Lieberman's Law

Lieberman's Law by Stuart M. Kaminsky

Book: Lieberman's Law by Stuart M. Kaminsky Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stuart M. Kaminsky
the police.
    The short-order cook, Terrill, wearing a white apron, took Lieberman’s order for a lean corned beef with hot mustard and a cup of coffee. Neither was good for his stomach, but there were things on the menu much worse.
    â€œThose two old men are staring at me,” said Said calmly, hands folded on the table top.
    â€œAlter Cockers,” said Lieberman, “Part of the furniture. Probably haven’t heard yet about what happened or just don’t have transportation to get to the temple. You want a salad?”
    â€œThat would be fine,” said Said. “No dressing.”
    Lieberman called out the order. Terrill grunted back.
    â€œThis food will kill you,” Said said, watching Lieberman eat when he was served.
    â€œSo I’ve been told,” Lieberman said. “By my doctor, my wife, my daughter, a few friends, and some people I don’t even know. To live without pleasure is to not live at all.”
    â€œIs that from your Torah?” asked Said as the salad was placed before him.
    â€œColumbo,” said Lieberman. “You think this Student Arab Response Committee tore the temple apart.”
    â€œI think it is a possibility, at least a possibility for some of them,” said Said. “We are dealing with angry, intelligent young people without a homeland. They are attacked, called names by your press and people, suspected of all acts of supposed terrorism, awakened by phone calls in the middle of the night with threats.”
    â€œAnd for all this, they blame the Jews?”
    â€œThey are not anti-Semitic. We Arabs are Semites too. They are not against Jews. They are against Israel and. against the American Jews who support it with their dollars. Against the government of the United States, which protects Israel. Do I look like an Arab?”
    â€œNot particularly,” said Lieberman, feeling a definite discomfort in his stomach.
    â€œCould you mistake me for a Jew?”
    â€œCould,” said Lieberman.
    â€œSemites. We are all Semites. Were we to band together in the Middle East we could build an economic empire to rival Western Europe, Japan, and the United States.”
    â€œUmm,” said Lieberman, eyeing the last bite of sandwich and then wolfing it down.
    â€œYou’ve heard this before?”
    â€œFrequently,” said Lieberman. “Right now I don’t care about it. I care about finding who desecrated the place where my family and I worship, where I get the only damned sense of sanctuary from what I see every damn day. I care about getting our Torah back if it still exists. I think you’d feel better if you had a half pastrami instead of pieces of lettuce.”
    â€œWere your parents born in this country?” Said asked.
    â€œYes.”
    â€œGrandparents?”
    â€œNo,” said Lieberman. “My mother’s parents were from the Ukraine. Had a farm north of Kiev, a few miles from Chernobyl. My father’s parents were from Vilnius in Lithuania. Does it make a difference?”
    â€œYes,” said Said. “My parents were born in Cairo. I was not taught by them to hate Jews. I was encouraged by them to become a successful American.”
    One of the two Alter Cockers at the table set for eight called over to Lieberman, “Where’s everybody? Where’s Maish? This a holiday?”
    Lieberman explained and the two men had a conversation and stood up and walked over to the booth.
    â€œNazis?” asked old Braverman, squinting through amazingly thick glasses. He was thin and stooped and almost completely bald.
    Lieberman shrugged.
    â€œNazis,” Braverman confirmed, looking at Moscowitz who looked ten years younger then Braverman, though both were seventy-six.
    â€œMaybe Arabs,” said Moscowitz, looking at the two policemen.
    â€œNazis,” insisted Braverman, “maybe working with Arabs. Arabs are crazy. They blow themselves up. Nazis don’t die for their

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