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“Judenrat Jon” Stewart

“Judenrat Jon” Stewart

by: David Harris-Gershon on January 7th, 2012

When Jon Stewart is called a “smug, self-loathing Jew” by a right-wing Jewish personality (who is often called upon by conservative pundits to wax political), it’s tempting to dismiss the comment as a disgusting tribal dig.

When Jon Stewart is called a Judenrat who “would have been first on line to turn over his fellow Jews in Poland and Germany” by this same hawkish voice, it’s tempting – even though this voice has a visible platform – to just ignore the comment as the product of the Republican, FOX-inspired echo chamber.

However, ignoring these comments wouldn’t just be dangerous, it would be to allow a growing brand of hatred coursing through America’s veins – produced on the fringes – to continue infecting our public discourse (and public opinion) on matters both foreign and domestic.

It’s a hate-filled islamophobia that masquerades as patriotic, as anti-terrorism, as proudly American and Zionist (as though the two are synonymous). It’s a brand of hatred that the current GOP seeks, a hatred it feels it needs, a hatred it foments for perceived political gain at great cost to civil society. And, as much as it pains me as a progressive Jewish American to say, it’s a hatred right-wing American Jews are often solicited to be spokespeople for on venues like Fox News, with claims of anti-Semitism at the ready should they be critiqued by people such as, well, Jon Stewart.

So, wait – what happened to Jon Stewart, exactly? – you ask. Here is the context:

Jason Jones and The Daily Show crew produced this rather brilliant segment on how Broward County Republicans orchestrated a campaign to block membership of a Muslim Republican to the Broward Republican Party’s executive committee. This was done with the help of the Muslim-hating group ironically called Americans Against Hate (headed by Joe Kaufman, who is running against Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Congress).

The segment elicited this disgusting display from Pamela Geller:

This is not the first time that The Daily Show made fun of, ridiculed, and smeared proud Americans and passionate zionists. What’s he doing? And why? Does he know how much CAIR raised for their home office, Hamas, whose stated goal is to destroy the Jewish homeland, through the Holy Land Foundation? Stewart missed his calling. He would have been first on line to turn over his fellow Jews in Poland and Germany. Smug self-loathing Jew.

Yes, Geller is a nut. And yes, this particular display has been limited – so far – to her personal site. But Geller, just one of many fringe figures who inexplicably get airtime aplenty, knows what she’s doing. She knows the game: play the anti-Semitism card.

And not just any anti-Semitism card – the self-hating-Jew card. And she plays it against one of our country’s most important media critics and defenders of reason. Why? Because he represents exactly what she and her right-wing minions loathe: someone willing to call out islamophobia for what it is, even when promoted by American Jews.

While it would be easy to dismiss all this due to the messenger, does Jon Stewart shy away from railing against hatred and bigotry when it is perpetrated by the unhinged?


And neither should we.

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  • Géji

    >”What does this mean?”

    It “mean”[s] exactly what it says. That he uses the same old zionist trash as arguments against Palestinians and their cause for their native homeland. And IF after 85+yrs one “does-[n’t]” know what this “mean”, then perhaps I should be the one asking “what does that mean??

  • Safak

    JT: not saying they’re better or worse, all I’m saying is that Zionism is the same as Jihadism. When you invite war, you get war.

  • HGG

    “instead I always see him rehash and use the same old tired zionist arguments against them.”

    What does this mean?

  • Géji

    “Anyone, such as Stewart who is fair or semi-fair on the Israel-Palestine issue”

    Although Jon Stewart do sometimes defend Muslims from the all-out war the hate filled bigots have declared since “9/11”, I still think he’s late comer and an occasional defender, which I think he doesn’t realize yet the gravity of the situation and the heavy burden Islamophobia has brought on the American Muslim community, not yet my opinion, but I think that thankfully that’s changing on his part. As for the Isreal-Palestine “issue”, I never saw him showing any “fairness” or even “semi-fairness” to Palestinians and their cause, instead I always see him rehash and use the same old tired zionist arguments against them.

  • mindy1

    I love when stewart uses humor to talk about politics 😀 he makes more sense than some of our newscasters.

  • JT

    @Safak, actually they still do because terrorism is terrorism. If “jihadists” kill a civilian in response, they are no better.

  • Safak

    When Zionists claim land that isnt theirs based on their religion, they have no right to complain about Jihadists attacking them based on their religion…

  • HGG

    Jon Stewart is a national treasure, and so is Stephen Colbert.

  • jawad

    jon stewart is my hero

    geller is a freak of nature

  • Jon Stewart is a patriot

  • Averroes’ Ghost

    Anyone, such as Stewart who is fair or semi-fair on the Israel-Palestine issue will be considered either an Anti-Semite or a self-hating Jew.

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