Board Certifies Franken's Win; Hamas And Israel Announce Ceasefire
The Minnesota State Canvassing Board today officially certified Al Franken's win over Norm Coleman for the state's Senate seat. Almost immediately after the news broke, leaders from Hamas and Israel issued a joint statement announcing their mutual ceasefire, stating that "the issue we have been long battling over has finally been resolved".
Although some experts believed that Israel and Hamas' conflict had strong roots in deep-seated territorial tensions lasting for decades, it now appears that they were actually fighting over who would win the Minnesota Senate seat.
"We are pleased that Mr. Franken has been awarded the victory," said Ehud Olmert, Israel's Prime Minister. "We look forward to a ceasefire with our brothers in Hamas, and a successful tenure in the Senate for Mr. Franken. He will bring some real change to Minnesota."
"We must express disappointment that Mr. Coleman did not win, but even so, we too are happy to put this matter to rest," agreed Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas' military wing. He added that Coleman is welcome to use the phrase "endorsed by Hamas" in any future political advertisements, but the Coleman camp has yet to publicly respond to the offer.
Dr. Tim Johnson, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania, says that the ceasefire is not surprising to him.
"There's definitely a tendency to blame every Middle Eastern conflict on territory or religious disputes, but that's actually a little racist, if you ask me," he said. "If you carefully examine the underlying factors, it becomes evident that over 80% of Middle Eastern warfare is waged due to events happening in Minnesota."
Israel chose to align themselves with Franken -- who is Jewish -- early on, says Johnson, for "obvious reasons".
"It doesn't take a genius to connect the dots," he said. "Israel was obviously very taken with Franken's earlier work on Saturday Night Live, particularly his character 'Stuart Smalley', who Ehud Olmert says he identifies with."
Hamas, on the other hand, backed Coleman's campaign, and when the election results were too close to call, conflict erupted. Johnson explains that the skirmish was not because the two camps supported different candidates, but rather that they "just got sick of waiting for the results".
"It's not uncommon for people to fight when they're bored and just want something to be over. I myself have been known to start punching my wife when we're waiting for my son's school plays to finally be done with," he said.
Coleman has stated that he intends to challenge the results of the election, a move that many call irresponsible, given the possibility of casting the Minnesota Senate seat in uncertainty when Congress reconvenes.
"I'm just saying that Coleman's challenge could affect LakeFest '09 [Minnesota's annual celebration of lakes]," said one concerned resident. "Oh, and I guess it could start another war in the Middle East again, but they don't even have lakes over there, do they?"