Monday, January 12, 2009

Malach Ha-Mavis Goes Bananas

Q: What's the difference between a Palestinian and a pizza?
A: Choice of toppings.

Q: What did the Rabbi say to the Zionist?
A: "From this you make a killing?"

One could go on and on with this crap. And why not? The Israeli state is making it easier to speak this way, as more and more people are appalled by its murderous rampage. Naturally, there remain many Israeli apologists, but it's getting harder for them to peddle the "self defense" case with a straight face. It's probably tougher for those who know they're spewing shit, but push the party line anyway, their careers or professional relationships in the balance. Not that I weep for them, the craven fucks. But the pressure must be immense, given the growing cognitive dissonance.

How many will snap before this madness subsides? Hopefully a lot. Each media outlet can have its own designer straitjacket for hosts and guests alike: "The Rubber Room with Wolf Blitzer." Truth in advertising gone berserk.

Regulars know that I've moaned about the lack of American satirical assaults on Israel and Zionism, and the silence still resonates, save for this remarkable piece by Jon Stewart. I'm sure you've seen it, but watch it again. It'll have to carry you through more satirically dry days.

I have a few quibbles with Stewart's approach, but who cares. The fact that he and his writers put this out there is more than enough. No doubt the growing shift against Israeli violence gave Stewart the opening necessary to produce this piece. Yet the audience sounds hesitant, which is understandable, as American comics almost never skewer Israel. Years of Arab jokes and stereotypes have warped many people's perceptions, so it could take time for them to get comfortable with bits like the above. Judging from Israel's openly stated intentions and utter contempt for world opinion, comfort levels may rise faster than normal. How that will stop the killing, I've no idea. But painful laughter is better than complete silence. Blood is smearing the greasepaint.