Saturday, August 08, 2015

No, Jon Stewart was NOT a friend of the Palestinian people, and he was not a radical critic

I really get angry when some Arabs and some Muslims in the US, who are so accustomed to hostility from the mainstream culture, government, and media in the US, that they get excited to see someone with a level of racism and bigotry which is less than the normal level.  No, Jon Stewart was not a friend of the Palestinian people, he never was. He was as cowardly about the subject taboo of Israel as the rest of them, and he was not relying on donations from pro-Israel PAC. I don't know what this writer is talking about.  Stewart mildly--very mildly--criticized Israel but it was always from the perspective (by his own admission which he stressed in every interview and statement) of love for Israeli wars and occupations. He always labeled all acts of resistance against Israeli terrorism as "terrorism" and he always criticized not the premise and foundations of Zionism but what he saw as the excesses of Netanyahu.  His criticisms of Netanyahu are like those of Obama: they don't change the fact that both are cheerleaders of Israeli war and occupation.  Jon Stewart was in fact a dangerous kind of leftist: he was able by his genius and his humor to project an image--just an image--of a radical critic of the US when he was so part of the mainstream.  When it came to bigotry against Muslims and Islam in the US, his stance was that of mainstream complicity.  He also chose guests on the basis of their proximity to US empire.  This is a man who basically decided that King Abdullah of Jordan--the buffoon royal of Jordan--is the best Arab specimen there is and the best representative of Arab youth. Hell, Jon Stewart treated this Jordanian potentate as if he was the only reasonable and likable Arab. How brave of Stewart when he chose as his subject of his first movie, Iranian repression--not that it is not real, but would he dare choose the topic of Jordanian or Saudi repression?  Also, his criticisms of US wars is symptomatic of why Stewart was not a leftist critic of US imperialism: he always found US wars funny and misguided but not as accumulated sets of war crimes and violations of international law. Don't forget that his most fervent efforts were focused on entertaining US troops and sending them more money in their occupation and war missions.  Finally, read the account of the ONLY black writer on his team. There is another side to Stewart.  Finally, this is not say that he is not funnier than all of his Arab imitators.