Conan O’Brien frolics with Netanyahu and the Israeli army

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Conan O’Brien is in Israel filming a show to be broadcast in September. He’s also in Palestine, but the show is titled, “Conan in Israel.”

Everything about O’Brien’s trip is making the Israeli government happy. But he is getting a lot of grief on social media.

O’Brien flew El Al to Israel. And he’s been hanging out with the Israeli army. Here’s a near hour video of him mock-training with the Israeli Defense Forces. “Thank you very much. It was an honor.”

When do I get a gun? Do I get a gun now?… I will join the Israeli army on the following conditions. I don’t want a gun that’s loaded…

O’Brien does a promotion of a pro-Israel classic: Israeli hospitals generously treating Syrian victims, who are subject to recrimination from other Syrians for accepting the life-saving care.

He’s made token visits to Palestine too. He did a little Orientalist shtik in the West Bank. He went to Aida refugee camp to meet Palestinian kids, so as to appear to be balanced.

Here is 40 minutes of video in Bethlehem. It would seem that “incredible” is O’Brien’s euphemism for “occupation.”

“The Israelis are not allowed here, obviously… Wow, so much is happening so fast here. It’s really incredible to be on the West Bank…. It’s a pretty incredible town, pretty amazing.”

But there is no balance. He promoted an Israeli army “elite commando” unit TV show–  the same one that Dan Senor promoted at AIPAC, and that David Remnick promoted in the New Yorker.

Here’s the writer of that show, Lior Raz, tweeting a humorous photo of himself with Conan O’Brien on the set of that TV show.

But the highlight of the trip, politically, has been the meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Here is Netanyahu doing Conan O’Brien shtik.

It’s sort of pathetic that a Prime Minister takes the visit of an American celebrity that seriously.

O’Brien then goes to Netanyahu’s house and has a meal. And does dog jokes.

How good can Netanyahu be for anybody’s brand? O’Brien’s trip is already an embarrassment on twitter. Glenn Greenwald has been excellent about the trip. On the IDF session:

Playfully giggling with Netanyhau at his house & serving as his court jester wasn’t enough. Now come the proud posing-with-IDF pictures.

This is how the IDF usually “kicks butt,” Greenwald notes: Slaughtering four Palestinian boys on the beach in Gaza. And this on the Netanyahu visit:

It’s one thing to ignore an international boycott & travel to Israel. But to turn yourself into the plaything of an apartheid leader is vile.

Happily the comments on O’Brien’s Facebook page have been fairly harsh. People know this isn’t fun and games.

Thanks to Allison Deger and Adam Horowitz.

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Did Israel pay for his trip too?

A special thank you to Conan for making apartheid fun again. It was becoming kind of a drag, especially if you’re a Palestinian. Maybe he should have thrown a few rocks get some gas or skunk on him maybe a rubber bullet or two to really get the whole vibe

Sickening. What is wrong with him. Glad to hear he’s getting pushback on Twitter.

Ronald Storrs, the first Governor of Jerusalem, certainly had no illusions about what a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine meant. He said, “a little loyal Jewish Ulster…”

Conan Oy’Brien.