8 Proud Comedians Showing their IsraelLove
By Elana Yael Heideman
We don’t want to rank them, because they’re all SO filled with IsraelLove!
But here we go…. 8 + 1 Shamash of Comedic Virtual Citizens of Israel who laugh it up with Israel in their hearts and in their minds.
8. MEL BROOKS
Mel Brooks is not just a comedian — he is comedy. Some have even claimed his comedy is a form of “cinematic Zionism” in and of itself.
Mel is the quintessential Member of the Nation of Israel. “Being Jewish means a lot to me. I love my tribe. I’m lucky to have been born a Jew. I am not religious but I just love my people — their strength, their guts, their determination to survive. And I also love their sweetness, and their humor, and their talent. They’ve given me a lot of that. I can’t think of a tribe that is more profound and funny than the Jews. Just look at Jewish history. Unrelieved lamenting would be intolerable.”
From the man who countered the Spanish Inquisition with song and put the first Jews in Space , making the Israeli Air Force proud, to the man who once played Moses, Brooks believes there may be some deep — very deep — like, genetic message in our Jewish bones: “Tell the world, especially the Jews, to keep smiling, keep laughing, it’s gonna be all right, it’s gonna be all right,’ you know? It could be a deep message from one generation of Jews to another to keep it going. It may be some kind of survival mechanism that is deep within us to help us survive all the tragedies that the tribe has endured these 5,000 years.”
7. JERRY SEINFELD
Seinfeld volunteered on a kibbutz as a teenager and last visited Israel in 2007. He will finally be taking the stage for the first time in Israel along with Mark Schiff who “expects Israel to be all that and more.”
Schiff explains that, “for me, performing in Israel is different from performing anywhere else in the world. The people in Israel are more than just an audience. They are my brothers and sisters. They are modern-day heroes. And now more than ever is a perfect time for Jerry and I or anyone else to go and show support for the people who live there. I love Israel and I love the Jewish people. In stand-up comedy, Jews have always reigned supreme. They set the standard for the art form, and have raised the bar pretty darn high.
“A question that comes up a lot is, “What keeps the Jewish people going? How have they survived when, in every generation, someone or some group is trying to wipe them out?” One answer might be laughter. Jews love to laugh. Jews like to tell funny stories. Jews don’t mind jokes at their own expense. In a rabbi, a priest and a minister joke, the rabbi is almost always the fall guy. And no one laughs harder than the rabbis.”
6. MAYIM BIALIK
With family who made Aliyah after the Yom Kippur war, Mayim Bialik loves to call Israel her second home. Sharing her list of 7 Awesome Things About Israel, she encouraged fellow Jews to make a personal connection to Israel and shared her own list of favorite things:
7. The Culture: Mayim loves her falafel and all the delicious restaurants across the country! But more than anything, she said she loves the “thriving, vibrant culture”, a center for innovation around the world.
6. The Beauty: The mountains, the ocean, the sheer loveliness of the country – and the ease with which you can enjoy it for yourself in all sorts of outdoor activities.
5. The Politics: Democracy – a novel concept in the Middle East. It may not be perfect, but it’s getting closer.
4. The Place to Call Home: For Mayim, Israel is her Spiritual home, her historic home, her mystical homeland.
3. A New Identity for the Jewish People: It is a place we can transform from the “wimpy” Jewish stereotype which we were pegged with during the Holocaust and enter into the personality of the Israeli – strong, bold, and able to stand our own ground.
2. The Rhythm of the Jews: Mayim loves that Israel is a country where whether you’re religious or secular, the entire calendar revolves around Jewish holidays and the Jewish rhythms of the year – we are organic in our land!
1. Ownership: Israel is the site of the ingathering of the Jewish people. A shelter from the storm and a land to make whatever we want it to be. It is our home. “I love the state of Israel, I love what it stands for, I love what it can be.”
5. BILL MAHER
Bill Maher clearly inherits his commitment and passion from his proud parents:
"As my Jewish mother used to say, whenever there was a problem in the world, ‘Oh I know they’re gonna get around to blaming the Jews.’
At a certain point you learn: You know what? A lot of people are not gonna like you no matter what you do, so just do what you’re gonna do. Just be yourself. And do what you think is right. And if they condemn you or hate you, that’s really kinda their problem.”
Maher isn’t at all ashamed to represent the rights of our Jewish people to our Jewish land!
And he keeps the conversation going using facts and logic.
4. HOWARD STERN:
Not only is he funny, Howard Stern is a MAJOR defender of Israel. Using his voice and his radio show to call issues as he sees them.
We give oodles of kudos to Stern for CALLING OUT THE HATE FOR WHAT IT IS! (careful: this one is FULL of foul language!) Courtesy of StandWithUs
And for more of his expression of commitment to our homeland and nation, listen to this beauty!
He even loves Israel so much, he schmoozed it up with an Israeli broadcaster on cultural differences and Jewish identity.
3. ROSEANNE BARR:
Snarky, sometimes vulgar, and always funny, Roseanne Bar has become incredibly vocal about her Jewish pride. “There is so much anti-semitism in this world, It’s not even funny. It is as everyday as baking cookies. I’m a Jew, a G-d wrestler and a freedom fighter, not your ridiculous-backward-hateful definition of a Jew. We Jewish people are about being green. We’re about bearing fruit and love. We’re the ones who understand what diversity and democracy really means. If I were Prime Minister of Israel, I would introduce a bill to simply pay the Arabs not to shoot the Jews.”
Barr is a great example of someone who is critical of Israel, but unwilling to accept the growing venom of hate against the Jewish state. She even goes so far as blasting the Jewish supporters of BDS AND to PRAISING Israeli democracy saying, “The best part of democracy is diversity, and shared responsibility, accountability and power. Arab voters, and the indigenous Mizrachi and Sephardic Jewish voters, forced out of the Judenrein Arab countries, and more women than ever, being included in Israeli government is of great and historic significance.”
Thanks to Israellycool.com for sharing the voice of this honorary Virtual Citizen of Israel!
2. JACKIE MASON
Mason, who spent three years as an ordained rabbi before launching his six-decade career as a comedian, shares his appreciation of those who are most passionately concerned about Israel. “My rabbi is not half as concerned about Israel as they are. Everybody knows we're entitled to one Jerusalem. History reveals very simply that this is our land from the days of the Bible.” Sadly aware of the growing reality among American Jews, Mason has said “You meet Jews everyday. If you bring up Israel, they don't even care about it.” As for the Israel-haters? "They come from these kinds of anti-Semitic backgrounds where a Jew is the most disgusting thing in the world to them. They claim Hollywood is run by Jews but is nevertheless "anti-Semitic," "ignorant" and "stupid" when it comes to issues involving Israel.”
In Mason’s mind, “the Jewish people have survived because they have so much to contribute and so many values to contribute to the world. It would be a much better world, a much more peaceful and non-violent world if we lived by Jewish values." Along with the late Joan Rivers, he emerged during the summer’s Operation Protective Edge as one of Israel’s most outspoken defenders with his non-nuanced, whole-hearted defense of the country, even as his words of endearment might have veered to the far side of political correctness. Mason took the time to comment on the growing reality of extremism and the innocent victims in his vlog targeting those who aren’t capable of understanding that Israel is the victim of this ongoing assault.
But it was THIS MUST READ blog by Mason that takes the cake as he expounds on Israel and our matzav with logic, facts and a good dose of glib.
1. JOAN RIVERS
Proud and practical, Joan Rivers made waves as one of the biggest Jewish comedic voices in the world. From the early 60s to her recent passing, she challenged social convention and always said what was on her mind - and usually everyone elses.
Watch as she proclaims her top 10 reasons she loves Israel!
Joan has no regrets for using her humor to cope with even the most difficult of subjects. Following a slight of tongue about the Nazis, she was berated by many but responded that “It’s a joke. . . . That’s the way I remind people about the Holocaust. I do it through humor. . . . My husband lost his entire family in the Holocaust, so let’s just start with that. Today’s generation sadly doesn’t even know what I’m talking about.” She says the real problem is not jokes, it’s genuinely anti-semitic people which she repeatedly commented was growing around the world.
To counter the trend, Joan didn’t hold anything back when it came to fighting for truth and proclaiming her IsraelLove! She even took on the haters and deniers in her proud support for our Jewish state, demanding that "Let me just tell you if New Jersey was firing rockets into New York we would wipe them out. If we heard they were digging tunnels from New Jersey to New York we would get rid of Jersey...You should all be ashamed!" Listen to her whole rant (honesty and foul language included). Like a proud Virtual Citizen of Israel, she never backed down, regardless of the criticism she received for it.
And the Shamash of them all? None other than:
From his infamous Chanukah song to his role as the infamous Mossad agent Zohan, Sandler is is to his beloved Israel as Israel is loved by him.
Sandler proudly proclaims that he identifies with Israelis "a hundred percent," that he is a big supporter of the country, and that he hates it when Israel suffers from bad reputation in the media ."I always had a great connection with Israel and the fact that the Israelis are like the Zohan, that makes me feel great," he adds.
Check out the newest version of the infamous Chanukah song that is sure to have you in giggles!
Elana Yael Heideman, Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, is a dynamic and passionate educator who works creatively and collaboratively to create a stronger voice for future Jewish leadership. An independent lecturer and educational consultant, Elana’s range of activities demonstrate the intensity of her commitment to incorporating understanding of and respect for the history of the Jewish People. Through her involvement with numerous programs, projects and lectures, Elana continually seeks to facilitate dialogue and build bridges between the past, present and future.