Judas is wanted for causing “widespread fear” among residents of the area. His “deliberate and overt policies of terror and destruction” have forced “peaceful” citizens to “disguise their true sympathies” in order to protect themselves and their families.
“The Maccabees are religious zealots who represent a small minority of people in the land commonly called Judea,” says Lysias, General and senior advisor to Antiochus IV God Manifest.
Both Maccabeus and God Manifest were not immediately available for comment.
Lysias claims that Judas and his followers are terrorists. He claims the Maccabees are nothing more than religious zealots who justify their actions by invoking a particular and idiosyncratic dogma. “They refuse to accept the governing suggestions of the Seleucid Empire.
“Suggestions,” he continues, “for governing land that lawfully belongs to the Empire.”
Lysias claims that the Empire will only recognize the High Priest of Jerusalem, Menelaus, as representative of the Jews. When pressed that Menelaus was only made High Priest after he donated more gold to the Empire than the previous high priest, who himself had traded gold for the position, Lysias had no comment.
“All they care about is themselves and their stupid beliefs,” says a resident of a local town. “The rest of the world has moved on from all their old-timey ways. Why can’t they?”
Noted literary scholar Aristarchus of Samothrace has a different opinion: “There have been myriad small rebellions throughout the illustrious history of the Greeks, yet there has never been a fringe group like the Maccabees. Remarkably, they have gone from a small group of outcasts, with dominion over only their own diminutive demesne, to a large, organized, sanguinary force primed for all-out rebellion.”
An Athenian senator with knowledge of the situation agrees, but fears that some of the Maccabean tactics may be hurting their future chances at legitimacy. “For every man that joins with them willingly, many more face only two options: Join, or Die.”
Yet for all his critics, Maccabeus is widely recognized as a skillful general. He continually leads into battle an army outnumbered by at least three to one, and against all odds he emerges victorious. With every successive victory he is also changing the way we wage war in the modern world. No longer does might equal right. Might just means more troops set for slaughter by Maccabeus.
Only last month, in an event likely still fresh in the mind of most readers, there was the fiasco at Emmaus. General Seron attempted to ambush the Maccabee camp, but when he arrived he found the entire Maccabee army gone. Upon return to the Seleucid camp Seron discovered to where the Maccabees had run. Their camp had been pillaged and all men left out of the ambush party were found dead.
Lysias points to Judas’s now-infamous battle cry as a prime example of Maccabee lawlessness and unwillingness to compromise. Before charging Judas screams: “Who among the gods is like you, God?” God in this case not referring to Antiochus IV God Manifest. “They have their own laws, their own doctrine, their own God,” Lysias says. “They cannot be trusted.”
Sources claim that Seleucid forces are preparing for a new attack, codenamed Operation Darkness. Details remain scarce, but Seleucid troops could be seen destroying Jewish olive presses and smashing whole jars of oil.
[Eds.’ Note: This piece is intended as satire]
Thanks for illustrating in this clever piece the fact that in most conflicts, one side’s heroes are the other side’s villains! History is written by the victors and you have me wondering how writers 200 years from now will view the present Mideast conflicts involving our modern-day Maccabees. Who will be viewed as the heroes and who the terrorists?
It was 24 years ago today that I first gazed upon my first child and felt the incredible joy of becoming a parent. I have been proud of you and your accomplishments everyday since. Happy birthday son.
Another cleverly crafted piece, Bradley, with plenty of food for thought. Well done. As for you Steve….you made me cry. ~Sheri