Jackie Mason: The Jews and Joe Lieberman

J4JP New Senator Lieberman Series - January 16, 2003

J4JP Preface:

On January 13, 2003 Lieberman announced his candidacy for President of the United States in the 2004 elections. As a public service, Justice4JP presents a series of articles that shed light on the character of Joseph Lieberman. The following item by Jackie Mason, a US comedian and newspaper column writer was published in the Jerusalem Post. Mason makes the point that it is not Lieberman's Jewish identity that is the problem. The fundamental problem with Lieberman is his "hypocrisy". The Pollard case is one of many examples of Senator Lieberman's hypocrisy. Justice takes a back seat as Lieberman continues to exploit the plight of Jonathan Pollard as proof that he is a Jew willing to stand in opposition to the will of Israel and the Jewish community. Trying too hard to prove that he is a "good American", Lieberman lends himself as a willing tool of the CIA in its on-going exploitation of the Pollard case to call into question the reliability of Israel as an ally, and the loyalty of the American Jewish community.

The Jews and Joe Lieberman

Jackie Mason - Jerusalem Post - January 15, 2003

How did Senator Joe Lieberman become the icon of morality among the political leaders of the US? Why are people so oblivious to the studied, continuous and blatant hypocrisy of this man?

The reason is that people are so frustrated with the constant schemes of crooked politicians, that if anybody can imitate an honest man for a minute and a half, people become so seduced and captivated that all those false notes sounds like beautiful music to them.

By parading with the mantle of Orthodox Judaism, Lieberman had a much easier job of masking his true character than any other politician. He knew that this was the perfect time for a Jew to run for office. This is because the same gentile who would run as if he were on fire if a Jew were to move into his neighborhood or try to join his country club, would nevertheless vote for a Jew for high office to absolve himself of any guilt he might feel because of his instinctive distaste for Jewish people.

This psychological Jewish advantage in the voting booth is still an unbelievable concept to most Jews. When Lieberman became the vice-presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Jews were immediately afflicted by a combination of elation, fear and even panic. They were proud and amazed at the new level of acceptance that the Jews had achieved. At the same time, many became nervous.

Every time a group of Jews got together you would hear somebody ask, "Did you ever think that this would happen in our own lifetime, that we might live to see a Jewish vice president? This is fantastic." But then the person next to him would say, "Don't get so excited, I think we were probably better off before."

This argument would continue in this vein. "At least thank God he has blond hair so he doesn't look too Jewish," one would say. And someone else would say, "But I hope he doesn't sound too Jewish in the debate; I hope he doesn't talk loudly. All we need is for the gentiles to start saying, 'Look! here come those pushy Jews again.'"

Then someone would say, "Now it's not so bad because he is still behind, but what do you think will happen if he actually looks like he might start winning? Who knows? It might revive anti-Semitism all over again. Who knows? Some gentiles might even get violent." Some Jews even became panicky: "What bad luck for this to happen just when I moved to a new house."

THE JEWS were in such a state that they were too insecure to notice what Lieberman knew all the time: that his Jewishness was not even mentioned by the Christians as a negative factor.

In the midst of anxiety and confusion, Jews didn't grasp that the gentiles were also frightened, for their own reasons. They were so fearful of even the appearance of anti-Semitism that Lieberman's religion was mentioned only to pay tribute and homage to him. The gentiles suddenly changed places with the Jews and we were witnessing an unbelievable spectacle. While the Jews were embarrassed by Lieberman's identity, studying the newspapers in hopes of not finding the candidate's Jewishness mentioned too often, the gentiles were actually thrilled about it. They kept saying, "Thank God we have a Jew on the ticket, and what is more fabulous is that he is an Orthodox Jew."

Lieberman served as the perfect candidate for the Democratic Party, looking to present a whole new image to the American people; in the absence of a religious Christian, they were thrilled to find a religious Jew. That is why we were witnessing the strange sight of Jews perceiving a Jewish candidate as a problem, while the gentiles were celebrating him as their solution. That is why he became the symbol with which the Democrats could transform the identity of the party from one representing the hedonism of Clinton to one of morality and godliness.

Since that campaign, the gentiles have left the Jews in a state of bewilderment. After spending a lifetime hiding avoiding their identity by performing surgery on their names and noses they still find it impossible to accept the idea that gentiles can accept a Jew in their highest office. The fear of anti-Semitism still holds a grip on the Jewish mentality to the extent of a generic paranoia. Jews still imagine that this whole experience is some kind of freak accident that will never happen again.

WHILE LIEBERMAN is now becoming a presidential candidate, the Jews are making the same noises of two years ago. They are saying, "The gentiles took a chance with a Jew for vice president, but they will never vote for him for president. Do you think they want to see a Jew in the White House celebrating Christmas? Do you think they want to see a menora with Jewish candles, only four feet from a Christmas tree? They would never take a chance with a Jew as a president."

Here we go again. Since Lieberman is soon likely to become a presidential candidate, the Jews are acting as though they learned nothing from the experience of his vice-presidential candidacy.

They can't believe that he is not just wasting his time. They are waiting for a new wave of anti-Semitic attacks to take place. But you can bet your last piece of cheesecake that none of this will happen.

Maybe some reporter will have the guts to identify Lieberman's repetitive hypocrisy on the issues of affirmative action, school vouchers and moving the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem positions he suddenly denied holding within 10 minutes of his nomination for vice president.

The Jews can't believe it, but whatever mention is made of Lieberman's hypocrisy, not a single negative word will be spouted about his Jewishness.

The writer is a US comedian and newspaper columnist.

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