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January 14, 2015 2:16 pm

Jewish Group Rips Jon Stewart for Lumping Israel With Turkey, Russia and Egypt

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The Simon Wisenthal Center spoke out against Jon Stewart after he connected freedom of expression in Israel with repressive regimes such as Turkey and Egypt. Photo: Wikipedia

Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center on Tuesday slammed The Daily Show host Jon Stewart for categorizing freedom of expression in Israel with the repressive regimes of Turkey, Russia and Egypt.

“It’s offensive that Jon Stewart chose to lump Israel in the same boat as Turkey, Russia and Egypt,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean for The Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner. “Israel may not be a perfect democracy but it doesn’t jail people for their ideas; for expressing their thoughts. If anything Stewart should’ve mentioned [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas and his PA who have the nasty habit of summoning and arresting political opponents, journalists and bloggers.”

Stewart made the controversial comments Monday night on The Daily Show. While lashing out at President Obama for not attending a massive Paris rally on Sunday in support of free speech, the television host sought to sarcastically point out who did show up at the march, including “Palestinian cartoonist-jailing Israel.”

Stewart pointed out that while some of the leaders at the rally were not known for supporting free expression, they still attended the event, while President Obama did not.

“How could the US not be there when representatives of such beacons of freedom and lack of censorship as journalist-punishing Russia was there?” Stewart asked. “Journalist-jailing Turkey was there. Egypt… ’nuff said. Palestinian cartoonist-jailing Israel was there. And of course, our greatest ally, Saudi Arabia was there — although a little out of breath having just days ago flogged a blogger.”

As back up, Stewart cited an Al Jazeera story about a Palestinian cartoonist whose work “landed him in an Israeli prison for five months.”

But Cooper called Stewart’s remarks “a cheap shot” against Israel. “The bottom line is let him go check and ask Palestinian journalists in the West Bank who are they worried about: the Israeli authorities or the Palestinian authority,” he added.

Cooper also said he found it odd that Stewart suggested it was inappropriate for Israelis to participate in Sunday’s march, considering that the four people murdered at the HyperCacher supermarket attack on Friday were Jews and at least one of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting days earlier was Jewish.

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  • Beverley Price

    How can it be that moderate Moslem people are not asked to get involved in the counter-terrorism in Europe/UK/US and that it is left to non-Moslem leaders to reign them in? Who understands them best? Why no responsibility or guidance from people who are most familiar with the religion and to carry some responsibility for their co-religionists extremists ?It seems a forgone assumption that European/British leaders do not consider inviting publicly, advisors from the moderate Muslim community on how best to deal with their Moslem co-religionist extremists.Why carry it all? It is an exoneration of responsibility or at least of a shared duty. I watched Tariq Ramadan debate with the late Christopher Hitchens. Tariq? Non-Moslem leaders are seemingly willing to sully themselves in carrying out the clean-up job without the mandatory participation of significant moderate public Moslem advisors.

  • Hamas terrorist Abdel Aziz Rantisi was a doctor so I guess you could say Israel kills doctors too. Jon Stewart is a highly paid clown, nothing more.

  • Mickey Dorchester

    John Stewart isn’t even worthy of our contempt — especially Israel’s. He’s an inconsequential, third-rate comic. Why elevate his stature by giving a damn what he thinks about anything?

  • harrison

    Stewart is a self hating Jew-always has been

  • mark

    OMG he insulted all the other nations, he should have just said Israel

  • Michael in Pennsylvania

    You mean “Jonathan S. Leibowitz”, don’t you?

    Why not adopt a policy of henceforth using his given name?

  • Craig

    6 of the 17 targeted and murdered were Jewish. That’s 35% of the victims in a country where Jews make up less than 1% of the population. There are just over 500,000 Jews in France but they are victims of attacks, harassment, murders at a higher rate than any other group in France. Jon Stewart is just a greedy person. He makes millions of dollars demonizing Israel, Jews and Zionists. He’s not going to stop now, at the height of international anti-Semitism. It’s good for his business.

  • Elmo Glick

    Stewart is pretty homely (besides being an an anti-semite).

  • Elmo Glick

    Stewart is an anti-semite, and a homely one at that.

  • Addie

    Simon Wiesenthal Center and this blog post do not address whether or not the claim itself is true. It is not true.

  • Mickey Oberman

    His ignorant statement is indicative of his lack of knowledge of the subject.

    He probably get all his information at his neighbourhood bar.

  • I’ve never heard of Jon Stewart or The Daily Show, so I’m replying at a disadvantage. The range of opinions inside Israel, in politics and in all areas of life, is about as wide open as can be. Which other country has about 30+ political parties competing for votes? Most major democracies, many times the population of Israel, have two or three big political parties and two or three major daily papers. [Britain, with about a dozen dailies, is an exception.] How many countries have MPs or Congressmen calling for the dissolution of their country — like some Arab MKs?