The Shmooze

Sarah Palin Congratulates Bibi

By Ron Kampeas

(JTA) — Sarah Palin has not one but two posts on her Facebook page congratulating Benjamin Netanyahu on his reelection. Maybe two makes up for none from President Barack Obama.

In each post Palin says Americans in the heartland “will sleep better knowing Bibi remains the voice of reason and strength in the beautiful nation of Israel.”

Bibi elicits a lot of reactions in Israel and abroad. Sleep, though, has to be a new one.

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Why Jon Stewart Is Really Mad at 'Racist' Bibi

By Anne Cohen

Jon Stewart is kind of mad at Bibi. Not so much for winning this week’s Israeli election, but rather for how he won.

“How dare you gin up racist fears of minority turnout for short-term political gain? Stewart said, referring to Benjamin Netanyahu’s fear-mongering campaign, warning that Israeli-Arabs were out voting in droves.” “That’s our thing! You know what? Now you’ve got a copyright infringement suit on your hands, pal!”

Our favorite Jewish funny man (* sob * Don’t leave us Jon!) had a word or two of advice for U.S. politicians: Want to win? Take a page out of Bibi’s election tactics book.

“You know that stuff you say in private, your core beliefs, your prejudices that you try to hide from people because you fear society would shun you?” Stewart said. “Well, it appears all you have to do is turn into that skid.”

Following a montage showing a bunch of confused people asking why President Obama hadn’t yet called to congratulate Bibi on his win, Stewart quipped: “You don’t call, you don’t write, I win an election and I have to sit by the phone?”

Watch the whole clip below:

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Hadash Mocks Bibi's 'Arab Vote' Comment With Amazing Meme

By Anne Cohen

Earlier today, Benjamin Netanyahu expressed “concern” over what impact the high turnout rates in Israel’s Arab communities could have on the election.

So the Hadash party, one member of the Joint (Arab) List responded with an amazing “Game of Thrones” meme. (For those of you who haven’t gotten around to watching this gem of a show — Get to it! — the text plays off an oft repeated quote from the show: “Winter is Coming,” and superimposes Bibi’s head on Ned Stark’s body.)

Well played.

[h/t Times of Israel]

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Buji Has a Serious 'Pretty Woman' Crush

By Lior Zaltzman

Getty Images

Isaac “Buji” Herzog could be Israel’s next prime minister. As such, he may have some very difficult decisions to weigh on in the near future. But when it come to the ideal woman, Buji doesn’t hesitate. He will happily profess his love for the one and only “Pretty Woman” — Julia Roberts.

“‘Pretty Women’ is the movie I like to watch when I’m having hard times.” he told Channel 10 on Tuesday.

This isn’t the first time he’s declared his feelings for the actress. When asked to choose between the Israeli supermodel Bar Rafaeli and Julia Roberts in an interview for Israeli TV, he made the unfortunately unpatriotic choice:

“I’m sorry, but for men of my generation, Julia Roberts is the ideal woman. ‘Pretty Woman’ is a classic.”

(Fast forward to minute 18:40!)

And that’s not all. In an interview for the Knesset channel, Herzog also said he enjoys watching TV with his wife: “We’re really into Sex and the City”.

Well, I know who I’m inviting for my next ice-cream and comfort TV sesh. And if you squint really really hard, doesn’t Buji start to look a tiny tiny little bit like Richard Gere?

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Jon Voight: 'President Obama Doesn't Love Israel'

By Anne Cohen

Jon Voight wants you to know that, unlike Barack Obama, he REALLY loves Israel.

In a video released to the masses on Sunday night, the actor claims that the President is an enemy of the Jewish state (in a “friends of my enemies” kind of way), and that Benjamin Netanyahu’s opponents are pulling a Neville Chamberlain.

“I want to see Israel survive and not be overtaken by the madmen of this world,” Voight says. “President Obama does not love Israel. His whole agenda is to control Israel. And this way he can be friends with all of Israel’s enemies…America has not been the same since his presidency.”

“Those like Yitzhak Herzog who believe that dealmaking is the solution to what Israel faces are as wrong as Neville Chamberlain believing he made a peace deal with Hitler,” Voight adds, referring to Bibi’s main opposition. “We must learn from history where the true danger lies.”

Using appeasement to make your case. That’s original.

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Need a Baby-Sitter? Bibi's Your Man

By Anne Cohen

It looks like Benjamin Netanyahu has a new career path lined up — you know, in case the Israeli elections don’t pan out.

A new campaign ad released Saturday shows a couple getting ready for a night on the town. The doorbell rings. It’s the baby-sitter. Or is it?

“You asked for a babysitter, you got a Bibi-sitter,” says a smirking Netanyahu. “Where are the children?”

The parents, understandably confused as to what their country’s prime minister is doing at their door, ask Bibi why he should be the one to watch over their children.

It’s either me, or Tzipi and Bougie,” he replies, referring to Zionist Camp’s Tzipi Livni and Issac Herzog. Oh, no! Not them. The parents shake their heads, demonstrating their mistrust.

Herzog needs his own baby-sitter, the dad jokes. Zing. And Livni? “By the time you get back she’ll probably go over to the neighbors,” Netanyahu quips back. (Livni has skipped to and from four political parties).

The ad conspicuously shows no children. Netanyahu’s previous campaign ad, which showed him as the only adult in a kindergarten class full of children named after Israeli political leaders (subtle, Bibi, real subtle), was banned by the Central Election Committee. Showing children under 15 for political gain is a no-no.

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Rabbi Wins Buenos Aires Parliamentary Election in Landslide

By Ben Sales

In the metropolitan area where Adolf Eichmann once hid, a rabbi is now a member of parliament.

Rabbi Sergio Bergman, representing the center-right PRO Party Buenos Aires’s municipal election, won 45% of the vote in a race featuring 10 candidates, according to the JTA. He garnered more than three times the votes of his runner up, who received 14%.

Bergman, 49, is the rabbi of the traditional Congregacion Israelita Argentina in the Argentinean capital. Argentina is home to Latin America’s largest Jewish community. Bergman is also the founder of Active Memory, a group committed to commemorating the 1994 bombing of AMIA, a large Buenos Aires Jewish community center. Because he is an influential spiritual leader in the city, a Buenos Aires court forbade the title “rabbi” from appearing on the ballot.

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Voting Boosts Stress Levels, Israeli Study Finds

By Nathan Jeffay

iStockphoto

Relax, while you still can — next year is going to be a stressful one. As America gears up for presidential elections in 2012, an Israeli research team claims to have proved that voting is so stressful that it actually causes hormonal changes in voters.

Scholars from the University of Haifa and Ben Gurion University of the Negev have found that before voting, people experience high levels of cortisol — a hormone released to help the body cope with threats when a person is under pressure. The findings were just made available to journalists by the researchers.

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Former Klan Leader Exploring GOP Presidential Bid

By Ben Sales

Wikimedia

A field crowded with governors, senators and a past speaker of the house may be welcoming a man with a more unique qualification: David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Duke is embarking on a tour of 25 states to see whether he could go all the way to the White House, according to the Daily Beast. A former congressman from Louisiana, Duke won nearly 40% of the vote in his 1991 bid to be Louisiana’s governor and served as his district’s Republican executive-committee chairman until 2000.

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Yiddish Songs and Workers' Rights: Notes From the PJA Dinner

By Rex Weiner

Courtesy of Jewish Funds for Justice

A couple of things became apparent during the Progressive Jewish Alliance’s annual gala in Los Angeles last week, factors which will surely shape the run-up to the 2012 election. These factors did not include the “Yiddish songs of the labor movement,” which were performed entertainingly enough by singer Cindy Paley as guests shmoozed pre-dinner, but are unlikely to be adopted as campaign anthems unless David Dubinsky rises from the grave and runs for office.

The fund-raising dinner held at Temple Sinai in Westwood, where the merger between the PJA and — what’s that other org? many of the evening’s speakers joked — ah yes, the Jewish Funds for Justice was officially announced, also featured as guest of honor U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. A Latina and an L.A. native, Solis extolled the virtues of the country in which she rose from humble origins to a cabinet post. She received warm applause for praising the community organizer’s vocation, to which many in the packed banquet room, including Freedom Rider and PJA-founding member Ralph Fertig, had been called.

The warmest applause, however, came at the point in Solis’s speech when she hailed her boss, the President (another community organizer), saying she would be happy to serve Obama for another four years. And from the room’s unanimous reaction it was clear that the White House is wasting no time mobilizing its potent force of surrogates who are already on the campaign trail, firing up the Democratic base.

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Dan Adler Courts Korean Vote With Bizarre ‘Send a Mensch to Congress’ Video

By Michael Kaminer

Which Dan Adler ad is weirder — the one where he lifts a barbell off actress Patty Duke’s chest with help from two black bodybuilders, or the spot in which he reveals he’s Jewish to a Korean constituent who shrieks “What’s a mensch?”

Our money’s on the second, which — as intended — has catapulted the unknown Democratic candidate’s profile into the spotlight in time for today’s special election to fill California’s 36th district congressional seat.

Adler, a former agent and film executive, told the UK Telegraph he entered the campaign “on the day before the deadline for filing. So I came into it with no money, no machine, nothing. We had to grab people’s attention and the videos were our way of doing it.”

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