acted badly. Izzy should ridicule anyone who says anything good about Ishy.

(5) Izzy should have his tough Uncle Sam help him fight off Ishy.

(6) Ishy should have his strong oil rich buddies help him fight off Izzy.

(7) Izzy should recognize that Ishy has a beef and declare that openly. Izzy's Uncle Sam should do the same. That might be a start.

(8) Ishy should recognize that Izzy has a beef and declare that openly. Ishy's oil rich buddies should do the same. That might be a start.

(9) Ishy and Izzy should declare that the issue is complex and continue to destroy each other.

You have two minutes to answer the question.

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