Take my special relationship — Please!

What did Freud say about a joke? Here are a few recent jokes.

January 8. From the satirical journal, The Onion: “Israel Vows To Use Veto Power If Chuck Hagel Confirmed As U.S. Secretary Of Defense.”

JERUSALEM—Top-ranking government officials in Jerusalem confirmed Tuesday that Israel would exercise its longstanding, constitutionally granted veto power over American policy if U.S. lawmakers confirmed retired congressman Chuck Hagel as the United States’ next Secretary of Defense. “In light of Mr. Hagel’s worrying remarks on Israeli-Palestinian relations and questionable classification of Israeli interests as ‘the Jewish lobby,’ we consider him a highly inappropriate choice for Defense Secretary who stands far out of line with our national priorities, and therefore we are prepared to swiftly and resolutely use our official veto power over this U.S. action,” said Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev of the legal maneuver that the small Middle Eastern nation has employed to block U.S. Cabinet nominees, U.S. legislation, U.S. international relations, and U.S. domestic policy over 1,400 times in its 64-year history.

February 3. From the new Netflix show, “House of Cards” (as reported by MJ Rosenberg):

Kevin Spacey plays the Democratic whip of the House of Representatives. A new president has just been elected, who has promised to appoint Spacey’s character Secretary of State. However, he reneges and gives the job to someone else. The guy who gets the job is fine, even from Spacey’s viewpoint, but Spacey is mad and has to block him to hurt the president.

But the guy is clean. What to do?

Spacey’s staffer comes up with a Williams College editorial on Israel, published when the Secretary of State nominee was editor-in-chief of the college paper. The editorial calls the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza illegal.

Spacey figures that should be enough to destroy the would-be secretary’s chances EXCEPT it turns out that he did not write the editorial, another student did. Spacey dispatches a corrupt, drug addicted Congressman (really) to visit the guy who wrote the article and convince him to say that it was, in fact, the Secretary of State nominee who was responsible.

The guy doesn’t want to do it. He says that, even as a student, the Secretary-designate was a total wuss who would never take any controversial stands.

So the doped up Congressman bribes him with pot and cocaine and, voila, he changes his mind. He will go public with the fact that it was the Secretary guy who opposed the occupation.

Spacey gives the story to the Washington Post and then the Secretary nominee is confronted by the real George Stephanopoulos on his Sunday show who nails him for having criticized Israel 30 years ago!  The addled nominee laughs!

Spacey calls the head of the Anti-Defamation League (not played by the real Abe Foxman) to inform him that the Secretary-designate disrespected Israel while in college. The Foxman character rushes to CNN to announce that he will stop the anti-Semite from being confirmed. Spacey, watching the television, smiles, looks at the camera and says, “This is too easy.”

The nominee is forced to withdraw.

February 10: A skit rehearsed on NBC show Saturday Night Live, unaired but released online (as reported by various sources, including Mondo and Lloyd Grove of Daily Beast, whose account I’ve potted):

In the six-minute sketch, performed at SNL’s dress rehearsal, Hagel is grilled mercilessly by South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham about his published statement that the interests of the United States and Israel are not always identical. “Is this a typo?” Graham demands. “Are my eyes deceiving me? Does he think that our interests and those of Israel could ever be different?” And so on and so forth, as Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee fall all over themselves to prove their slavish devotion to the Jewish state.

The sketch culminates when John McCain insists that Hagel answer a hypothetical question:

What if Benjamin Netanyahu calls and “he says to you, it is vital to Israel’s security, that you go on national television that night and perform oral sex on a donkey.”

“Would you do that for Israel?” McCain asks.When Hagel says no, McCain declares that he can’t vote to confirm him.

Feb. 15, HBO’s Real Time, as reported by Real Clear Politics:

JAMIE WEINSTEIN, EDITOR AT DAILY CALLER: Just yesterday, there was a new speech that they believe in which during the question and answer [session] at Rutgers University, Hagel claimed that the State Department was controlled by the Israeli government. Israeli foreign ministry controls the government.

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You see, Bill, what they’re doing is they’re going after every –

BILL MAHER, HOST OF “REAL TIME” ON HBO: And it’s not?

WEINSTEIN: Well, there’s two things wrong with that. One is that — it’s, you know, kind of suggesting Israeli power is controlling things. Number two, of all the branches of the government, the State Department being the most pro-Israel branch is ridiculous.

MAHER: Based on every statement I’ve heard out of any Republican in the last two years, the Israelis are controlling our government.

P.S. I’m aware that the Netflix episode isn’t properly a joke. But– poetic license.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 18 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Out of the mouths of knaves.

  2. MRW says:

    Dan Friedman admitted this AM that the Friends of Hamas was a joke that he started in an email, and that Politico fell for it. (Politico denies this.) So did Jamie Weinstein.

    • Kathleen says:

      Friedman knew what he was doing. Trying to back out the door he opened up so he does not have to accept any responsibility. Story front and center at Huff Po

  3. Citizen says:

    It’s fitting that America has finally looked at the joke that is Israel First politics for America. Not to worry, Dick and Jane still have no clue US interests have been subservient to Israel’s interests for many, many decades–ask whomever is left of the crew of the USS Liberty, or those few who say for the public record that Pollard should not be freed to run off to Israel, where a statute is ready to be erected in his name. Or, you could ask the parents of Rachel Corrie, for starters.

  4. American says:

    Hmmm….?
    Why is Schumer going to such lengths to convince that Hagel has had an epiphany on Israel and the Lobby.
    This is like the 20th story/press release in the same vein…I assume maybe being put out by Schumer, saying Hagel will revere Israel.
    The tears in Hagel’s eyes seems a bit overdone….smells funny.
    O.K. maybe I have overestimated Hagel but I have been thru his background with a fine tooth comb and I can’t find anything in his life that he ever wanted bad enough to ‘convert’ for…on the contrary his whole life and career has been one of saying fuck off and walking away from anything that went against his grain…didn’t matter what it was, Republicans, the Veterans Adm, Congress, business deals.etc..
    So what’s up with this?…..is Schumer exaggerating for some reason, is Hagel groveling to get appointed, has there been some Hagel Jewish suffering conversion?
    I don’t know but I don’t think Hagel is the ‘changing his mind type’..and after what he’s been subjected to the Lobby and I-Firsers I can’t see him suddenly falling in love with Schumer Jewish suffering routine. Is it weird.

    WSJ Blogs Realtime commentary and analysis from The Wall Street Journal .
    Washington Wire Political Insight and Analysis From The Wall Street Journal’s Capital Bureau Search Washington Wire1

    February 20, 2013, 12:04 PM.Schumer: Hagel Will ‘Surprise’ on Israel

    Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel “almost had tears in his eyes” when Sen. Chuck Schumer explained during a private meeting his objection to Mr. Hagel’s use of the term “Jewish lobby,” Mr. Schumer recalled Wednesday.

    During a 90-minute meeting shortly after Mr. Hagel’s name was floated for the spot, Mr. Schumer, a Democrat, “asked him about all the things he said that had troubled me, troubled you, troubled any of us who are supporters of Israel,” he said.”

    link to blogs.wsj.com

    • @ American

      I think it was annie who had speculated that what we are seeing of Hagel is a scripted act prescribed by the WH. I tend to agree with that viewpoint. Like you, I don’t read Hagel as a flip-flopper or a soul-seller. Instead, I believe, he has agreed to play along with the guidance of the WH advisors to play possum for the invading huns, without which, he has no chance of getting confirmed. I am still hoping that he does, in fact, get confirmed.

      What remains to be seen is what happens after he is confirmed. Some have speculated that he is mortally wounded by this episode, and having avowed his fealty to Israel, has no room to maneuver later. I disagree.

      It is possible that, because of his public capitulation to the dark forces, he will be limited with what he is able to declare in public – but why does he need to be public? He can do significant damage to the I-firsters and the MIC at the helm of the pentagon without uttering a single syllable in public. The structure that the I-firsters have built in silence and in darkness, which permeates the bowels of our government, is best disemboweled silently, and in darkness. I can see lots of petty officials suddenly being laid off – the hidden support behind their more visible superiors, and even those superiors themselves. I can see plans devised to assist Israel in one way or another, quietly being shelved or put into the circular file. Knocking out a few of the key pillars of this infrastructure could bring the entire edifice crashing down – and all without a single shot being fired in public. This is the same Pentagon from which 2 trillion dollars vanished on the eve of 2001 without a single audit or a follow-through.

      Wishful thinking? Maybe. But, this looks too easy – and even stupid for the WH to have nominated Hagel, knowing full well to expect exactly this reaction from the denizens of the lobby. So why would they do it?

      They did it because they knew this was the only way they could get him confirmed. Once confirmed, I expect them to set him free to bring down the house of Mordor.

  5. W.Jones says:

    Regarding the origin and nature of the special relationship, I recently read the Wilson Center’s article “Moscow’s Surprise”, which portrays the State’s original main military supporter as the USSR in the years 1947-1949. The article claims that the USSR provided the support in order to damage America and Britain’s role in the Middle East by generating conflict there.
    link to wilsoncenter.org

    I am doubtful whether the Soviet plan was simply de-constructive. It seems possible to me that the Soviets expected the new State to respond by supporting the Soviets, because so many of the new immigrants had a Socialist orientation, and the new society had socialist aspects, like the kibbutzes. Very many of the immigrants after the war came to western Europe from soviet-controlled territories. The latter supplied Soviet advisors, training, lots of equipment, especially captured German armaments, (eg. Messerschmit planes).
    It was not too long afterwards though that the new State, once victorious, “realigned” and re-sided with the more powerful capitalist US and Britain- naturally to the dismay of the Soviets.

    Perhaps this might throw into question how fundamental the special relationship with the US can really be, since the “loser” Soviets also at one time gave strong military backing- perhaps being even the main ally at that point.

    • W.Jones says:

      On the other hand, I just read about 30 Sherman tanks being provided through Italy in 1948, so it wasn’t like the Soviets were the only supporters at that point.

  6. pabelmont says:

    BILL MAHER, HOST OF “REAL TIME” ON HBO: And it’s not?

    WEINSTEIN: Well, there’s two things wrong with that. One is that — it’s, you know, kind of suggesting Israeli power is controlling things. Number two, of all the branches of the government, the State Department being the most pro-Israel branch is ridiculous.

    Who’s this WEINSTEIN dub? Why does he suggest that “kind of suggesting Israeli power is controlling things” is “wrong” (his word)? Is his problem that the “kind of” is too weak? Does he think we should all say, “For sure, and absolutely, so far, and for many years, Israeli power is/has been controlling things.”

    • bilal a says:

      Jamie Weinstein at Frontpage:

      “If so, this is more than a little strange. I happen to know many people who work at AIPAC, who used to work at AIPAC and who are active supporters of AIPAC. For the record, I interned for AIPAC when I was in college. Of all the people I know (we are talking dozens), I am not aware of a single person associated with AIPAC who does not support a two-state solution to the conflict.”

      link to frontpagemag.com

      But his editor at Frontpage, David Horowitz, a rabid Islamaphobe, has written on the 2 state solution:

      “[His book] challenges the false hope of the Two State Solution in sections such as “Self-Determination Is Not the Agenda” and “Refugees: Jewish and Arab”. It confronts the myth of Palestinian victimhood in “The Policy of Resentment and Hate” and delivers a rousing restatement of the true history of the hate that led us to all this in “The Jewish Problem and Its ‘Solution’”.

      from forward to the book, Daniel Greenfield, Shillman Fellow at Horowitz Freedom Center, , who at least is candid about the 2 state solution, even if weinstein is a Liar and aipac plant.

      “But I have a suggestion for finally resolving this whole mess. The Two State Solution. This will be only the fourth time we’ve tried a Two State Solution and it hasn’t worked until now. Which means it’s bound to work this time. And if it doesn’t, there’s always a fifth time. And by then there would be no territory left for Israel to give up, which would truly make it a final solution. ”

      link to sultanknish.blogspot.com

      • Hostage says:

        “But I have a suggestion for finally resolving this whole mess. The Two State Solution. This will be only the fourth time we’ve tried a Two State Solution and it hasn’t worked until now. Which means it’s bound to work this time. And if it doesn’t, there’s always a fifth time. And by then there would be no territory left for Israel to give up, which would truly make it a final solution.”

        And I’m sure that some Zionist spokesman can be trotted-out to tearfully “accept” all of historic Palestine, if “sacrificing” the Jewish people’s right to all of Eretz Yisroel is necessary to the international effort to find a peaceful solution.

        Just remember Israel Harel’s inline commentary on Ben-Gurion’s words to the 20th Zionist Congress in 1937:

        ‘If I had been faced with the question: a Jewish state in the west of the land of Israel (note the emphasis of the ‘west of the land of Israel’ meaning there is also a ‘east of the land of Israel’) in return to giving up on our historical right to the entire land of Israel I would have postponed the (establishment) of the state’. And he added (as far as I know, to applause from many of the delegates): ‘No Jew is entitled to give up the right of the Jewish nation to the land. It is not in the authority of any Jew or of any Jewish body; it is not even in the authority of the entire nation alive today to give up any part of the land’.

        – Jewish Quarterly, Winter 2007, Number 208, link to jewishquarterly.org

        When the Zionists start “accepting” just and fair territorial settlements, you can always be certain (that they are really not).

  7. chris o says:

    I might just have to watch House of Cards on Netflix. It seems like a good show. And what a great-sounding segment, especially with the Abe Foxman-type character. Is it wrong for me to think a Jew must have wrote this?