UNITED STATES—As the British occupation creaked toward its end, the future of a possible Jewish state had been turned over to the United Nations, still hope of the new and free world existed. A vote of the General Assembly would decide the matter, years, decades, eons in the making and the aching. The resolution to divide Palestine into two—one nation Jew and one nation Arab—needed a two-thirds majority to pass. A season of political jockeying would commence the minute that crucial vote was scheduled. Sam Delaney could see it coming.

The one of the bake-lite phones in his portico study would be ringing.

“You must have a lot on your mind these days,” said Rebecca, in her brightest tone. This disingenuousness of tone masked her provocateur purpose, that she knew Sam was about to be induced to enter a major new adventure. On a global scale beyond anything he had done before. She knew he had a lot on his mind, also Sam had some of his old swagger back as he faced these issues and others faced him, hoping for a genuine resolution.

October of 1947 he was approached by Weisshaus.

“The situation, Mr. Delaney, excuse me Sam, I know you like to be called Sam. Your eminence is such that your help is very much required at this critical stage. Believe me, it’s urgent. Time is of the essence.”

The first tallies showed the vote was lining up among Allied lines, the European states, members of the Western Alliance as well as the Soviets and their satellites, each with its own place in history in mind, would vote for the creation of this new Jewish state. The Muslim countries would oppose. It was split right down the middle. This left the matter to be decided by countries that seemed to have no direct interest at stake.

Several of them, it just so happened, were located in the slender waist of Bananaland. The Zionist leadership had neglected the region, deliberately so, blindly trusting that Central American support might be achieved through the offices of AFCO’s president and largest shareholder, Samuel F. Delaney. They were counting on his support.

The man did know how to deliver. The presence of lots of Arab population livened things.

They had migrated here in the early years of the century to Latin America to make their fortune and a number of them had struck it rich, to give their ethnicity both luster of success and cachet.

There were two votes for partitions. This is how close it was. The first vote occurred near Thanksgiving, 1947. There was goodwill in the air. Things looked good for Resolution 181, but the first vote resulted in a tie. The nays and abstentions left Resolution 181 an eyelash from being approved.

“Can you believe that!” Chaim Wiesshaus said when he phoned Sam for help. The second vote was scheduled for three days later.

“That’s good,” said Sam. “We don’t have much time…”

Weissman braced himself for the worst, despite his bond to Mr. Delaney.

“Can you help us?” Weisshaus reiterated.

“We don’t have much time. That makes it easier,” Sam said. Sam answered as he invariably did all the sundry calls for help, running the gamut from outrageous to realistic:

“I’ll do what I can.”

It was during these key days that Sam rolled up his sleeves. He phoned all the important leaders in business and politics in Bananaland. He was tired. Sam still got up early in the morning like when he went to the dock in New Orleans to buy the black-spotted ripes, now he’d look out in the morning and see the sun emerging, “I am almost as old as you,” said Sam. “You never complain, you never whine. You get up every morning as it should be, without complaint or luxury. You are my hero.” He made operator-assisted long-distance international phone calls.

“I might have to reduce my acreage in Honduras,” he threatened one. Another country, he got through the unctuous secretary with all the flowery language and was shocked to find that the elected president, really hadn’t thought through the Israel vote issue.

Here Sam was selling again, reading people and selling them.

“I’ll tell you the truth, Don Enrique,” he said to the Ecuadorian president, “There’s no reason for you to know this detail about me, but did you know that the person to whom you are speaking is Jewish. I don’t advertise it, what I do assure you is that your support for Resolution 181 will be appreciated and remembered.”

He pulled out all the stops. “Have my agents paid you a visit yet, Don Enrique?”

He was using all he had gleaned in business and life, to do something significant. It would be in secret of course.

“How do you intend to vote on partition?” that was question number one. Question number two, “Can your vote be changed?”

Weisshaus in New York got a phone call from Sam, after he finished his survey.

“Chaim,” he announced, “I want to tell you that every vote from Ecuador to Mexico is for sale.”

“I see, Mr. Delaney.”

“Call me Sam,” he said. Weisshaus was obviously flustered by an intense mingling of joy from the bluntness of it all. The corruption –all too human path– that it was taking to establish a state for G*d’s chosen. Sam wasn’t going to apologize. This was how it was done, and if anyone knew how it was done, it was Sam…

To be continued…

Grady is the Wizard of Fiction.

Previous article“The Oval” Recap: ‘Gone In A Second’
Next article“Thanksgiving” Is A Bloody, Horror Mess
Hollywood humorist Grady grew up in the heart of Steinbeck Country on the Central California coast. More Bombeck than Steinbeck, Grady Miller has been compared to T.C. Boyle, Joel Stein, and Voltaire. He briefly attended Columbia University in New York and came to Los Angeles to study filmmaking, but discovered literature instead, in T.C. Boyle’s fiction writing workshop at USC. In addition to A Very Grady Christmas, he has written the humorous diet book, Lighten Up Now: The Grady Diet and the popular humor collection, Late Bloomer (both on Amazon) and its follow-up, Later Bloomer: Tales from Darkest Hollywood. (https://amzn.to/3bGBLB8) His humor column, Miller Time, appears weekly in The Canyon News (www.canyon-news.com)