JERUSALEM, April 2, 2029 -- The State of Israel shocked the world today when it revealed that its entire population has been resettled on the surface of Mars.
Israeli leaders called the massive and secret undertaking Shniyah Shemot, or "The Second Exodus", a reference to the departure of the Jews from slavery in ancient Egypt. The undertaking was timed to coincide with the Passover celebration on Earth that begins at sunset tonight, April 2.
The revelation stunned the world's political leadership and upended the equilibrium of international relations. The United Nations Security Council floated an emergency resolution to condemn Israel's departure from Earth as "an interstellar act of aggression" designed to "steal the future from the Palestinian People." The US and Germany vetoed the measure.
In a statement beamed to Earth, Israeli Prime Minister Danny Damrosch said: "Mars is a hostile and deadly environment, but we haven't found any Martians who want to kill us because we practice a different religion—so that’s a real bonus for us.”
The Israeli settlement is located at Arsia Mons, the site of an extinct volcano. The Israelis renamed the Martian surface "Zion". The landing site is being called New Jerusalem, which created an outpouring of anger across the Middle East, Eastern and Western Europe and among the far left in the United States.
"Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinian people, here, on Mars -- everywhere," said Abbas Haniyeh, the leader of PIH, the Hamas & ISIS Party in Palestine. "The Zionists steal our lands on Earth and then steal our lands on other planets, but we will fight them wherever they go. We will crush them with asteroids!"
Palestine achieved statehood in August 2021 and immediately launched a military invasion of Israel, backed by Iran, the Islamic Republic of France, and Russia. The invasion required the intervention of 22,000 Indian and Canadian troops to restore peace.
European, African and South American Jews joined the Martian adventure, leaving only American and Canadian Jewish populations behind. Sources said North American Jewish organizations felt angry and betrayed at being misled about the mission.
“We should have been consulted,” said Wurman Finkelstein, director of the American Jewish Committee. “I’m not saying this is a parent-child relationship, but we’ve always known what’s best for Israel.”
Right-leaning American Jews were said to be overjoyed with the operation. "Next year on Mars!" tweeted one prominent Republican Jewish CEO.
Arab and Muslim leaders seethed in anger at the sudden disappearance of their long-standing enemy. "We didn't become a state to live alongside the Jews. We became a state so we could push them all into the sea," Walid Jafar, the acting Prime Minister of Palestine, told Reuters. "They deprived the Muslim world of a happy ending."
However, many moderate Muslim clerics and Arab intellectuals sent good wishes to the Israeli settlers and denounced the stream of angry rhetoric. "May Allah grant good luck, prosperity and abundant water to our Jewish cousins," said Sheikh Ahmad al-Adwan of Jordan. "Who doesn't want to live somewhere with peace and quiet?"
Anti-Israel organizations seemed unprepared to accept the new reality. Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Britain's Labour Party and the University of California BDS movement condemned the exodus as "a continuation of the apartheid oppression.”
The group issued a statement that deplored the "intolerable second-planet status" of the Palestinian people and called for immediate missions to Mars to "reclaim newly occupied Palestinian territories," including "East New Jerusalem" and the "West Bank of Zion."
The leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guard announced that without Israeli or European Jews to physically attack, the state's proxy terror groups, such as Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, would now harass and attack Christians with Jewish-sounding surnames, people who eat in kosher delis and anyone who listens to Barbra Streisand.
The United Nations was thrown into institutional chaos. A Wall Street Journal review of UN activity dating to 2008 showed that 43 percent of all resolutions debated within the body were dedicated to denouncing or penalizing Israel. "Without Israel, the UN will have no one left to blame for anything," said a source at the US State Department. "The entire body will literally have no day-to-day agenda."
A source in Saudi intelligence said that about 100 non-aligned countries in the UN were frantically studying small, politically weak nations like Costa Rica, Andorra and Lichtenstein that could act as replacement global scapegoats.
America’s evangelical Christians, among Israel's most steadfast supporters, were devastated by the news. Thousands of churchgoers across the Midwest and South wept openly in their congregations Sunday morning.
Many evangelicals believe that "The Rapture" -- the appearance of the Messiah and the end of days -- will be instigated by a war between Israel and its enemies. That possibility now looks increasingly unlikely, said top Christian theologians.
"This is another annoying setback for the whole Rapture-industrial complex," said a left-leaning Baptist minister.
Bruce Stockler is a humorist and works in corporate communications in the advertising industry. He lives in the suburbs of New York City.