Reports have emerged that the ongoing and historic conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours has been quickly resolved by a simple group hug. After reaching a seemingly irreconcilable breakdown in talks, Middle East envoy Tony Blair took a gamble and made the bold suggestion. Once Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas indicated he’d give it a go, Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, quickly followed suit and leaders from Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon all tentatively agreed.
The hug itself was initially an awkward affair with nobody sure how to start. Blair apparently just gave Abbas a toothy grin and a big cuddle and the rest nervously joined in. As centuries of bloodshed, conflict and tension evaporated into the air the men appeared visibly moved by the experience. Afterwards all meditated as scented lavender candles and recorded whale song drifted through the air. Then the various participants sat crossed-legged in a symbolic circle and shouted compliments and declarations of love at one another.
The innovative new age approach was apparently the suggestion of Tony Blair’s son Leo who’d heard about group hugging at school and had personally witnessed the technique being used in his kitchen between his father, Uncle Peter and Uncle Gordon.
Later a relaxed Abbas said ‘It’s all so silly really when you think about it. It’s only religion, history and land; what’s to fall out about? Olmert agreed saying ‘We really should be working together for a better world, addressing global problems like poverty, climate change and the crisis in Darfur. Anyway, it’s only a matter of time before most of the world is at war with China so a bit of unity amongst the rest of us sort of felt appropriate.’