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Conan O’Brien frolics with Netanyahu and the Israeli army

on 27 Comments

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.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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27 Responses

  1. elephantine on September 1, 2017, 11:17 am

    Did Israel pay for his trip too?

  2. Blownaway on September 1, 2017, 1:01 pm

    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

    • JWalters on September 1, 2017, 6:03 pm

      Excellent suggestions. He could follow that up with videos of himself as an honorary IDF member, driving the skunk spray truck, bulldozing Palestinian homes, shooting Palestinians. There are surely many jokes about how much better it is to be the oppressor than the oppressed. He could milk this for a whole season. And think of all the viewers he will convince of Israel’s higher morality! Way to go Conan O’Barbarien!

  3. chocopie on September 1, 2017, 2:35 pm

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

  4. Hemlockroid on September 1, 2017, 2:40 pm

    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…”

  5. amigo on September 1, 2017, 4:05 pm

    Conan Oy’Brien.

  6. just on September 1, 2017, 5:49 pm

    Yes, amigo.

    He’s now a televangelist for Zionism and the Apartheid State. This is not just a crying shame, he is now repugnant (to be polite) to me. I’ve been nauseated since I discovered his delirium over Israel. Thanks to MW for exposing this and giving the world another platform for discussion.

    About his visit to the “Syrian victims”, he goes gaga:


    How many times has Israel bombed Syria anyway? How many anti- Assad ‘fighters’ have they supported and treated and paid?

    I could go on (and on and on). I’ll end with this. A lot of “American dogs” I’ve met eat veg , including cukes. Perhaps, and obviously, Oy’Brien’s canine associates only like red meat…

    • Misterioso on September 2, 2017, 10:48 am


      Let’s not forget that Israel invaded Syria’s Golan Heights during the June 1967 war, expelled over 150,000 Syrians and after annexing them, has been illegally occupying the Heights since.** (Israel is also still illegally occupying Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms.}

      To quote Moshe Dayan:
      “‘I made a mistake in allowing the conquest of the Golan Heights. As defense minister I should have stopped it because the Syrians were not threatening us at the time.’ The attack proceeded, he went on, not because Israel was threatened but because of pressure from land-hungry farmers and army commanders in northern Israel. ‘Of course [war with Syria] was not necessary. You can say the Syrians are bastards and attack when you want. But this is not policy. You don’t open aggression against an enemy because he’s a bastard but because he’s a threat’.” (Quoted in an editorial, “Israel and Syria: Correcting the Record,” by Stephen S. Rosenfeld, The Washington Post, 24 December 1999)

      Two other well known Israeli generals wondered why Moshe Dayan ordered the invasion of Syria at 11:30 A.M. on June 9 – a full four days after Israel launched the war and four-and- one-half hours after Damascus had agreed to abide by the UN Security Council’s demand for a cease-fire. “[General Yitzhak] Rabin wrote in his memoir that he has ‘never grasped the reasons’ for Dayan’s decision to launch the assault. [General] Ezer Weizman, who likewise could give ‘no explanation’ for Dayan’s action, rhetorically asked years later, ‘if indeed the Syrian enemy threatened to destroy us, why did we wait three days before we attacked it?” (Quoted by Norman Finkelstein, Image and…pp. 133-34)

      **On 17 December 1981, the UNSC unanimously passed Resolution 497, which declared Israel’s 14 December 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights “null and void.”

  7. JosephA on September 1, 2017, 11:41 pm

    Why doesn’t he just fellate Netanyahu (Mileikowsky) while he’s at it? He should also evict some Palestinians from their land, bulldoze their homes, terrorize them with United States tax dollars.

    • amigo on September 2, 2017, 3:39 pm

      “He should also evict some Palestinians from their land, bulldoze their homes, terrorize them with United States tax dollars.”Joseph A

      Indeed and get the feel of what it is like to be under an eternal existential threat in a bad neighbourhood.The actions Jews in Israel have are forced to resort to , to fend off the Arab hoards, some of whom have the audacity to go in droves to vote.

      What,s a poor victimised zionist to do.

  8. Kay24 on September 2, 2017, 6:16 am

    Is he expecting a lucrative contract from the zionist media, running for office in the US, or simply wanting to do some PR work for Israel?
    Maybe it is a junket trip like our shameless congress members take:

    “At least 53 Congressional representatives are on a week-long trip to Israel, paid for by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), an arm of the powerful lobbying group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee).

    AIEF’s budget is approximately $80 million, which it uses to take diverse groups to Israel. More than a dozen Latino leaders from the Southwest U.S. have just returned from an AIEF funded five-day trip to Israel that ended Aug 6, and a trip for top political operatives was conducted in June.”

    If Israel can afford $80 million all expenses paid trip to Israel for American politicians, why are WE still sending them aid?

  9. a blah chick on September 2, 2017, 7:30 am

    I’m just happy that Kaya is looking well after failson Yair dragged her(?) into that whole dog park mess. Only decent member of that wretched family.

  10. hophmi on September 2, 2017, 8:07 am

    Because as we all know, social media reflects truth and reality, and people follow everything social media tells them to do. That’s why we have President Hillary Clinton.

    • Misterioso on September 2, 2017, 9:57 am

      Apparently, Conan is not familiar with the old adage “lie down with dogs and you’ll get fleas.”
      He will profoundly regret jumping in bed with fascists and racists.

      • Kathleen on September 5, 2017, 6:53 am

        “He will profoundly regret jumping in bed with fascists and racists.”

        That would be assuming he has a conscience. He has demonstrated he does not

    • CigarGod on September 2, 2017, 9:57 am

      I guess you’ve been away.
      Bullsh*t is reality.
      That’s why we have President Donald Trump.

      • Misterioso on September 2, 2017, 11:26 am


  11. WebSkipper on September 2, 2017, 11:11 am

    I wonder if he had a crack at manning a checkpoint at Erez or Qalandiya for a shift. What a terrific photo op THAT would make, huh?

  12. Ossinev on September 2, 2017, 1:38 pm

    I hope that all those “fellow” descendants of Irish Catholics murdered , starved to death , ethnically cleansed and left homeless by Zioland`s colonial predecessors will show their disdain for this loathsome creature.

  13. chocopie on September 2, 2017, 9:33 pm

    Maybe he could join a platoon of IDF and help them to prevent Palestinian kids from getting to school. Or help them to shut down a theatre. Something really constructive like that, to show his support for Zionism. Help staff a checkpoint to prevent an ambulance from getting through. Help staff the Allenby bridge and ask Americans their grandfather’s name.

  14. Citizen on September 3, 2017, 11:50 am

    Conan is typical product of USA ivy league. He seems to be totally ignorant of Irish history and what it means for Palestinians under occupation.

  15. Marnie on September 4, 2017, 12:29 am

    “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…”

    What does Conan know of honor if he says it was an honor training with the iof? He could have left and gone to Texas and Louisiana and worked with a real army to help his fellow
    americans facing the shitstorm at home instead of playing soldier with these assholes. What do they do to people to turn them into drooling, slobbering syncophants for the devil’s spawn? Chances area though he was halfway there before he even boarded el al.

  16. Jackdaw on September 6, 2017, 2:25 pm

    Thank you Conan for many, many years of laughter.

    • amigo on September 6, 2017, 4:37 pm

      “Thank you Conan for many, many years of laughter.” jackduh

      Jackduh ,whose taste for talent extends the length of a coin.

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