A foul-mouthed parrot's life has been spared thanks to an injunction against an Israeli psychic who offered Washington his supernatural help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Oren Zarif practices alternative medicine in Tel Aviv. In his spare time he's also a psychic who's eager to join the hunt for Bin Laden, the now-forgotten enemy of America.
"I do not err; I pinpoint exactly. I do not want money. I want to negotiate with the Americans: Providing that I locate Bin Laden, as a quid pro quo they must free Jonathan Pollard. I am willing to foot all related expenses, and I am willing to post a one million dollar bond which I will forfeit if I err."
Pollard was sentenced in 1986 to life in a U.S. prison for spying on behalf of Israel.
"I am outfitted with maps and ready to go to Afghanistan to find Bin Laden. I am certain -- unequivocally certain -- that I can do this."
Among Zarif's patients is an Orthodox man who had an unusual problem. The parrot he bought for his children was cursing like a sailor.
"The parrot would shriek out 'maniac,' 'son of a bitch,' 'homo,'" Zarif said.
"My patient consulted a rabbi, and the rabbi ruled that the parrot should be slaughtered because he sins and causes others to sin."
Not wanting to see the foul fowl hurt, Zarif bought the blue bird from his patient and consulted another rabbi, Meir Mazuz.
"The parrot must be muted with the minimum of suffering," Mazuz ruled. "If that doesn't help, he must be slaughtered."
The cruel rabbi added, "It is very harmful for children to learn swear words -- in a secular household, as well."
Zarif refused to go through with either sentence. In fact, his wife threatened him with divorce if he killed the parrot.
"I'm ready to donate the parrot to a safari or any other body that takes care of animals. At most, they can keep him away from children," Zarif says.
The parrot's story grabbed headlines across Israel, causing an outpouring of support. Dozens of people came forward offering the bird shelter. Protesters gathered outside Zarif's home, urging him not to harm the bird.
The Let Animals Live foundation took the bird's case to the courts, where they won an injunction. Judge Tzvi Kaspi has ruled that no harm is to come to the bird. Zarif and the bird will be heading to court soon in hopes of determining the bird's fate once and for all.
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