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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jon Stewart’

19 Non-Jewish Reasons the Stock Market Is Plunging

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Fear and greed move the stock market, and the fear has grown into paranoia.

If people are in a good mood, they read the news through rose-tinted glasses, and not even another Islamic State (ISIS) beheading of an American could scare them away from buying stocks.
The crash in the market in Shanghai set off fears that have been tucked away in the back of the minds of anyone who ventures to hear or see what is going on in the world.

It seems that the constant Obama administration’s propaganda that the Middle East will fall apart without a “two-state” nightmare is not driving people to sell stocks.

There are real fears out there, no matter how much the White House tries to camouflage them with President Barack Obama’s playing golf with Steph Curry and taking a popularity hitchhike on Jon Stewart’s coattails.

A poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research named the threat of terrorism and the Islamic State (ISIS) as the most worrisome foreign policy issues.

Next on the “worry list” is immigration.

Here are 17 other Americans’ fears that no longer are blinded by greed:

— A Congressional veto of the deal with Iran will cause Iran to become more militant and encourage it develop a nuclear weapon and encourage Hezbollah terrorist attacks on the shores of the United States.

— Congressional approval of the deal with Iran will pave the way for Iran to build a nuclear weapon and fund Hezbollah terrorist attacks on the shores of the United States.

— Donald Trump will become the Republican presidential nominee.

— Jeb Bush will become the Republican presidential nominee

— Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee.

— Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic presidential nominee.

— Joe Biden will be the Democratic presidential nominee.

— The Islamic State (ISIS) will behead another American.

— Mexican immigration will destroy America.

— Homosexual marriages will destroy America.

— The Supreme Court will destroy America.

— ‘Millennials” will be lucky if they get 50 percent of Social Security payments.

— Drug care will be non-affordable.

— Joe Biden will be the next U.S. president.

— Donald Trump will be elected president.

— Hillary Clinton will be elected president.

— Jeb Bush will be elected president.

— Bernie Sanders will be elected president.

What happened to the fear that the Arab-Israeli struggle endangers America’s security?

President Obama Issues Executive Order that Jon Stewart Cannot Leave ‘The Daily Show’

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015


President Obama made his final appearance on the Daily Show ahead of Jon Stewart’s departure after 16 years as host. The announcement that Stewart was leaving was met with dismay among his huge fan base.

After President Obama took the stage, he said, “I can’t believe you are leaving before me. I’m issuing an executive order that Jon Stewart cannot leave the show.”

Of course, it was added that such an order would be contested in the courts.

Joking about conspiracy theories that have been generated about President Obama in social media, Stewart remarked on the fact the President has only 18 months remaining in his second term. “You don’t have that much time to take away America’s guns, declare martial law and put hardworking Americans into labor camps. You’d better get started,” Stewart said.

Stewart went right to the controversial Iran nuclear deal which has drawn vociferous criticism from Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and many pro-Israel groups.

“Whose team are we on in the Middle East?” Stewart asked.

“Iran are anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic,” replied Obama, “and they sponsor terrorist organizations like Hezbollah.”

“Sounds like a good partner,” said Stewart.

“Well, as is said frequently, you don’t make peace with your friends,” the President said.

Obama reiterated points stated in defense of the deal, that it will take definitive measures to ensure Iran will not obtain a nuclear weapon, that the inspection capability is “unprecedented,” that there is no chance Iran can get away with cheating. If caught, sanctions can be put in place, said the President. He added that with a deal, the US government can have greater visibility into Iran’s nuclear program.

Critics of the Iran nuclear deal do not approve of having to give Iran 24 days’ notice before checking its facilities, while some experts say 24 days, in the world of nuclear science, is not a long time, and it will be impossible to hide traces of the material. Critics of the deal also highlight the danger of freeing up large amounts of money for Iran, which has called for the destruction of Israel and finances terrorist organizations.

Jon Stewart, who was born Jon Stuart Leibowitz, received heat following his criticism of the Israeli military during last summer’s conflict with Gaza. Responding to those on social media who labeled him a “self-hating Jew,” Stewart responded, “I have many reasons to hate myself and being Jewish isn’t one of them.”

On his first day back following his vacation, a launching pad for his final three weeks on “The Daily Show,” Stewart welcomed the opportunity to ridicule real estate tycoon and now presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose unusual hair and insulting language are considered a boon to satirists.

“I’m sure the Republicans are enjoying Donald Trump,” said the President. Following his controversial statement that Senator John McCain, who spent 5 years as a POW, was not a war hero because he was captured, Jon Stewart imagined that Trump could inspire a new Jewish holiday. “I really feel this is a sort of Jewish holiday waiting to happen. Like, ‘we thought the craziness would only last a day, but by a miracle, it burned for eight, 10, days…”

Interestingly, Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka took the name Yael and converted to Orthodox Judaism, so who knows? She might start producing Trump menorahs.

Obama to Push Iran Deal on ‘Daily Show’ Tuesday

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

(JNi.media) Jon Stewart will interview President Obama for the last time on next Tuesday’s “Daily Show.” It will be Obama’s seventh appearance on Stewart’s show, third as president.

Obama was also one of the last guests on David Letterman’s Show in May, and on The final Colbert Report last December.

Stewart’s last show will be on August 6, and Trevor Noah, his replacement, will start hosting the show on September 28.

Bloomberg speculated that the president will take advantage of his appearance to push the Iran deal.

Back in March, Stewart described Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech against the Iran deal, before a joint session of Congress the day before, as a “festival of slights,” and ” the State of the Union address the Republicans wanted, delivered by the leader they wished they had.”

Stewart also told one Hanukkah-related joke, saying “it was a miracle. Standing ovation that was to last for one minute miraculously lasted eight.”

Will Stewart be hard hitting in this final interview with the President?

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney recalled in an interview that the 2012 Obama reelection campaign had been eager to get the President on with Jon Stewart, “because the young voters we were trying to reach are more likely to watch The Daily Show than some other news shows.”

Carney also said that “probably the most substantive, challenging interview Barack Obama had in the election year was with the anchor of The Daily Show.”

Stewart was tongue-in-cheek critical of Obama when the President did not come to Paris to show solidarity with the victims at the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January:

“How could Obama not be there, look how many world leaders he could have bowed down to and apologized to,” Stewart wailed. “He missed an opportunity. How could the US not be there when representatives of such beacons of freedom and lack of censorship as journalist-punishing Russia, journalist-jailing Turkey, Egypt, enough said. Palestinian cartoonist-jailing Israel was there. And of course our greatest ally Saudi Arabia, having just days ago flogged a blogger. Couldn’t Obama have at least sent a friend?”

Regarding the Iran nuclear program, Stewart had one of his rare diatribes on this topic last April, pointing the finger at none other than former Vice President Dick Cheney:

Stewart argued Cheney was responsible for letting Iran expand its nuclear program. Before he became Vice President, Cheney was chief of Halliburton, seeking to open contracts with Iran, but was unable to do it because of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Stewart showed how the Bush administration took down the Iraq government, which kept Iran in check, and put in a leader who is friendly with Iran like former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. And it only cost $1.5 trillion.

Overall, despite his obvious affinity for the President, Stewart has not held back his criticism of the Obama White House over the years, slamming it for numerous failures, lies, repression of civil rights, you name it. But will the Daily Show Host be critical of the Iran deal in this parting interview, or will he serve the President the softballs he needs to deliver his points on the deal?

We’ll know in a couple of days.

Competition for Islamic Terrorism Cluelessness Prize: Carter and Stewart Tie

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

People can argue about who the worst president of the United States was, but it is hard to dispute that the president who has done and said more idiotic things since leaving office is – hands down – Jimmy Carter.

And yet in a segment on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart on Monday, Jan. 13, Jimmy Carter seemed to be in a competition with his host to show who is more clueless about Islamic terrorism. The competitors tied for the prize. It might have been amusing to watch, if it wasn’t so painful.

Carter was on the show ostensibly because the Carter Center has an exhibit opening tomorrow at the Museum of Natural History, “Countdown to Zero, Defeating Diseases.”

But for most of the just-under eight minute segment, Carter and Stewart discussed the rise of extremist violence, even though the words “Charlie Hebdo” or “kosher grocery store” or even “ISIS” or “al Qaeda” were never mentioned.

Despite accounts by other media that Jon Stewart asked Carter about what happened in Paris, the conversation actually went a bit differently.

It was Stewart who set the tone, suggesting that religion really has nothing to do with the violence that the world has been witnessing.

After a brief discussion about the Carter Center’s humanitarian efforts in Africa, Stewart asked the former president whether he was disheartened, given the “great optimism” following the Camp David Accords.

Carter admitted he was disheartened, but then, veering the only time into a direct reference to the recent events in Paris, he commented on the fact that “the Palestinian leader and the Israeli leader both marched in the front line together in Paris.”

“We still have a hope for peace,” Carter said, “but it’s a distant hope.”

With that, Carter launched into his prescription for giving life to that hope: Israel has to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza (perhaps he forgets that all Israelis, living and dead, left Gaza almost a decade ago). Oh, and also “East Jerusalem,” Israelis have to leave there as well.

And what do the Palestinian Arabs have to do? “The Palestinians have to make sure that they commit themselves, without equivocation, to the freedom of Israel to live in peace alongside of them.”

Carter insisted that it was the United States which has to “be in the forefront of demanding that both the Palestinians and the Israelis come together and accept a reasonable solution to the problem.” His solution, of course.

Stewart then kind of slid into a more generalized history discussion of terrorism in the Middle East, allowing Carter to preen over bringing Sadat and Begin together.

After pointing out that “this extremism” was around at the time of Camp David, Stewart then shares his insight: “I view ‘this extremism’ as a kind of pretext, this idea that it’s a religious backing, seems a pretext for just powerless…they’re angry, nihilistic, and if they did not have the religious part, it would be something else, they would use something else as a pretext to be violent in this way.”

In other words, Stewart views the ISIS and al Qaeda members as simply the latest iteration of the school yard bullies: angry guys who feel powerless and are just using religion as a front, but they could just as easily use membership in a gang, or anything else to justify their “extremism.”

But Carter gives Stewart a tiny little bit of blowback. Instead of agreeing with Stewart, Carter veers down his familiar path of blaming Israel.

Carter responds to Stewart, essentially saying that religion is behind the “extremism” (most people call this terrorism), but it is all Israel’s fault for insulting the religion of these easily angered folks.

The Sorrow And Self Pity Of Jon Stewart At The Toronto Festival

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Published at Jewish Business News

The host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart, spoke to Jonathan Dekel of the National Post on the occasion of showing his new film, Rosewater, which Stewart shot in Jordan.

The topic of their conversation which made headlines, though, was not so much the torture of political prisoners in Iran, which the film is about, but rather Israel, specifically “some pundits referring to [Stewart] as a ‘self-hating Jew.’”

The term, according to Wikipedia, originated with Theodor Lessing’s 1930 book Der Jüdische Selbsthass (“Jewish Self-Hatred”), which shows how Jewish intellectuals incite antisemitism with their hateful view toward Judaism.

Since then it has been used, mostly in the seventies, by the right to point accusing fingers at the left, and has been picked up later on by the left, as a sort of short hand showing up the right to be intolerant and fearful of criticism.

I don’t believe Jon Stewart is a self hating Jew. I do believe him when he tells Dekel, “It’s so interesting to me that people want to define who is a Jew and who is not. And normally that was done by people who weren’t Jewish but apparently now it’s done by people who are, and I find that very interesting. It’s more than nationalism.”

I assure you, no one has ever suggested that Jon Stewart, née Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, is not a Jew. His mom, Marian (née Laskin), and his dad, Donald Leibowitz, were both Jewish going all the way back to Moses. Jon Stewart could walk up this morning to the nearest Israel consulate, present his credentials and receive Israeli citizenship practically on the spot. So why is he so adamant about those imagined people who tell him who is a Jew and who isn’t?

Because Jon Stewart has opted, voluntarily and without pressures, out of the Jewish timeline. He married a lovely, non-Jewish woman, Tracey Lyn McShane, they have two children, and they, too, are not Jewish. I suspect the bitterness in Stewart’s note is related to that decision, which I, for one, respect and support. I don’t think any Jewish person is obligated to marry into the faith. I don’t believe Jewish survival is a Jewish value.

“…you can’t observe (Judaism) in the way you want to observe,” Stewart tells Dekel, then adds: “And I never thought that that would be coming from brethren. I find it really sad, to be honest.”

You see, Stewart is upset because we, the identified Jews in his life, won’t embrace his marrying a gentile woman and raising gentile children as part of Jewish practice. But you can’t expect to both opt out of the faith and carry a grudge because the faith doesn’t embrace you and your outsider family as part of us. How are they part of us?

You’re still a nice, gifted man – but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re on the way out.

Mind you, Jon Stewart represents the norm in Jewish history. Those of us who have clung to our tradition and our Jewish families are the aberration. Every century or so, we shed about 80 percent of the Jewish nation. It started back in the Exodus from Egypt, when, according to some commentators, four fifths of the nation opted to stay in slavery.

The rest of the Stewart interview was chock full of gripes that Dekel, I believe, pushed on Stewart, regarding how you can’t criticize Israel any more, without being attacked as a self hating Jew and so on. I won’t deliberate here the difference between criticizing Israel and promoting an economic boycott to actually hurt Israeli workers, as well as Palestinians, by the way. Most of their exchanges are kind of trite. I’m more interested in Stewart’s core bitterness.

I ask you to read the following paragraph, which Stewart lets out near the end of the interview. It’s hot with pent-up rage:

I always want to say to people when they come at me like that: “I would like Israel to be a safe and secure state. What’s your goal?” So basically we disagree on how to accomplish that but boy do they, I mean, you would not believe the sh-t. You have guys on television saying I’m a Jew like the Jews in the Nazi camps who helped bring the other Jews to ovens. I have people that I lost in the Holocaust and I just … go f*** yourself. How dare you?

And now, read how he and Delek sum up the reasons for the conflict between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East:

Delek: The difference is, in my mind, that the west trumpets Israel as a realistic, functioning Democratic society.

Stewart: And then you look and say, “A thousand more acres in the West Bank? Why?” But I agree with you. I find it fascinating and troubling.

And there, in this trivialization of the conflict, lies the real separation, the real division into us and them. How many old lies are packed into this one, callused comment?

1. Gone are thousands of years of Jewish yearnings for the land of Israel, it’s now just a thousand more acres in the West Bank.

2. Gone are the spiritual aspirations of the half million Jews willing to endure harsh lives in what they insist is the land of their forefathers – it’s all just a thousand more acres in the West Bank.

3. Gone are the decades of Arab refusal to accept a Jewish entity in their midst, a refusal that only grows more virulent with every concession, that’s not the reason for the conflict, because it’s all about the Jews not giving up a thousand more acres in the West Bank.

4. Gone are the elementary love and respect for your people, your family, with whom you should feel free to disagree, but whom you really shouldn’t dehumanize by suggesting all their troubles stem for their inexplicable greed for a thousand more acres in the West Bank.

Jon Stewart is very good at expressing his own sorrow when his heart felt sentiments are reduced to death camp imageries, but, alas, he is entirely incapable of feeling the sentiments of the other side. And that’s truly sad.

Jon Stewart: a Bully and a Coward (Funny Too, But You Knew That)

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Jon Stewart, beloved and wildly popular comedian is, sad to say, also a bully and a coward. We don’t use these words lightly, especially given how loyal and enormous his following is, but, well – you decide.

First, let’s put it out there that nearly everyone thinks Stewart is funny. His following is biggest in the all-important 18 – 49 year old cohort.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart bills itself as a “fake news show.” But for years Stewart has been slamming Israel and its treatment of Palestinian Arabs.

Stewart’s slams against Israel are presented not as mere humor, but instead as truth dressed up as if he is the “bad boy saying what others won’t” angle.  That’s where his shtick fits in with the comedy. It’s as if he’s bold enough to say out loud what others will only think. Of course he’s wrong about that, there is nothing refreshingly scandalous about the anti-Israel trope.

But what Jon Stewart isn’t, is an expert on the Middle East. Heck, based on the things he has said in his impromptu forays into the topic, he isn’t even passably knowledgeable about who and what Hamas is or does or believes or is trying to do to Gazans, let alone to Israelis and to all  Jews. And Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, you too are on their hit list, as are members of the Rotary organization and the Masons as well, bizarrely enough. Just take a look at the Hamas Charter.

In the middle of this Gaza war, Stewart did a bit about the “knock on the roof” warning to Gazans which alerts them to leave their homes because the IDF is going to be defending itself against weapons stored or ones being fired against them from within or around those homes.

Stewart compares the “knock on the roof” warning, which is the detonation of a small explosive that does no harm, to the tzeva adom system which warns Israelis of incoming missiles and mortars from Gaza.

Stewart thinks it is outrageous for Israel to use what he says is a “small bomb” warning to Gazans, but uses a mere sound alert to Israelis. Imagine that. Israel doesn’t use message bombs on the individual houses as warnings. So unfair, Stewart claims. It could be funny, but only if you refuse to consider the context. If you do that, Stewart is the one that is unfair.

Last week Stewart’s producer reached out to Joshua Nass, a newly-minted college graduate who is both politically conservative and strongly pro-Israel. The invite was for him to talk about negative points regarding Obamacare.

DailySHowEmail.jpgNo doubt the interview would be taped, then heavily edited. Then Stewart would make some sly comments, Nass would appear with one or two sentences to which Stewart would respond with his trademark wide eyed stares and smirks. The point of the segment would be to assure people viewers that anyone who doesn’t love Obamacare is a pointy-headed meanie.

But Nass didn’t relish the role of darts target for Stewart.

Nass and some of his cohorts are beginning to forge a new reputation to what so many older pro-Israel folks thinks is a lost generation. Like some of his former classmates, Nass leapt to correct inaccuracies bandied about on college campuses regarding the Middle East conflict and even about Obamacare and other icons of the left.

So Nass made a different proposal to Stewart’s producer.

Nass challenged Stewart to a debate about Israel. This would be one segment about Israel on the Daily Show that had actual facts to rebut Stewart’s callow barbs. Why not? Stewart has already put himself out there as someone qualified to talk about the Middle East conflict. He’s been talking about “Israel’s soul-crushing segmentation of Gaza” for years, and Nass is, after all, merely a recent college grad, not someone who has studied the field and has a PhD or two under his belt, which might create an unbalanced playing field.

Who Stays on the Bus? The ‘Good Bye, Jon Stewart’ Debate

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Friday is a little less crazy here, at The Jewish Press online, which gives me the free time I need to respond to some of the astute, biting, angry and reasonable reader responses. If I didn’t get to your response, I apologize, feel free to blast me in the comment section right below.

The article that got some reaction this week was Good Bye, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, and Kisses to the Little Gentiles, It followed the Pew report that has been at center stage the whole week, because of the complex light it threw on the Jews on north America. I chose to use Jon Stewart, an identified Jew who is nevertheless married to a Catholic woman, as the perfect example for my views on the matter.

Jerry Blaz, who works at Wal-Mart Supercenter, was very critical of one, largely technical aspect:

What a mealy-mouth excuse for not researching a person’s life to find out if his wife converted or not. Then, maybe you would have examined the tzitzit of the converting rabbinical court. Who knows? John Stuart is your object of a “put-down” because his is a paradigm? Shame, shame.

Jerry referred to my line: “Obviously, I apologize if Mrs. Stewart quietly went and converted to Judaism, just to make me eat my hat. But you understand I’m discussing her and her husband as paradigms.”

I entered that line with the apology just in case, because last time I discussed this, it turned out the nice Reform cantor in question had been converted in secret.

Attention, Jerry Blaz from Wal-Mart: I did research it. There is one statement from Stewart on the subject of his and his spouse’s religious tradition (on the David Letterman Show, Feb. 16, 2012): She was raised Catholic, I was raised Jewish. We’re raising [the children] to be sad.

I disagree that my article was an attempt to “put down” Stewart. It used him, for sure, and made his private life public – but that’s par for the course. I didn’t say anything the least bit disparaging. If anything, my strongest emotion, possibly taking after Stewart’s children, was sadness.

Rina Gray from Haifa, Israel, agrees with me, but I’m not sure I agree with her:

Jon Stewart is a spiteful, greedy and disgraceful person. Just because he was born in Jewish family, doesn’t made him a Jew. He is typical self-hating Jew. I can bet, with some exceptions, most American Jews are lost to Jews forever. They are too greedy, self-centered, self hating lefty retards. They most of all didn’t live in real life, but in the world they create in their sick mind. This disgraceful man lost his marbles, cussing from national TV, like some drug thug. Good riddance to Jews like that. We Israelis don’t need this kind of people. They are not good for Israel. Let them all rot in Hell, which is what USA has become. They cared more about their stupid rights, than about their country or other people.

Our resident assimilated Jew Dan Silagi was right on her:

So you have taken it upon yourself to be the arbiter of who and who isn’t Jewish, Rina?

Others have traveled that road. “Wer Jude ist, bestimme ich (I decide who is a Jew)” – Hermann Goering, who should have stuck to being a fighter pilot until he became too fat to seat in the pilot’s seat.

Really, Dan? Fat jokes? When there are so many good, useful Nazi comparisons available?

Well, I say, Rina – you lose the graceful and charming reader of the week award by a wide berth (that’s not Bertha, Dan).

Dan, you lost, as you do most every week, the “first one to mention the Holocaust is out” rule for Internet discussions. Like Jerry Blaz says: Shame, shame!

On a more original note, Frankel process tech (signed in using yahoo) suggested:

The intermarriage is not so bad, bad is that the Jewish religion has to change and reform. For example, it has to begin proselytizing. Many Christians ask me how they can be Jewish. I send always to speak to a rabbi, whose answer was to inquire if this Christian has Jewish relatives. This is the only stubborn religion that has not proselytizing, why? Look the Evangelicals, Mormons, even the Bahá’í, what is the problem? The people who converted to another religion are more religious at it than they were at their forefather’s religion. It is interesting, and true.

Well, Frankel, I’ve always found the fact that we keep our faith to ourselves and not try to impose it quite endearing and special. Indeed, I find even attempts by various Jewish groups to proselytize fellow Jews a bit vulgar. Indeed, the fact that it’s so hard to be Jewish, with a stunning 80 percent dropout rate, is reassuring when it comes to evaluating the commitment level of any convert who has made it through the rigorous barricades our sages have put up. I couldn’t disagree with you more.

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