Tuesday, 2 September 2014

News from the Jerusalem Times, 33 AD


21 March 33. This morning, in a glittering ceremony attended by people from all over Judaea and Samaria, the Proconsul Pontius Pilatus declared the long-awaited Gladiatorial Games open.

“It gives me immense pleasure to see the enthusiasm with which the citizenry has been awaiting these Games,” he said, with translators interpreting his speech in Greek to Aramaic and Hebrew. “Sport is indeed the health of a society, and by their love of and appreciation for these games, I can see for myself how the people of this far corner of the Empire are no less interested in their mental and physical well-being than the citizens of Rome herself.”

The Games will last ten days, and approximately a thousand retiarii, dimachaerii, hoplomachii, murmilli, samnites and secutors will kill each other in the course of the event.

For tickets, please contact Messrs ben Gurion and Dayan, Impresarios, Palestine Avenue, Jerusalem.


22 March 33. The security services announced that the dangerous radical and terrorist, Jesus Christ, is approaching Jerusalem with a small but fanatical band of followers. Binyamin ben Barak, spokesman for the High Priest of the Temple, announced that Christ intends to storm the city in the near future, and announced immediate defensive measures.

What Christ’s actual demands are is not well known. It’s believed, however, that he is a charismatic demagogue whose far left wing ideology is aimed at overthrowing the long-established economic system in the city.

“He is a Communist and Socialist,” the spokesman said, referring to evaluations written by economists and psychologists at the Herod the Great University, “who has a Jehovah complex. He literally believes himself to be a kind of god. 

"Though his actual origins are shrouded in mystery, it's thought that he claims to be from the working class, possibly from a labouring background; a carpenter or something similar. Thus he may easily lead the workers astray with his demagoguery, and precipitate social unrest.

“He’s also announced himself to be the Emir of a new Jewish kingdom,” Barak added. “While this, of course, is not recognised by anyone, it is another dangerous idea that has to be nipped in the bud.”

He also said that Christ has established sleeper cells of agents throughout Jerusalem who intend to help him seize the city after his invasion.

“These agents are hard at work spreading subversion among the people,” Barak warned. “The sleeper cells with which he has seeded the city will emerge from hiding at the appropriate time and mobilise crowds of brainwashed supporters. They want to create the illusion of mass support, which will make it easy for Christ to claim he has popular backing for his Emirate of his self-proclaimed Jewish Kingdom.”

This newspaper asks its readers to immediately inform the authorities in case of any sign of activity from these sleeper cells.


23 March 33. The threatened invasion of Jerusalem took place today when the terrorist Jesus Christ stormed his way into the city at the head of his troops. As this newspaper had reported, his sleeper cells arranged for large crowds of civilians to line the route, and agents provocateurs among them raised slogans extolling him and the new Jewish kingdom he proclaimed.

Asked at the evening press conference why Christ able to invade the city despite all the warnings and precautions, Binyamin ben Barak, the spokesman for the High Priest said that the security forces’ hands had been tied.

“Not only did this Christ storm his way in using a donkey as a delivery system,” he said, “but his terrorist sleeper cells organised crowds which acted as human shields for him. Since our security services are very highly moral, we refused to risk harm to any of those people.”

Asked about the future activities of Christ, the spokesman said the security services were actively hunting him down. “He can’t hide and he can’t run,” Barak said. “He’s trapped in the city and it’s only a matter of time before we get him. In the meantime, though, we ask all citizens to maintain the highest levels of alert, especially in the places likely to be his targets.”

To questions regarding which areas are likely to be attacked by him, the spokesman singled out the Temple. “Christ has already announced that he is the Emir of a new Jewish Kingdom, and he will try and assault the centre of the religion in an act of terror. Also, as a communist and rabble-rouser, he wants to destroy the economic life of the city.” The market in the forecourt of the temple, which provides employment and generates wealth for so many people, would be a prime target.

The attack would come within the next few days, Barak claimed. “Time is not on Christ’s side,” he said. “If he does not carry out some spectacular action within the next few days he risks losing whatever measure of support he has achieved.”

All citizens need to remain vigilant and report all suspicious activity to the security services at once, he said. A reward of ten pieces of silver was announced, too, for information leading to the arrest of Christ himself.


24 March 33. This morning the terrorist kingpin Jesus Christ personally led his fanatical team into the Temple and destroyed the market in the forecourt, using a deadly weapon comprised of flexible lengths of knotted high-tensile fibres at supersonic speed. The merchants were forced to abandon their stock and profits and escape for their lives.

“Everything I had was invested in that market,” one of the merchants, Ehud ben Netanyahu, told the Times.  “I lost everything because of that damned terrorist.” Other merchants had similar things to say.

Having destroyed the market, an act of unparalleled economic sabotage, the terrorist team disappeared into the city and is assumed to be holed up in safe houses. An intensive search will be conducted for them soon, the High Priest’s spokesman Barak said, and announced that the reward on Christ’s head had been increased from ten pieces of silver to thirty.

The total amount of damage could not be immediately calculated, but is estimated to be in the thousands of shekels. Much valuable merchandise was destroyed, and some of the merchants accused Christ’s followers of looting, though that could not be independently verified. Others said that the merchants were inflating their losses, which were minimal, for insurance purposes.

“Much worse than the immediate loss is the long term effect on investor confidence,” the head of the Merchant’s Guild, Menachem ben Sharon, told the Times. “How many merchants will be ready to invest their money in a market which can be destroyed at any time by a gang of vicious terrorists?” He demanded that a Department of Urban Security be created immediately to nip any future terror threats in the bud.

“We cannot and will not bow to Communists,” he said, vowing that the market would be reconstructed.


25 March 33. Late last night, the radical Communist and self-styled Emir of the Jewish Kingdom, Jesus Christ was captured by a special anti-terrorist squad sent by High Priests Caiaphas and Annas from a garden in which he was hiding. Calling a special press conference, spokesman Barak said that the security services had successfully infiltrated the terrorist mastermind’s inner circle and had planted an agent among them. This agent finally led a hit team to the arch-terrorist himself.

“One of the security force personnel suffered injuries at the hands of some of the other terrorists with Christ, but fortunately should recover completely,” he said. “We categorically deny rumours that the security service resorted to bribery to get our hands on Christ. The security service does not pay bribes.”

According to available information, Christ’s immediate circle of terrorists managed to escape in the confusion following his capture. “It’s likely,” Barak said, “that they will attempt to set up fresh terror cells, possibly in neighbouring countries. Wherever they go, though, we will seek them, we will find them, and we will eliminate them.”

There has been no confirmation of a report that Christ’s second-in-command was spotted attempting to infiltrate the interrogation centre where the terrorist leader had been taken for preliminary questioning.


27 March 33. Yesterday, the captured terrorist leader Jesus Christ was executed by crucifixion.

“It was a fate he deserved,” the Temple spokesman Barak told reporters at the evening briefing. “Unlike what he had done with those opposed to him, he was given a full and fair trial before the Sanhedrin, and the sentence was confirmed not just by King Herod Antipater but by Pontius Pilatus himself.”

Asked about the possibility of popular anger, Barak was dismissive. “Christ badly overestimated the amount of support his agents had managed to provoke in his favour,” he said. “When given the choice of having him released, the people clamoured for his execution instead. It’s telling that they preferred to set a notorious criminal like Barabbas free instead of Christ; and they lined the streets to watch him being taken for crucifixion. The poisonous Communist doctrine he tried to spread has been definitively rejected.”

There was an attack by one of Christ’s terrorist cells, which threw devices in and around the Temple, damaging the great veil and causing panic among the people by producing blinding clouds of smoke. However, spokesman Barak rejected the possibility of it having been a rescue attempt. “The prisoner was well-guarded throughout the execution,” he said, “and was almost certainly already dead by the time of the attack.”

He said the body had been handed over for disposal to some of Christ’s carefully vetted and non-radical followers. “They can do whatever they want with his body,” Barak announced. “The problem has been dealt with.”

World leaders made no statement regarding the crucifixion, underlining the fact that Christ had not managed to gather any significant public support anywhere.


30 March 33. Yesterday morning it came to the notice of the police that the corpse of executed terrorist leader Jesus Christ had been stolen from its grave.

No other details are available.


31 March 33. In a splendid function today in Jerusalem, Proconsul Pontius Pilatus declared the Gladiatorial Games ended and congratulated all the participants and the audience.

He also announced that the Empire will be opening a gladiatorial training school to provide employment opportunities to the unemployed youth of Judea and Samaria.

“Perhaps some of them will be fortunate enough to fight and die for the entertainment of Great Caesar himself,” he said, to the cheers of the crowd.

More announcements about upcoming public entertainment projects are expected shortly.

Copyright B Purkayastha 2014 

Image copyright David Elkington/Rex Features

1 comment:

  1. This is how our media would report about Jesus today.


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