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Jon Stewart: Bad Jew?


I missed this, but apparently the unhinged Israel-is-good-and-righteous-at-all-times lunatics went after Jon Stewart. When he did the first (very short) bit about what’s happening in Gaza last week, I noted how unusual it was for Stewart to bring up Israel. He never does it. Literally, never. I always assumed that his silence on the matter was an effort to to keep the peace with the unhinged Israel-is-pure-as-the-driven-snow crowd.

He’s Jewish so if he was of the opinion that Israel can do no wrong, sharing that opinion would be unsurprising, right ? I mean, it’s human nature to band with your tribe and be more forgiving and understanding of what your own people are doing. I always assumed that his silence was a sign that he didn’t want to ruffle feathers among the the pro-Israel crowd with his objectivity. The reality of the world is that when  a Jew says that these bombings are atrocious, it means more than when anyone else says it. When a famous Jew says it, all hell may break loose. It means more because that Jew grew up learning our history of persecution and suffering. We know how many times we’ve been scattered all over the earth, and we know why. So when we conclude that Israel is doing wrong, it has the voracity that comes with being intimately aware of the history.

Jon Stewart is very open about his Jewiness, which is why the attacks against him are unhinged. He’s not ashamed of who he is so implying that he’s anti-semetic is patently absurd. First the offending clip. He starts at 4:53 and stays on the topic for roughly 2 1/2 minutes.  



That was it. Two and a half minutes of what Jon Stewart does; present empirical facts in a way that highlights the absurdity of the situation. That sent back bench, right wing whackadoodle extraordinaire, Mark Levin into a tizzy. He started off with this little nugget of crazy;

As you well know, the Israelis are doing everything humanly possible to use their technology and their weaponry to limit civilian casualties. But Hamas is doing everything possible to kill its own people, because apparently that’s the price of a good press release.

Huh. Some might say that a 70% – 80% civilian casualty rate indicates either a lack of effort, or a lack of competence in regard to minimizing casualties but eh, evidence! Who needs to introduce facts into the conversation when there’s so much irrational emotion to present as fact?

Then Levin goes on to call Stewart a "little twerp" several times, which is funny, since in terms of audience size, Levin seems to be projecting. Then he rants on about "Jon Stuart Liebowitz". Ummm, does he understand that using Stewart’s name in that way has a seriously anti-semetic tinge to it?

And then David Horovitz jumped in with an editorial in The Times Of Israel. He was more civil, but equally unhinged. He starts off his piece by saying;

That Jon Stewart, he’s sooooo funny. Just watch his amusing take on the current Israel-Gaza conflict. Really, it’s a nonstop laugh fest. Yeah, it misrepresents what’s going on here. But hey, it is funny, and all those millions of Americans who watched it on Monday know that it’s just satire, don’t they?

Okay so at this point, I’m prepared to be informed about all of Stewart’s "misrepresentations". He goes on;

Our super-smart, engagingly frustrated host starts up despairing over a news report of the intensifying conflict which says Israeli troops are poised to invade Gaza, and which ends with the words “as the aerial bombardment from both sides continues.”

Stewart: “Tastes great. More killing.”

See, right off the bat, I’m unhappy. Because, first up, he’s begun with talk of Israel being set to invade Gaza, but without any cited reason — such as, say, Hamas being a terrorist organization with a notorious track record of suicide bombings, individual killings, kidnappings, and incessant rocket fire. And, second, because the implication here is that the combatants — Israel and Hamas — are both happy to be back killing again, and that’s just plain false. Hamas is avowedly committed to the destruction of Israel and holds to a perverted interpretation of Islam that claims killing Jews, Christians and non-believing Muslims is your guaranteed path to paradise if you also die in the process. Israelis, by contrast, would much rather live and let live. (We left Gaza unilaterally in 2005, under international pressure, hoping that the security risk would be worth it, and that we’d be rewarded with tranquility rather than rocket fire, but I wouldn’t expect Stewart to go back that far.)

Okay, well you didn’t demonstrate that Steward misrepresented anything, you’re just upset that he didn’t make Israel’s case for their part in the bombardment. How does an otherwise intelligent person think they’re doing anything productive here? If the goal is to discredit Stewart, it didn’t work. So then he continues "exposing" Stewart’s misrepresentations; 

Stewart: “Both sides are engaging in aerial bombardment, but one side appears to be bomb-better-at it. (Studio laughter at the wordplay.) Most Hamas rockets are neutralized by Israel’s Iron Dome technology, and Israeli citizens can even now download a warning app. (Cut to clip of Israel’s US ambassador Ron Dermer explaining how Israelis can know where and when they’re being attacked.) So Israelis seem to have a high-tech, smart-phone alert system.”

Let me see if I understand the point he’s making here: Having falsely implied that Israel is as keen on killing as Hamas is, Stewart now seems to be criticizing Israel for not being as vulnerable as Hamas would like it to be to those Hamas rockets that are sent to kill us. He seems to be bashing us for having those tech smarts. It’s a bad thing that we developed a unique, astonishing Iron Dome missile defense system, without which hundreds of us would be dead? It’s a bad thing that we developed an app to warn us that the rockets designed to kill our citizens are heading this way?

Israel isn’t as keen on killing as Hamas is? Really? The Israeli death toll is around 30 and the Palestinian/ Hamas death toll is over 700. If this imbalance doesn’t suggest an enthusiasm for killing by Israel, I don’t know what does. Is Horovits suggesting an inadvertent killing proficiency going on here? How does one accidentally get so proficient at killing? Curious. But don’t believe your own lying eyes, believe Horovit’s feelings that Israel are the good guys.

Then he goes on to sound super stupid by "misunderstanding" what Stewart was saying about how absurd it is to warn civilians that bombs are coming, with smaller bombs. I’m not going to pick apart the rest of it because it’s more of the same. You can read it for yourself if you want, but he didn’t expose any "misrepresentations", so much as demonstrate how smart people turn really stupid when they let emotions form their opinions.

So in response to the super crazy Zionist whackadoodles, Jon Stewart brilliantly did this;     



I can’t conceive of a better way to demonstrate the level of crazy here, than the way Stewart did it.

I suspect this will be the last time he brings up the topic of Israel, and that’s too bad because no one is as good at exposing hypocrisy, lies, or absurdity, as Jon Stewart is. Plus, he has the Jew shield against allegations of anti-semitism. Not that it stops the whackos from accusing him of it, but it does demonstrate just how crazy they are. 



Have you heard? Our president is an enemy to Israel! I’ve been listening to that bullshit for a couple of weeks now, and I feel compelled to speak up.

I don’t write about Israel very often because, while I have very clear thoughts on the topic, it’s still more emotional and visceral than US politics for me. I’m Jewish. I come from a thousand generations of Jews. As far as I can tell, there’s no infusion of gentile DNA in my ancestry. Genetically speaking, I couldn’t be more Jewey. I was born in Iran, where a branch of my family somehow ended up. None of us are still left in Iran. Most of us moved to the US around the time of the Iranian revolution. But the lion’s share of my family lives in Israel.

I give you all of that background to explain why this post may seem like it’s all over the place. I have many thoughts in the topic of Israel. I like to think that my opinions are all rooted in pragmatism and fact, but I recognize that the truth is that many are visceral and emotionally derived.

I’m not an Israeli apologist any more than I am a democratic party apologist. I believe that it is the duty of each member of any “tribe” to speak out when their tribe behaves unjustly. Group think has never turned out well for any group. That said, I want Israel to exist in peace, free of the kind of daily security concerns that erode the quality of life. I don’t believe it’s possible to prosper under the oppression that is insecurity. So when I speak out against something that the Israeli government has done, it’s because I believe that they are undermining any hope that Israel may have of being secure.

I was appalled when Ehud Olmert bombed the shit out of Lebanon for thirty-four days in 2006. He ordered the seemingly endless bombing in response to rocket attacks by Hezbollah that killed five Israeli soldiers. Let me back up for a second and tell you about Hezbollah. They’re a group of dickless anti Israel terrorists, funded mostly by Iran and Syria. I refer to them as dickless because they like to embed themselves in suburban neighborhoods so that they can use innocent civilians as shields. They’re fucking pussies. You are completely devoid of courage when you have to hide behind children to protect yourself.

Olmert responded to Hezbollah by bombing the shit out of Lebanon for thirty four days. Roughly 1,200 Lebanese civilians were killed. About a million Lebanese, as well as roughly 500,000 Israelis were displaced from their homes.

Olmert made both a tactical and a moral mistake. Tactically speaking Israel bombed Lebanon for over a month and still failed to get the job done. This seriously diminished the perception of the strength of the Israeli army.

And then there’s the issue of Israel’s moral bankruptcy. Israel killed 1,200 people in response to the murder of 5 soldiers. WTF? Olmert’s complete lack of regard for the collateral damage that he was doing was appalling. Israel’s actions were so indefensible, that they came out of the whole incident with the stink of terrorists on them, even though Hezbollah started the conflict. That complete disregard for innocent human life is vile. I don’t care who you are, you’re just fucking disgusting and totally unjustified.

So Hezbollah ended up winning that one. They’re still sending rockets into Israel, despite Olmert’s determination to bomb them into oblivion, and they showed Israel to be cruel. That situation couldn’t have turned out better for Hezbollah. They turned Israel into the bad guys, whose military isn’t all that after all.

It’s not possible to fight terrorists with bombs because they have a tactical advantage in that, they don’t have a country to bomb. No, anti terrorism is best accomplished through intelligence and police work. That thirty four days of bombing Lebanon seriously undercut Israel’s ability to effectively fight Hezbollah. Does anyone think that the Lebanese people are more willing to work with Israeli intelligence in order to identify members of Hezbollah after this incident?

I’m also appalled by Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Gaza. They’ve effectively turned Gaza into a prison. Palestinians in Gaza are basically not allowed to leave, and don’t have access to the supplies they need to build a productive society. It’s disgusting. And the idea that my own people can do what Israel is doing, despite the very long history of Jews being oppressed in the same way is both inexplicable and heartbreaking to me. And once again, it’s morally and tactically stupid. Israel needs to get the world community squarely behind it. They will never accomplish this by creating animosity over their treatment over Palestinians in Gaza.

Regardless of how egregious or foolish Israel’s actions are, the United States won’t condemn or sanction them. Why? Because of AIPAC (the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee). AIPAC is probably the strongest lobbying group in the US. Most people think that AIPAC is made up of Jews, but I’m convinced this isn’t true. I believe that AIPAC is made up (perhaps equally) of right wing Jews and Christian Zionists.

If you’re not familiar with Christian Zionists, let me explain. They’re a faction of rabidly pro-Israel Christians. Why would Christians be all pro-Israel? Well, that’s where it gets interesting. In their interpretation of the bible, Jews need to come home to Palestine (Israel). Once home, we’re supposed to destroy the Al-Aqsa and Sakhrah mosques in Jerusalem and replace them with the Great Temple. Once the temple is completed, the last holy war (Armageddon) will begin, led by America and England. You probably know the rest; Jesus comes… Christians get saved…. Jews that don’t accept Jesus die… blah, blah, blah.

Now at this point, any rational person would wonder why Jews would throw in with Christian Zionists, since the end game for each group is definitely not the same. Well, we’re not dealing with rational people. We’re talking about people that believe they know what God wants, and they’re going to be really fucking crafty about giving it to him.

Christians of the non-Zionist persuasion believe that their Zionist counterparts are being played by the Jews, in order to get support for the preservation of Israel. I think that’s probably a fair assessment of the situation. Christian Zionists believe they’re playing the Jews in order to move along their Armageddon prophecy so that they can chill out blissfully in heaven, while the rest of us get fucked. I think that’s also a fair assessment of the situation.

So who is really getting played? That’s easy; both sides are hapless rubes, but the extent of haplessness isn’t equal. Right wing Jews got what they wanted in that, the CZs (I’m getting tired of typing that out!) fully support the protection of Israel. I actually don’t believe that at this point, that the possibility of Israel not existing is a real one whether the CZs are on board or not. Now the Jews are massively getting played at this point. And they’re enthused about it.

Let’s break down the situation. The CZs ultimate goal is for Israel to be the center of the grandaddy of all holy wars. Doesn’t it stand to reason that when they support an Israeli action, they do so with that holy war goal in mind? How can anyone possibly think that every action the CZs take, isn’t taken with the goal of precipitating that war that they so desire? When they support Israel’s actions in Gaza or their excessive use of force, do they do so because they believe that peace will be achieved this way? Fuck no! They want Israel to be at war in perpetuity, so that an escalation to “the war” happens.

Why the fuck can’t the Jewish faction of AIPAC see this? For the same reason that the CZs can’t see that they’re getting played; religious certitude. Both sides believe that they know what God wants. Personally, I believe that if you are certain that you know what God wants, you have absolutely no use for God. What the fuck do you need God for? You know how it’s all supposed to turn out, beyond the shadow of a doubt. Fuck God! You’re the one that’s all knowing!

These people have become stupid because of their religious certitude. They have become morally bankrupt because of their moral certitude. On one side, you have a group of supposedly “Jesus loving” people rooting for most of us to die a horrible death so that they can land themselves in heaven. On the other side, you have a people that don’t give a shit who has to suffer in order for Israel to exist. I’m sorry, but I can’t comprehend the thought process of a Jew that is fine with the oppression, death, or imprisonment of another people. There is no race in the world that has suffered more horrors than the Jewish people have. One would think that all of the suffering of your ancestors would lead Jews to conclude that no one should ever be treated like that again. But no, some of them went the other way. Palestinians in Gaza? Fuck em! Israel needs to exist. Egyptians living under oppressive rule? Fuck em! Israel needs to exist. My question is, exactly how many people should suffer so that Israel may exist? Is there a number too high? I literally can’t comprehend that thought process. I believe it’s important to find the reasoning in the point of view that you oppose, in order to oppose it with any degree of intellectual honesty. But I can’t do it in this instance. I can’t figure out how one’s moral compass gets turned so ass backward.

But the blindness of the far right wing Jews doesn’t end with the loss of one’s moral compass. It also seems to afflict ones ability to reason things out. These people are rabid republicans. They stand squarely behind any piece of shit that has an “R” behind his/her name. Let’s examine why this is so incredibly bad for Israel in the long term.

First off, their boy Bush tilted the Sunni/Shia balance of power in a way that does not serve Israel well. That whole debacle was a big win for Iran, and everyone that knows shit about the dynamic in the middle east knows that. And yet, these fucking morons would welcome Bush back in a second, if they could get rid of Obama.

They also don’t give two shits about the US. Further proof of their inability apply reason to the situation. Here’s the deal; without the US, Israel is fucked. If we don’t protect them, half a dozen countries descend on Israel, fight a war that goes on for a few years, and then Israel loses. There are too many enemies for Israel to fight off by itself. These middle class eradication policies of the republican party have the US on a fast track to becoming loyal subjects of the Chinese. Any economist looking at the growing income inequality in the US knows that we’re on the fast track to the third world. You can’t have a consumer based economy without consumers (i.e. the middle class). History has shown us time again, that societies fall when there is no middle class. If you’re pro Israel, you need for the US to stay on top of the global food chain. Please stop being stupid because you have tunnel vision!

Barack Obama has never said anything controversial in regard to Israel. His speech referencing the 1967 borders was not only uncontroversial, but it’s been said by everyone in the US and in Israel for over twenty five years. Rabin, Olmert, Sharon, and yes, even Netanyahu have all framed peace talks around the ’67 borders as have two Bushes and a Clinton. This is not a new, radical, Israel exterminating idea. Stop acting like it is. That position just makes you willfully ignorant.

The inflammatory statement came from Netanyahu last week, when he suddenly reversed twenty five years of discussions by proclaiming that the ’67 borders are unacceptable to Israel. In my opinion, this guy is a reckless, arrogant asshole that hates Obama for having a Muslim father. Does anyone think that the Israeli and US governments didn’t review each others statements before they were made? Of course they did. Netanyahu changed his remarks in order to slap Obama in the face. He did this last year when he announced that Israel was going to renig on its promise not to build new settlements, while Joe Biden was visiting Israel. He was obviously trying to slap the Obama administration in the face. Hey, I have an idea; if you find this administration so distasteful, how about you give back all of the foreign aid money it has given you? Have the courage of your convictions, dickwad.

Netanhayu is never going to find pragmatism. He’s too far gone. He’s the Dick Cheney of Israel. AIPAC is never going to find pragmatism because religious ideology won’t allow for logic. But I believe that the rest of the world is reasonable, and genuinely wants stability in the the middle east. We just need to raise our voices in order to drown out the radicals, which is why I rambled on today.


One Iranian Jew’s Perspective On Israel

I don’t get into Israeli politics very often. Not because I’m uninformed, but because I’m conflicted.

Here’s a little background on me. I’m an Iranian Jew. Don’t be surprised, there are actually many of us. There are no members of my family remaining in Iran, where I was born. I have dozens (possibly hundreds!) of cousins currently in Israel.

My point in sharing this information is that I have a dog in the race. I actually have several dogs in this race. That being said, I wasn’t raised to be conflicted. I grew up watching hundreds of hours of holocaust footage and films. There was never an anti-Israel perspective introduced into my childhood, probably because there isn’t a single branch of my family tree that isn’t 100% Jewish.

I never felt as if Israel was ever anything less than 100% right in anything that they ever did. As an adult, I realize now that there’s no such thing as 100% “right”. Both sides in a conflict are always partially wrong. That “good versus evil” ideology is immature and isn’t rooted at all in reality. It’s always a product of blinding bias. And I have to say that in the case if Israel, it’s the most understandable bias in human history. No people have been persecuted more relentlessly than the Jewish people. So when Israel is wronged, or perceived to have been wronged, it’s extremely personal to most Jews. None of us have to go back more than 3 generations to find personal stories of tragedy and brutality.

Yasser Arafat was the Palestinian leader for all of my formative years. He was, in my estimation, a truly loathsome bastard who was never interested in achieving peace with Israel. I honestly believe that his primary objective in life was to obliterate Israel and turn that land into a Palestinian state. His zealotry didn’t however, preclude him from exploiting his people and squirreling  millions of dollars away in European banks. He was just an all round hateful piece of shit. I always felt that as long as he was in power, Israel was justified in doing whatever it had to do to keep their country because giving an inch to Arafat would mean losing everything.

There have been two times in history that I believe peace was close enough to touch. The first was when Bill Clinton was working to broker a deal between Yitzhak Rabin and Arafat. The offer from Israel was never going to get better than it did under Rabin, and Arafat knew it. He still turned it down and Rabin was rewarded for his efforts by being assassinated by one of his own.

Days before Bill Clinton left office, Arafat called him up to tell him (Clinton) that he was a great man. Clinton responded by saying, “I am not a great man. I am a failure, and you have made me one.” Clinton then went on to let Arafat know that his actions had guaranteed that Ariel Sharon would be elected the next prime minister of Israel.

Israel did elect Ariel Sharon, who was not quite the neocon that Netanyahu (who is currently in power) is, but he was definitely not likely to work for peace. He didn’t. The second near miss for peace came when Arafat came back to Sharon a year after he was elected to accept the terms that Clinton and Rabin had proposed. Sharon declined to accept.

Since Arafat’s death, there has been a dramatic role reversal between Israel and Palestinians. Israel has become the brutal aggressor, while Palestinians seem to have largely taken the approach of peaceful protest. I’m not saying that there aren’t still Palestinian terrorists whose goal it is to ensure that peace never happens. But those factions are not leading the country, and they are a minority.

Israel has become a vicious bully with tunnel vision, going so far as to slap their only ally in the face. A couple of months ago, while our Vice President was visiting Israel, the Israeli interior minister blindsided the world with an announcement that 1,600  new housing developments would be built in East Jerusalem. Israel is so tunnel visioned by their agenda, that they embarrassed the only ally they have in the world.

Between that, the thirty days of bombing the shit out of Lebanon with no regard to the loss of innocent life, and the latest murder of nine innocent people, I remain conflicted on this topic in completely different ways than I was in previous lives. I’m conflicted because I want Israel to exist peacefully. But I cannot blindly support Israel through what it’s become. I am entirely more comfortable with having a brutal enemy than I am with my own kind evolving into something that is morally indefensible.

As an American, I want to protect the interests of my country. I no longer believe that supporting Israel is in our best interest. I understand that we need a strong ally in the middle ease, but I also understand that our alliance with Israel is the primary reason for that need. I strongly believe that Netanyahu’s path is ultimately destructive to Israel, and that if they want to continue down this path, they should do it without the support of the US.

I want Israel to veer off this course of self destruction. I want my family to be able to live happy, peaceful lives. Loving someone means telling them when they’re wrong.

My objectivity leads me to conclude that I really don’t care which brutal government has control of the land currently known as Israel.