Peter Beinart has a post at his Open Zion blog about the Sarah Silverman viral video in which the comedian offered sex to Sheldon Adelson if he would give his campaign donations to President Obama not Mitt Romney.
This time, Silverman takes aim at Sheldon Adelson, an old Jew who even more dramatically incarnates the anti-Muslim bigotry that infects pockets of American Jewry. Adelson, after all, is pro-occupation, doesn’t think Palestinians exist and believes that “all terrorists are Islamists.” But Silverman doesn’t talk about that.
….In 2008, Silverman mocked Jews who discriminate against people they incorrectly consider Muslim. In 2012, she could have mocked Jews who support discrimination against people who actually are Muslim. Instead, she decided that the most objectionable thing about Sheldon Adelson is that he might not be able to get it up.
I think what Beinart wants to say is that the last thing Obama needs is to have his hands in the pocket of another powerful wealthy Jew who supports the occupation. Taking Adelson’s money actually may compromise the president’s already compromised positions on Middle East policy or, at the very least, make it appear as if Obama is sympathetic toward Adelson’s views on the occupation and Islam.
But on a deeper level Beinart is probably dismayed that Silverman, who is a voice of young, smart, hip and liberal Jews who he claims are turning away from Israel, would be courting the Netanyahu sugar daddy, Adelson.
Who knows why Silverman agreed to do this commercial? It is possible she does not get the connection between Adelson and injustice. Maybe she is not so smart. Appearances can be deceiving in actresses, as well as politicians. At 41, the comedian could be out of touch with the Jewish youth of America. It could be that she doesn’t care. Or she’s no liberal when it comes to Zionism. Or possibly, she is doing it for the money. (The ad is produced by a Jewish political organization.)
Then there is the question of why Beinart pulled his punches with his suggestion that Silverman should have mocked Jews who support discrimination against Muslims. He could have proffered the more hard-hitting recommendation that the comedian mock Jews who support the occupation. Because anti-Muslim sentiments are the result and not the cause of the pro-Israel support.
Still Beinart, in his sophisticated, liberal Democrat, liberal Zionist way, raised the issue in the mainstream media. It would not be there without him. For that he should be commended.