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.