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June 19, 2015 12:10 pm

Jay Leno Jabs ‘ObamaDon’tCare’ Israel Policy During Genesis Prize Opener in Jerusalem (VIDEO)

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Comedian Jay Leno. Photo: Twitter.

Comedian Jay Leno hosted the “Genesis Prize” award ceremony in Israel on Thursday. Photo: Twitter.

Famed comedian Jay Leno took a stab at U.S. President Barack Obama’s strained relations with Israel on Thursday during his opening number as emcee at the Genesis Prize ceremony in Jerusalem, in which actor Michael Douglas was presented with this year’s $2 million award.

“Don’t confuse Obamacare with his Israel policy, which is called ObamaDon’tCare,” Leno told the audience, according to Variety magazine.

Joking about Israel’s political system, he said, “Israel is the purest democracy in the world, because in Israel it seems like every voter has their own political party.” The former late night talk show host also said he considers himself “Israel’s Shabbas goy” and asked the crowd, “Maybe you can do something for me on Christmas?”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who presented Douglas with the award at the ceremony, had words of praise for both the actor and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

“To borrow a phrase from one of your father’s movies, you two cast a giant shadow over your profession and set a standard for all actors to follow,” said the prime minister, referencing the 1966 film Cast a Giant Shadow starring Michael’s father Kirk Douglas.

Douglas was presented the second annual Genesis Prize by the Genesis Philanthropy Group for his efforts to promote Jewish heritage and his contributions to Jewish culture. A gift from an anonymous donor doubled the regular $1 million award to $2 million this year. Douglas will donate the prize money to organizations that cultivate Jewish inclusion, Variety reported.

While Douglas’ father is Jewish, his mother is not. He told the crowd on Thursday night that he considered it an “honor” to be Jewish. He said it was a trip to Israel last year for his son Dylan’s bar mitzvah that brought Judaism back into his life, and encouraged him to explore and embrace the religion.

“Inclusiveness and tolerance are Jewish values, too,” Douglas said as he accepted his award. “I strongly believe that Judaism should reflect the spirit of welcome and tradition that existed in Abraham’s tent.”

He added, “My Jewish teachers were my father and my son; happy is the man who can say that!”

Watch an Israeli TV interview with Jay Leno below:



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  • Reform Schoole

    I regularly rode shared the rear seat of a DS19 with two other young men [and two more up front, Spring 1965, in and around New York City, hawking Collier’s Encyclopedias door-to-door. Very different from Mr. Leno’s, our 1963 was easily the most comfortable car I ever sat (let alone rode) in. I would love to compare our experiences.

  • Ephraim

    And thank you Jay Leno for your perspicacity!

  • Ephraim

    What wise words from Michael Douglas. I think it is awesome that he and his wife were both there to receive the well earned reward, and typical that he will give it to helping others some more. In this era of massive Jew hatred, BDS, and all that other neonazism, it is a breath of fresh air to read about Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones (who is more beautiful in person than she is on the screen).