“The Daily Show” is the top-rated late night talk show on US cable TV. So it was unfortunate when host Jon Stewart ran this on July 31, during the Gaza war:
In this short segment, Stewart effectively told his viewers 1) that Hamas’ aggression and terrorism against Israeli cities was equivalent to Israel’s self-defense, and 2) that the US should bring about ‘peace’ by refusing to resupply weapons and ammunition to Israel.
In two minutes, Stewart made the Obama Administration’s action in cutting off weapons deliveries in July — revealed by the Wall Street Journal on August 14 — acceptable.
It is interesting to speculate about where he got the idea.
In a new interview, Stewart promotes the popular anti-Israel themes that critics are ‘silenced’ — something that he himself proves resoundingly false — that Israel is an oppressor, and that Israel steals ‘Palestinian’ land.
Discussing his new movie “Rosewater” at the Toronto Film Festival with Canada.com, the American Jewish satirist began talking about the accusations he’s faced from Iran about being a Mossad agent, then spoke about the pressure he’s come under from Jews outraged at his irreverence toward Israel and the Jewish religion.
Stewart went on to say that his criticism of Israel is meant constructively, but some of his fellow Jews don’t take it that way.
“I always want to say to people when they come at me like that: ‘I would like Israel to be a safe and secure state. What’s your goal?'” Stewart said. “So basically we disagree on how to accomplish that but boy do they, I mean, you would not believe the shit. You have guys on television saying I’m a Jew like the Jews in the Nazi camps who helped bring the other Jews to ovens. I have people that I lost in the Holocaust and I just … go fuck yourself. How dare you?”
He suggested that Israel’s policies were an overreaction to the legacy of Jewish oppression: “The danger of oppression is not just being oppressed, it’s becoming an oppressor. Because that will deteriorate a society as quickly as being oppressed. And that’s a real danger.”
Interviewer: “The difference is, in my mind, that the west trumpets Israel as a realistic, functioning democratic society.”
Stewart: “And then you look and say, ‘A thousand more acres in the West Bank? Why?’ But I agree with you. I find it fascinating and troubling.”
Stewart seems to think that having Jewish parents and playing a news anchor on TV make him an authority on Middle East politics. So he can throw out comments about Israel being an “oppressor” and go along with the suggestion that Israel is not a “realistic, functioning democratic society.” And while he’s at it he can propagate the falsehood that Israel has appropriated 1000 acres of ‘Palestinian’ land in the ‘West bank’.
He says that he wants Israel to be a safe and secure state, so why does he support the position of the hostile Obama Administration over that of the democratically elected government of Israel?
Another know-it-all know-nothing takes Israel to task to make himself look like the fair-minded liberal good Jew. In doing this he adopts the false narrative of the Palestinians and works to undermine Israel.
The problem as you indicate is that the jerk is influential , and has reiterated what is now the basic line of the anti- Israel Left.
This is of course in perfect accord with the strategy of those who would destroy Israel by isolating it from American support.
It is interesting how frequently non-Israelis who affirm that they want a “safe and secure Israel” think that they know better than Israelis themselves how to achieve that safety and security.
There are cues that come off the radio and TV and the Internet that have made me cast off these sources for good…. stopped listening to NPR 20 years ago, the NY Times 9 years ago, 60 minutes (with occasional back-sliding!) 25 years ago, and John Stewart 3 years ago. So I was glad to see this post… it had to be said. He is not a friend of Israel, does not characterize what’s going on there at all close to correctly and has the wit-ammo to fend off critics and keep his own version of the Mental Jackass show going in perpetuity. His show was always a more palatable version of Bill Maher’s for me.
I didn’t come to the cutoff point in my viewing/listening all of a sudden. The little sensor in my flawed soul goes off and it starts watching and listening carefully. Since I assume other souls are flawed too, we give space for change. After a while, the beeping becomes intense. I have to break it off.
There is a certain bitter satisfaction on watching about 3 minutes of John Stewart recently (more back-sliding!). It was easier to see the false arguments after time away. My natural sympathy for his comic gifts had withered. With a more critical view it was not all pleasing to eye and ear. John Stewart has become irrelevant to me. Alas, he is not the only one slipping away.
Like most – though not all – members of the entertainment industry, Stewart is all about striking a “hip” pose that raises his profile among his intended audience. It is about vanity triumphing over substance, taken to a perverse and objectively damaging extreme.
I have to wonder if he’s ever even been to Israel. Or if he’s bothered to read the Palestinian National Charter, the Hamas charter, or if he’s taken the time to sample Palestinian media first-hand via organizations such as PMW or MEMRI. I’d wager the answer to all of these questions is “no”.
He says he wants Israel to be ‘safe and secure’….but the only thing he really wants to be safe and secure is his public image as a ‘cool/hip’ guy.
Stewart is too busy being “cool”, and supporting the outrageous policies of “President Cool” to reflect seriously on why he holds the asinine views that he does. He makes a fool of himself…but what is truly sad is that so many in the U.S. take him seriously.