Media

7 Best Jon Stewart Clips on Israel

With his brand of cutting insight, the 'Daily Show' host offers his take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Last week, Jon Stewart addressed how hard it is to talk about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in a sketch called “we need to talk about Israel.” Though he mocked both sides, to a certain extent, the bulk of the sketch went after those who see themselves as “pro-Israel” and see Jon Stewart as a self-loathing Jew.

Now, from what I can tell, having been called a self-loathing Jew myself, the term applies to people who make any criticism whatsoever of the Israeli government. One can easily make the case that more diplomatic solutions, dovish approaches if you will, are more helpful for the state of Israel and Israelis than more military or hawkish ones. That makes some of the self-loathers more “pro-Israel” than the ones who blindly support the government.

Stewart is one of the few public mainstream Jews with the chutzpah to say anything critical of Israel’s policies. And as a Jew, I appreciate the way he’s been doing this ever since he took over the Daily Show. So, without further ado, I present 7 great Daily Show skits on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

1. West Bank Story - Challahfax vs. Halalifax 

09/22/11

John Oliver and Aasif Mandvi debate whether Halifax belongs to Muslims Halalifax or to Jews, Challahfax.

2. The Matzorian Candidate

12/08/11

Stewart covers the Republican Jewish Coalition forum, AKA “The Great Tuchus Kiss Off,” where “incredibly religious Christian presidential candidates” are “fighting over who loves Jews more.”

3. Donors Unchained - Quid Pro Quo

04/03/14

In this episode Stewart is particularly fearless, as he goes after Sheldon Adelson’s ability to not only sway politics, but sway Israel-related politics. We learn that Chris Christies apologized to Adelson for daring to call the West Bank “Occupied Territories.” Stewart responds by asking the audience a rhetorical question: “Still don’t think money has a more general corrupting influence on politics? Cause I can tell you this. My family is full of 80 year old Jews who would very much like to tell poiticians what words they can and cannot use to describe Israel. But as of this taping no presidential hopefuls have flown to their house to solicit that opinion.”

 

4. Crazies of Summer

7/14/14

Here Stewart pretends to me touched by the IDF’s charitable policy of giving Palestians advance warning (10 minutes) before bombing their houses. He then asks, “What are the Gazans supposed to do? Evacuate to where? Have you fucking seen Gaza?! Israel blocked this border and Egypt blocked this border. What are they supposed to do? Swim for it?!

 

5. Crazies of Summer

7/14/14

In the same segment, Stewart goes on to explain how the outfits of the reporters in Gaza and Israel capture the asymmetry of the conflict: “The Gaza reporter looks like an extra from the hurt locker. While the reporter in Israel looks like he’s gonna bang out his stand up and then head to a jimmy buffet concert. They’re a living political cartoon for the war in the Middle East. “

 

6. Let's Break a Deal

01/15/14

 

In this segment, Stewart mocks the politicians who were undermining President Obama’s negotiations with Iran by pushing for the Iran “Nuclear Weapon Free Act.” Stewart feigns confusion over why Democrats would oppose Obama’s nuclear diplomacy and then cuts to former democratic Congresswoman lobbyist Jane Harmon, who says, “big parts of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States being against it, the country of Israel being against that’s ah a stiff hill to climb.” Stewart then continues with fake calm, “ Oh well that makes sense The senators from the Great State of Israel are against it and we don’t want to go against the senators from the Great Sta.. wait a minute that’s not in our country that’s a whole other country entirely. Why do we have to listen to them?”

He then pretends to explain why Israel’s special treatment makes sense. “I mean Israel is our ally and I guess Iran is pretty provocative….” Stewart then cuts to a Fox News reporter who says there were “Some outrageous comments from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the recent nuclear deal between the U.S. and other Western powers.” Stewart then adds, “Ooh, outrageous comments from Rouhani. Ooh, I have them right here, actually. Here's what he said. ‘Secretary of State John Kerry turned up here, acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervor. ... The American security plan ... is not worth the paper it's printed on.’ You can't talk smack about America and not get hit hard, Iran! That shit don't... (listens to earpiece) wait, I'm sorry, I'm being told... I'm sorry, that statement wasn't from the Iranian President Rouhani, it was from the Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon. I apologize. I'm sorry, I apologize. He was talking about the Palestinian peace talks situation, and his lack of interest in a two-state solution. That's my bad.

7. How do you solve a problem like Sharia

March 8, 2011

Here, Stewart not only goes after Islamophobia but the Israeli settlers in the West Bank. We learn that Congressman Peter King is holding hearings on radicalization of American Muslims, because these Muslims are not doing enough to stop homegrown terrorism. Stewart says, “Wow. It’s not enough for US Muslims to be law-abiding. To avoid Congressional investigation, they have to be actively stopping terror plots.” Then he adds, “Oh my God. Wait until they find out I’ve done nothing to stop the West Bank settlements!”

 

Katie Halper is a writer, comedian and filmmaker and hosts  The Katie Halper Show  on WBAI. www.katiehalper.com @kthalps

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