In the light of the comic genius of people like Jack Benny, the Marx Brothers, and Mel Brooks, it’s sometimes said that Jewish people have an especially keen sense of humor. Perhaps that would explain why so many of them voted for Barack Obama. They must’ve been anticipating the knee-slapping hilarity of Obama pulling the rug out from under them to send them falling butt first onto the hard floor of his broken promises where they’d slip on the banana peel of his deceit and go skittering into the mud pit of his betrayal.
What a chuckle it’s been indeed. Right after winning well over 60% of the Jewish vote in November, Obama delivered his gut-busting punchline by nominating former Senator Chuck Hagel to serve as secretary of Defense. And as if that weren’t funny enough, Hagel is now before the Senate, where he’ll almost certainly be confirmed.
Now the good news for Jews is that Hagel rhymes with bagel, a tasty breadstuff much beloved by our Hebraic citizens. The bad news is just about everything else. Supporters of the former senator have been reassuring various media outlets that Hagel doesn’t dislike Jewish people. And I’m sure that’s mighty Christian of him. The problem is he’s not being asked to dance at a bar-mitzvah. He’s being called to support our allies and stand up to our enemies and when it comes to the Middle East he doesn’t seem quite sure about which are which.
Hagel has complained about the “Jewish lobby,” he’s criticized Israel’s commitment to peace even as her citizens were being slaughtered by terrorists, he’s opposed sanctions against Syria and Iran while describing Israel’s war against terrorist Hezbollah as “the systematic destruction of an American friend,” meaning Lebanon. He also refused to sign a 1999 letter condemning Russian anti-semitism, a letter that was signed by 99 other senators, which by my count is all of them except Chuck.
Can’t stop laughing? How about this one. Hagel’s supporters say Hagel’s anti-semitic comments and actions and feelings have been taken out of context. And that, coincidentally, is just what Egyptian dictator Mohammed Morsi says about his comments. Morsi, you remember, is the guy to whom Obama just sent a couple of F-16’s. Which must be another of the president’s hilarious Jewish jokes, since Morsi’s also the dude who described Jews as the descendants of apes and pigs. But like Hagel, Morsi says he was misunderstood. After all, who doesn’t love that funny pig in Babe, right? And what about King Kong where that gigantic Jew chased Naomi Watts around. That was fun.
Okay, Obama’s nomination of Hagel — like his weapons aid to Morsi — may not be in the best traditions of Jewish humor, but this administration is certainly a joke to anyone who supports our only true ally in the Middle East.