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‘Onion’ ‘joke’– Israel vows to use constitutional veto power over Hagel

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Emperor’s new clothes time. What other media are going here? A brilliant post at The Onion: “Israel Vows to Use Veto Power If Chuck Hagel Confirmed as Secretary of Defense.” Remember, this is a joke:

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. “Because congress does not possess the necessary nine-tenths majority to override an Israeli veto, they’ll have no choice but to head back to the drawing board and provide a Defense Secretary whom we find more suitable.” Sources confirmed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had sent the White House a list of three individuals the Israeli leader considered appropriate to head the American military from which U.S. President Barack Obama could choose.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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39 Responses

  1. bijou on January 8, 2013, 10:10 pm

    It feels like we are approaching that moment in The Wizard of Oz where the curtain is drawn back to expose the little, mundane wizard …

  2. annie on January 8, 2013, 10:32 pm

    this is fantastic!

  3. Bumblebye on January 8, 2013, 11:07 pm

    It’s hilarious! I saw it at Anthony Loewenstein’s site and nearly ruined the keyboard!

  4. CloakAndDagger on January 8, 2013, 11:24 pm

    O joyous day! I have long waited for the unveiling of the apocalypse!

  5. Taxi on January 9, 2013, 1:18 am

    Okay so now we can confidently say that the message of israel=bad has finally arrived at the suburbs of the mainstream and is heading downtown.

    Aipac is weaker now especially for the Hagel public scraping – but they are in fact more dangerous/desperate/vicious.

    Watch your backs people.

    But do look forward to the public slaying of the dragon coming to your nearest political theater sooner than later.

    • annie on January 9, 2013, 4:42 am

      has finally arrived at the suburbs of the mainstream and is heading downtown….look forward to the public slaying of the dragon coming to your nearest political theater sooner than later.

      you totally crack me up. you may have a future as a writer taxi. ever considered it?


      • bintbiba on January 9, 2013, 9:19 am

        “have a future”? Is …now …already..!!!

        Brilliant,as always.

      • American on January 9, 2013, 10:00 am

        Ditto, Taxi could become famous doing political comic books on this.

      • Mooser on January 9, 2013, 12:52 pm

        “you may have a future as a writer taxi.”

        I think a cab should pick up every fare, literary lion or not.

      • Taxi on January 11, 2013, 4:24 am

        Mooser, I have an ejectable back seat in my cab in case I accidentally pick up a raving zionist at the witching hour. And as you well know, weird cosmic accidents can happen to the best of us.

        Oh yeah and a shout-out to all the motley mondo musketeers out there – the ones who know that “the pen is mightier than the sword”!

        Though the sword is an option that has its time and place.

  6. seafoid on January 9, 2013, 3:27 am

    This is the beginning of the end my friend
    Of all elaborate plans the end
    Of MSM control the end
    In a truly desperate land
    Lost in an Israeli wilderness of self inflicted pain
    And all the hasbaradim are insane

    • Taxi on January 9, 2013, 5:41 am

      The peak of aipac’s power was when Natenyahu got 29 standing ovations in congress (still makes me angry-queazy to remember). I said so at the time about their power peak. I was very happy to watch the zi0cons (both sides of the isle) come out from the shadows and give the Beeb their prostrations in public. It’s been downhill for them ever since, slow-paced but certainly downwards for aipac.

      I would be very happy too if Bibi wins the next election. He’s such a fine ruiner of the “special relationship” in the eyes of Joe and Jane. If he loses, then I pray to the non-god Gawd that someone even more deranged gets in.

      • seafoid on January 9, 2013, 8:41 am

        It would be even better if Naftali Bennett got more seats than Likudbeitunu. Speed up the process.

      • Ellen on January 9, 2013, 10:14 am

        That revolting and groveling display in Congress — with Bibi’s lying, fear mongering “They-could-put-a-bomb-anywhere” speech with Sen. Cantor strutting in the background and Congress jumping to their feet and clapping over and over again in unison — was a low point for the US and any semblance of national dignity.

        Even the Israeli press concluded at the time: Last night we saw that the Americans will buy anything, or at least their applauding legislators will.

        A low point for the US and the peak for Netanyahu and his self understanding? Maybe. But I tend to agree with the Israeli press that that display showed us that the US Congress will buy anything. I’d add to that especially if it is packaged right and there is $$ behind it.

        I do not see that changing no matter what or how low we sink.

      • Les on January 9, 2013, 1:07 pm

        Such support from Congress for the the same Bibi that was at the Israeli end of the ring that smuggled nuclear triggers from the US to Israel.

      • W.Jones on January 9, 2013, 11:44 am


        How has it been downhill for AIPAC since then? The biggest loss I can see coming afterwards was the UN vote, but that was many months later.

        In other words, it was not the legislature’s totalitarian clapping session that seemed to mark things going downhill. And of course they remain the strongest lobby, right, due to their financial base? Since the clapping session reflects that $ buys votes, ultimately won’t the $ be decisive?

      • seafoid on January 9, 2013, 5:39 pm

        @ Taxi and WJ

        “Because the fact of the matter is that the many millions of dollars and scores of divisive slogans and speeches that were meant to discredit President Obama’s attitude and policies towards Israel have, in their political and electoral bottom lines, amounted to almost naught. By the same token and by all appearances, the all-out, go-for-the-jugular campaign that is being mounted against the appointment of Hagel as Secretary of Defense is also likely to end in failure, at last as things stand now.

        In the process, however, the American public has been exposed to dismayingly disproportionate discussion of Israel’s trials and tribulations, above and beyond all the countries of the world, more or less, put together. And while the traditionally solid bipartisan support for Israel remains strong on its surface, many on the left and in the Democratic Party are increasingly viewing it as a Republican tool, which, in the natural progression of things, needs to be resisted and countered.

        And thus there is room for concern that when push comes to shove, and Israel reaches a crossroads that is truly crucial or even existential, in which it needs to try and muster all the support that it can in order to exert maximal influence on American policies, it will find that too many bridges have been burned and too many supporters have been alienated in its name; that when the critical moment to use it finally arrived, Israel will discover that the force is no longer with it.”

        Ma sha allah

      • W.Jones on January 9, 2013, 11:52 am


        I admit, the totalitarian clapping session with the speech about democracy and the demonstrator beat-down has comical irony.


    • American on January 9, 2013, 10:07 am

      seafoid says:

      This is the beginning of the end my friend”>>>>>>

      Hopefully …. but we will have to storm the Castle of the cowardly and corrupt US congress to win the war.

      • W.Jones on January 9, 2013, 11:42 am

        Good point. What is new in the positions? O’Bama was already seen as being too leftist on I/P by opposing (weakly) settlements, and the Legislature was already hardcore, passing resolution(s) in Emergency sessions when AIPAC pressed a button.

        The thing that seems new is that Obama nominated someone the more conservative half of the lobby seriously opposed and JStreet supported. So it shows Obama as more emboldened, but not that the legislature has become less corrupted, although the nomination could affect some legislators to be less so…

        Anyway, it is nice.

      • American on January 9, 2013, 12:26 pm

        @ WJ

        What I see that is ‘newest in this….. is O didn’t fold on Hagel like he did in his first term on Chas Freeman who came under the same zio attack.
        I don’t think AIPAC lite J-Street had any influence either.
        I think O just ignored …or should I say, ‘pretended to ignore the “Lobby”.
        O hasn’t said one word about the lobby attack on Hagel….he made a point of not saying anything about it.
        Thereby letting I-Firstdom screech and screech away and set the stage for A-Firstdom to question and oppose I- Firstdom in the Hagel nomination.
        No saying that was ‘by design’ on O’s part but that’s how it worked out.

      • Denis on January 9, 2013, 4:55 pm

        @American: “O didn’t fold on Hagel like he did in his first term on Chas Freeman who came under the same zio attack.”

        Hope you’re right, but I think it’s way to early to be contrasting the two cases. Freeman was, after all, nominated and that nomination w/drawn. There’s plenty of time for the same to happen to Hagel, especially given Obama’s history of having a Spandex backbone when push comes to shove.

        In the absence of filibuster reform, this deal is far from being over. As much as I hope I’m wrong, at this point I wouldn’t give Hagel an even chance of being appointed. It is not beneath Obama to throw him out there to be used as a bargaining chip down the road. I don’t see that the guy has very strong support on either side of the aisle or with the public. He’s certainly dispensable. Hopefully Mondoweiss et al. Internet sources can keep up the pressure in his behalf.

        For all of the attempts to use his rhetoric against him to paint him as an anti-Semite, you don’t see the Zio-fascists publicizing his most famous line: “I’m a United States senator. I’m not an Israeli senator.” I mean . . . this is not anti-Semetic in the eyes of Foxman, or J. Rubin, or Abrams? Of course it is. But this attitude is a third rail to the Israeli-firster crowd. The last thing they want is to take issue with a statement like that.

        But you don’t see the pro-Hagel forces or the Administration using this incredibly patriotic assertion either, and that worries me. If that sentiment wouldn’t win over the support of every American, the whole country is Israeli road-kill.

      • W.Jones on January 9, 2013, 6:18 pm



      • ToivoS on January 9, 2013, 8:31 pm

        No saying that was ‘by design’ on O’s part but that’s how it worked out.

        Agree completely. There is no way that anyone could have predicted the neocons would attack Hagel because he dared to say ‘I am a US senator, not an Israeli senator’.

      • American on January 9, 2013, 10:06 pm

        There is no way that anyone could have predicted the neocons would attack Hagel because he dared to say ‘I am a US senator, not an Israeli senator’.”….Tov’

        Heh,heh,heh….course not, who woulda thought!..big SURprise.

      • American on January 10, 2013, 12:18 pm

        denis, no I haven’t seen O or the adm use the Hagel—”I am a American Senator not a Israeli senator’…. either.
        BUT…on msnbc news program they did show that Hagel statement and also played the video clip of him making that statement… lots of Americans saw and heard it.
        What posessed nbc to get that brave I don’t know…lol..but there it was right up on the screen big as day.

      • seafoid on January 9, 2013, 12:30 pm

        “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader,” Alexandre Ledru-Rollin (1807-1874), a French politician

      • Chu on January 9, 2013, 1:13 pm

        Storm the castle. Great Idea.
        Look at what a bunch of weakling hacks there are in Congress. No wonder they want to take guns from their citizens. Chuck Shumer with his nervous smile, as Lindsey Graham acts as handmaiden of the lobby. And don’t even get me started about Mitch McConnell. What is wrong with that man? what an eerie array of leadership. They probably have dark secrets against each other. It’s what keeps them held together in dark harmony.

  7. eGuard on January 9, 2013, 5:47 am

    The second sentence, In light of … 1,400 times in its 64-year history has no satire.

  8. seafoid on January 9, 2013, 8:46 am

    “Beyond bias, certain themes emerging in the Australian media are examples of the new anti-Semitism,” he wrote. “These include the alleged financial and media power of the Jewish lobby; an extreme demonization of Israel and extravagant assertions about the supposed worldwide effects of its policy toward the Palestinians; conspiracy theories about American Jewish neoconservatives ; and a tendency to claim that anti-Semitism is a response to Jewish behavior and attitudes.”

    European soccer authorities have opened disciplinary proceedings against the Rome soccer team Lazio for the alleged anti-Semitism of its fans.
    At the November 22 match, Lazio fans chanted “Juden Tottenham” and unfurled a large banner reading “Free Palestine.” The game ended in a 0-0 draw. Lazio is known for its militant, far-right, hardcore fans.

  9. braciole on January 9, 2013, 9:02 am

    The only newspaper I believe to be more honest than The Onion is Pravda!

  10. Denis on January 9, 2013, 9:36 am

    While we’re all busting our collective gut laughing at the spoof, Senator Bill Nelson (D. Fla) is in Jerusalem “consulting” w/ Bibi about the nomination. Nelson made a very public point that Bibi “did not voice objections to Hagel.” So the deal is on. Of course, Obama cleared it w/ Bibi 2 weeks ago.

    Nelson also pushed back against Paul Rand’s splatter-talk about ending US public assistance payments to rich countries. Nelson made it clear the $3bn/yr. US to Israel gravy train will stay on schedule.

    Why am I not laughing?

  11. pabelmont on January 9, 2013, 9:44 am

    I wrote on the message-to-Congress web-site and on the message-to-President web-site:

    CHUCK HAGEL and Israel: Because Congress does not possess the necessary nine-tenths majority to override an Israeli veto, they’ll have no choice but to head back to the drawing board and provide a Defense Secretary whom we find more suitable. (The ONION)

    Does ISRAEL REALLY have a VETO power over the USA Congress?

    You tell us, and tell us loudly.

    An army of mosquitoes might annoy Congress or even persuade them.

  12. Dan Crowther on January 9, 2013, 11:43 am


    There’s a lesson to be learned here – Humor>Righteous Indignation.

    It’s too bad Bill Hicks is dead, Carlin too – they’d be having a field day on this topic, and I think both would be decidedly more effective than 10,000 traditional pro-palestinian/anti-zionist advocates. Nothing like a good joke to make people self reflective.

    • seafoid on January 9, 2013, 3:54 pm

      Lenny Bruce. I’d swap him for Lieberman and Netanyahu any day. Such a Mensch.

      His Ku Klux Klan Sketch is timeless. Black/white or Catholic/Protestant or Jewish/Palestinian

      “You are Jewish. The president of AIPAC. Now, if you don’t think this is logic you can burn me at Masada . This is the logic: You have the choice of spending fifteen years married to a woman, a Jewish woman or a Palestinian woman. Fifteen years kissing and hugging and sleeping real close on hot nights. With a Palestinian woman or a white, Jewish woman. The Jewish woman is Golda Meir. And the Palestinian woman is Queen Noor . So you’re not concerned with Jewish or Palestinian anymore, are you? You are concerned with how cute or how pretty. Then let’s really get basic and persecute ugly people!

      Imagine what he’d have to say about Messianic Zionism were he still alive.

  13. Chu on January 9, 2013, 1:05 pm

    These type of JoKes should make for great late-night television material. Why can’t Letterman & Leno and the others approach this comically?

    answer: Because there can be no daylight between the US and our closest ally.

  14. Les on January 9, 2013, 1:09 pm

    With so many members of the House and the Senate, committed to representing Israel’s interests, don’t we have a right ot know who they assign to represent their constituents’ interests in the meantime?

  15. Rizla on January 9, 2013, 7:18 pm

    Is this a first for the Onion? Bravo. Some intelligent people they have that are seemingly getting more courageous on the topic. Have they done the Lobby before?

  16. justsayin on January 10, 2013, 12:00 am

    Maybe we should start emposing sanctions on the aparthied state until the USA gets to have a say in WHOM they have in their administration seats, But wait what about other allies like Britain etc …the USA must take part in ALL these countries seats too.
    NA it will remain the same as always…
    On the other hand, the DOJ Chicago office for sure, has allowed crooks to steal unfeathered while the victims of scams are left to suffer & hold the bag for the fraud they were victims of. Ahhh good ole USA ! We can’t wipe our asses, so israel will do it for us correctly. No wonder there is hemoroid creme.

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